Views: 4 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2023-05-03 Origin: Site
In fossil power plants, fluid coolers are used to cool the working fluid after it has been used to generate electricity in the Rankine cycle.
Dry-cooled systems use air instead of water to cool the steam exiting a turbine and can decrease total power plant water consumption by more than 90 percent, although they have higher costs and lower efficiencies compared to wet-recirculating systems.
In a wet-recirculating system, also known as a closed-loop system, the working fluid is cooled by water in a cooling tower or pond, and then recirculated back into the power plant process. The cooled water is typically sprayed onto the surface of a heat exchanger or cooling coil, where it flows through a network of tubes and fins that are designed to promote heat transfer. Air is then drawn across the surface of the heat exchanger by a fan, which removes heat from the water and transfers it to the atmosphere. The cooled water is then recirculated back into the power plant process.
In a dry-cooling system, the working fluid is cooled by air that is drawn across the surface of a heat exchanger or cooling coil. The heated air is then exhausted to the atmosphere, and the cooled fluid is recirculated back into the power plant process. Because dry-cooling systems do not require water, they can be used in areas where water availability is limited, although they are less efficient than wet-recirculating systems and can have higher costs.
In addition to wet-recirculating and dry-cooling systems, there are also hybrid systems that combine the benefits of both approaches. One example is the closed-loop dry-cooling system, which uses a heat exchanger to transfer heat from the working fluid to a closed-loop system of air-cooled radiators. The air-cooled radiators are cooled by fans that draw air across the surface of the radiators, and the heated air is then exhausted to the atmosphere. The cooled fluid is then recirculated back into the power plant process. This approach provides some of the benefits of a dry-cooling system, such as reduced water consumption, while also maintaining the efficiency of a wet-recirculating system.
Fluid coolers are also used in other industrial processes, such as oil refining and chemical production, where heat exchangers are used to cool process fluids. In these applications, fluid coolers may use water or air as the cooling medium, depending on the specific requirements of the process.
Overall, fluid coolers play a critical role in the operation of fossil power plants, helping to maintain safe and efficient operating temperatures for the working fluid. The choice of cooling system will depend on a number of factors, including water availability, environmental regulations, and cost considerations.
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