Most power plants rely on water for cooling. The large quantities necessitate that regulatory constraints are imposed on the use of the water so as not to negatively affect the ecosystem receiving the heated water. To protect the ecosystem the water temperature or the temperature differential between inlet and discharge must be within certain limits.
These restrictions have a direct impact on the power production. The water temperature cannot readily be changed – but it can be predicted, hours and days ahead with high accuracy. As can the water level. This enables the power production capacity to be adjusted to comply with the available capacity. The ability to accurately predict the production is therefore essential for optimising the revenue and consequently a strong asset for power traders.
The same issues apply for desalination and industrial plants using vast quantities of water.
A successful design requires that the hydraulic, meteorological, sedimentological, biological, and chemical parameters have been accounted for. At DHI we provide the expertise required and advice on how to deal with cooling water and offer the complete range from field studies to advanced modelling using physical and numerical models for predicting the various parameters such as dilution and spreading of the discharged cooling water for combinations of intake/outfall layouts and plant operation schemes.