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Comparing Combined Cycle Condensing Technologies by Measuring Plant Output, Cost and Water Usage

By: Nick Gritz, POWER Engineers

INTRODUCTION

In response to recent drought conditions and executive order issued by California Governor Jerry Brown to “invest in new technologies that will make California more drought resilient,” POWER Engineers was hired to evaluate different cooling/condensing options for the proposed Sonoran Energy Project, a 520 MW combined cycle power plant that will be located in Blythe, CA. This paper summarizes the results of several reports evaluating a completely dry air cooled condenser (ACC), a wet cooling tower and a hybrid system containing both an ACC and wet cooling tower. The initial study compared a completely dry ACC to a traditional wet cooling tower. The follow up study added a hybrid system to take advantage of water saving when compared to a traditional cooling tower and a performance increase when compared a fully dry cooling system.

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