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Cooling process and system for dry cooling power plants

United States Patent

9,927,178
March 27, 2018
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A seasonal process that captures stores and uses water in an ambient temperature-dependent manner to improve the efficiency of a natural gas power plant, comprising: (a) providing a natural gas power plant, the natural gas power plant having a flue gas stream, a cooling tower, and a gas turbine; (b) providing a water collection system; (c) providing a water storage facility; wherein the flue gas stream comprises uncondensed water vapor; wherein the water collection system is operably connected to the flue gas stream and the flue gas stream is directed to flow, at least in part, into the water collection system; wherein the water collection system is operably connected to the water storage facility; wherein the water storage facility is operably connected to the cooling tower and the water storage facility is operably connected to the gas turbine; wherein the process comprises the following steps of condensing flue gas water or using water that has been condensed from the flue gas stream based on outdoor ambient dry bulb temperature: (I) Only condensing water from the flue gas stream to produce a condensed water stream if outdoor ambient dry bulb temperature is less than 85.degree. F.; (II) Only using condensed water to spray cool the cooling tower if outdoor ambient dry bulb temperature is at least 85.degree. F.; (III) Only using condensed water to fog cool the gas turbine if outdoor ambient dry bulb temperature is at least 55.degree. F.; wherein condensed water that is not immediately used to cool the cooling tower or to fog cool the gas turbine is stored in the water storage facility; and wherein the process uses a total amount of water on an annual basis to cool the cooling tower and to fog cool the gas turbine that does not exceed the annual amount of water condensed from the flue gas stream. Optionally, the process has a cooling tower that is a dry cooling tower and condensed water is used to spray cool the dry cooling tower, or the cooling tower is a wet cooling tower, or the cooling tower is a hybrid wet-dry cooling tower. The process may further comprise a water collection system having a three stage desiccant cycle and a calcium chloride desiccant that recovers at least about 60 wt % of the water from the flue gas, operates at or above ambient pressure or comprises plastic piping or plastic vessels. Or the process may further comprise using a water collection system having at least one direct contact condensing column that recovers at least about 60 wt % of the water from the flue gas, operates at or above ambient pressure or comprises plastic piping or plastic vessels. Or the process may further comprise using a water collection system having at least one direct contact condenser and a rotating wheel heat exchanger that recovers at least about 60 wt % of the water from the flue gas, operates at or above ambient pressure, or further comprises plastic piping or plastic vessels. The coefficient of performance for the cooling process is optionally at least 2.0.
Srinivas; Girish (Broomfield, CO), Gebhard; Steven Charles (Golden, CO), Copeland; Robert James (Metairie, LA), Eisenberg; David P. (Denver, CO)
TDA Research, Inc. (Wheat Ridge, CO)
15/ 149,152
May 8, 2016
STATEMENT REGARDING U.S. GOVERNMENT SUPPORT This invention was made in part using U.S. government funding through the U.S. Department of Energy contract DE-AR000581. The government has certain rights in this invention.