Facility opened to study cooling water needs

A new technology that could reduce the water needed for power plant cooling is being tested, marking the beginning of research and development at the new Water Research Center (WRC) at Georgia Power's coal-fired Plant Bowen in Cartersville, GA.

According to Georgia Power, the WRC is the first U.S. research facility of its kind, providing a venue for developing and testing technologies to reduce power plant water withdrawals and consumption and improve the quality of water related to power generation. Operated by the Southern Research Institute, the WRC is being developed by Southern Co. and its subsidiary Georgia Power, Southern Research and the Electric Power Research Institute, which has assembled an R&D collaborative of 13 companies. Evaluation of the new technology – a thermosyphon cooler developed by Johnson Controls – is the first project to become operational at the centre.

The Water Research Center is being designed to accommodate development and evaluation of power plant water management technologies in seven areas. These include cooling tower water chemistry and advanced cooling systems; process wastewater treatment; zero liquid discharge options; moisture recovery from power plant processes; solids landfill water management; carbon technology water issues; and water use modeling and monitoring for best management practices.

Southern Co. said the technologies being explored at the WRC can be implemented by power companies worldwide to address water issues.