Plant officials advanced water treatment to increase cooling tower efficiency
Georgia Power’s Bowen coal-fired power plant in Cartersville, Ga., has significantly increased efficiency of cooling tower operations during a six-month period with help from GE’s advanced water treatment chemical technology.
As a result of Plant Bowen’s improvements, the facility has earned GE’s Return on Environment Award. This award recognizes the achievements of industrial users that significantly surpass and improve environmental and industrial operational goals while balancing industrial demands, and Georgia Power was recognized for its noteworthy reductions in water withdrawal, chemicals and waste.
As part of a growing region in Georgia and the Southeast, Georgia Power recognizes the importance of managing water properly. Georgia is among the 10 fastest growing states in the United States and has led the southeastern region in population growth since 1990. Over the next two decades, Georgia’s population is projected to grow by 4.6 million people.
In May 2010, Georgia Power initiated a water conservation pilot project at Plant Bowen to improve water utilization at the facility. The company’s main objective of reducing water requirements for cooling tower operations while maintaining the current level of operational efficiency was aided by utilizing GE’s chemical solutions, including GenGard. GenGard officials enabled the plant to increase the concentration of solids in the cooling system, which greatly reduced the amount of water withdrawn from the river basin.
With the proper chemical treatment program, Plant Bowen was able to withdraw less water per day from the Etowah River during the pilot study. In addition, corrosion control of the treated systems improved dramatically, extending the life expectancy of the piping, heat exchangers and other cooling system components in the plant. There was no adverse impact on the condenser performance and there were no operational interruptions or issues. The overall water savings for all seasons and modes of operation are still to be evaluated.
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