A broad set of technologies are proposed acting on intake, blowdown, make-up, and evaporated water.

Hybrid Cooling Systems are proposed for the geothermal sector. For the thermal power sector, innovative materials will be applied to steam condensers and membrane based solutions will be developed for water treatment and recovery.

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Geothermal sector

Whereas the geothermal fluid is available at low temperature, a new cooling concept, based on the use of closed loop groundwater (GWC) integrated in a binary cycle, will be investigated and compared with dry type cooler condenser with the aim to reduce overall water withdrawal without compromising the energy efficiency of the system. New materials (coatings with anti-fouling and anti-corrosion properties) will be developed and experimentally validated in order to realize equipment allowing the usage of lower grade materials and make the overall process economically viable, mitigating the effect of geothermal fluid aggressiveness that leads fouling and clogging phenomena.

Whereas instead there is the availability of geothermal steam, which permits a direct exploitation of the geothermal source, a Hybrid Cooling Tower is proposed. Advanced CT filling will be installed in the wet section of the tower with the aim to reduce the volume of packing while maintaining a high heat transfer efficiency; the dry section will be strengthened using new nano-coatings with anti-fouling, fouling-release and anti-corrosion properties to be applied on internal side of dry modules in order to increase the robustness of the equipment to allow the application of hybrid towers in geothermal field. The results coming from this demonstration can be extended to fossil fueled power plants using lower quality waters and higher cycles of concentration.

Thermal power sector

New coatings with high hydrophobic functionality and/or new laser texturing techniques will be applied on the steam side of condenser tube bundles to promote drop-wise condensation.

Stainless steel with biocide proprieties and/or antifouling coatings will be applied on the cooling water side of condenser tube bundles, allowing alternative water source usage. Different approaches will be investigated: bio-functionalization of coatings with enzymes or with peptide-like compounds; embedding of nanoparticles with anti-fouling properties, ultra smooth surfaces.

Innovative nano-technologies, mainly membrane based, will be applied for cooling water conditioning and/or for water recovery, with the final aim of increasing the availability of water supply through the treatment of low quality waters (CT blow-down, process waste waters, municipal waters,...) and through the recovery of water vapour from evaporative losses (CT plume). The five technologies selected for water treatment are:

  1. Membrane capacitive deionization (MCDI)
  2. Vortex degasification technology (VPT)
  3. Membrane distillation (MD)
  4. A combination of Micro Filtration (MF), Ultra Filtration (UF), Nano Filtration (NF), and Reverse Osmosis (RO)
  5. Membrane Condensers (MC) will be applied to recover the water evoporative losses in cooling tower