China will be the first country to install million-kilowatt air-cooling systems in ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plants, an official with the China Huadian Corp. said on Thursday.
China Huadian is a state-owned power generation company.
The cooling facilities, which were entirely domestically designed and built, will be part of the Huadian Lingwu power plant project, located in the northwestern coal-rich and arid Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
The project will have two ultra super-critical generating units of 1 million kw each, which will start up around 2011, said the official who asked not to be identified. No cost estimates were given.
Ultra super-critical thermal generation is a clean coal technology that relies on very high pressures and temperatures to achieve greater efficiency of fuel use. Because it is more efficient, there is less waste heat , but still, almost half of the heat generated isn't converted.
Air-cooling saves huge amounts of water, a key consideration in such arid areas as Ningxia.
Using this cooling technique will save an estimated 70 percent of the water that would have been used in conventional water-cooled power units. In this case, it means 24 million tones of water annually, enough for the consumption of nearly 800,000 people for a year.