Cooling Water Becoming a Hot Topic

The use of wet cooling is falling victim to water availability limitations worldwide. New coal-fired boilers in the western U.S. are also opting for dry cooling to ease permitting difficulties, according to Bob McIlvaine.

By Kathy Pursley, Editor

The use of wet cooling is falling victim to water availability limitations worldwide. New coal-fired boilers in the western U.S. are also opting for dry cooling to ease permitting difficulties, according to Bob McIlvaine.

Dry cooling, however, requires a much bigger initial capital investment. While more developers are still sticking with wet cooling, McIlvaine says sub dry cooling will account for more than 50% of new tower revenues.

McIlvaine also said we can expect cooling tower revenues to reach $3.4 billion worldwide this year. Of that total he expects the world's coal-fired power generators will spend over $1 billion to purchase cooling towers, repair parts and components for these towers. McIlvaine's full report is available at www.mcilvainecompany.com.

For those who remain faithful to wet cooling, other more viable options for cooling water intake structures compliant with the new 316b rules are making their debut. The article on page 15 of this issue describes the innovative way Collector Wells International installed a new intake structure for a combined cycle facility.

Cooling water issues also are proving to be a hot topic for Industrial WaterWorld's conference scheduled for December. The Industrial Water Conference will serve as a forum for sharing new ideas on cooling towers as well as other aspects of industrial water treatment and use. The conference is co-located with PowerGen International in Orlando.

I have already reviewed a number of intriguing abstracts on cooling water treatment and cooling tower mechanics as well as other topics including wastewater, boiler feedwater, pumping systems and environmental compliance issues related to water.

Please visit www.industrialwaterconference.com for more information about submitting an abstract or attending the conference. I am looking forward to this conference as an opportunity for us to learn from each other about innovative ways to cope with the moving targets of compliance and operational/maintenance goals.

As I was wrapping up this issue I witnessed one of life's milestones. I watched my son and his classmates walk across the stage and receive their high school diplomas.

This is a group of young people who have witnessed the traumatic events happening worldwide since the Gulf War when they were elementary school students. They know that life may seem to have bright, clear skies one moment and be full of smoky clouds and impossibilities the next.

These young adults chose the cactus as their "class flower" because it represented their mental and spiritual toughness, and their ability to survive adversity. I was proud to see how many of them are determined to further their formal educations and to choose service careers. If you have been worried about what this new generation is coming to, theirs is the same determined spirit that will drive the recovery of our economy and industrial growth.

Life happens in cycles. The end of one phase marks the beginning of another. There is no other way to live life, but to plan for the future as we hope and dream it will be.

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