• First full-scale installation of SPX's patented Air2Air™ cooling technology will reduce New Mexico power plant's annual water consumption by up to 20 percent
NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 11, 2007 -- SPX Corporation today announced that its cooling technologies business has completed the installation of its breakthrough water-saving technology for wet cooled power plants. SPX's patented Air2Air™ water recovery system enables power plants to recover much of the water evaporated in a standard cooling tower and, in doing so, reduce their annual water consumption by as much as 20 percent. The first full-scale installation of the new cooling tower cell is now online at Public Service of New Mexico's (PNM) San Juan Generating Station.
SPX issued the announcement on the opening day of POWER-GEN International 2007, the world's largest power generation event, taking place in New Orleans, Louisiana.
"The Marley Air2Air™ water recovery system is the most advanced water- saving solution available for wet cooled power plants, and it reduces water consumption while maintaining overall steam turbine efficiency," said Tom Dendy, Director of Global Marketing & Development at SPX Thermal Equipment & Services. "The typical 500-megawatt, coal plant in the U.S. uses roughly 30,000 tons of water each day. A cooling tower fitted with SPX's Air2Air™ technology can reclaim up to 10,000 tons of water each day, or enough to provide 6,000 households with water. On an even broader scale, we believe our technology can make a significant contribution to global water conservation efforts."
As the seventh-largest coal-fired generating station in the western United States, San Juan is PNM's primary power generation source, serving 58 percent of PNM's customers. The plant's newly enhanced cooling system uses the evaporation of water to dissipate the heat from power plants' steam condensers. By evaporating a portion of the circulating water flow through the cooling tower, the remaining water is cooled. SPX's Air2Air technology then recovers a portion of the evaporated water, condenses it, and retains it in the tower system.
"In addition to reducing water consumption and treatment costs, coal-fired power plants that utilize SPX's Air2Air water recovery system can achieve greater overall productivity, and even replace more costly means of generating pure water," added Dendy. "Recovered water can be returned directly to the tower basin, or even piped away as a pure water stream for boiler make-up or other plant uses."
The full-scale water conservation installation at the San Juan Generating Station is being funded in part by a three-year research grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE/NETL) -- which estimates that U.S. power plant cooling towers evaporate three billion gallons of water each day.
The performance of the tower and water recovery system at San Juan is being monitored remotely with a wireless satellite monitoring and collection system supplied by SPX Flash Technologies. Utilizing the latest in wireless detector technology, design engineers from SPX Cooling Technologies can continuously monitor the performance and operation of the unit and provide live feedback and operating recommendations to plant operators in New Mexico.
"With the cooperation of PNM and SPX Flash, we are able to closely monitor and validate the performance of the water recovery system," said Glenn Brenneke, Vice President of Research & Development for SPX Thermal Equipment & Services. "This will enable us to collect a complete set of operating data to assess the system over a full range of plant and weather conditions."
SPX's relationship with PNM dates back to 1975, when the company undertook installation of a wet/dry tower at the San Juan station to address the issue of water availability. Completed in 1978, the tower began commercial operation in 1979. Testing in 1980 found the tower exceeded design requirements in both thermal performance and water conservation.
SPX Corporation is a Fortune 500 multi-industry manufacturing leader. The company offers highly-specialized engineered solutions to solve critical problems for customers.