Planning & Management

Oral

395235 - Climate Change Impact on Power Plant Cooling Water Consumption

Wednesday, June 6
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Greenway GH
Co-Authors: Kit Ng, Reston, VA – Bechtel

The paper will detail the evaluation of potential climate change impacts on consumptive water use of a power plant cooling system. A water budget model that includes the hydrologic elements and plant water usages was utilized to assess the climate change impacts on long term water use on a lake system. The evaluation focuses on key regulatory parameters of lake water level and flow release from a dam to downstream users.

The Third National Climate Assessment (NCA) report was used as the basis to project trends of climate change indicators. Among the climate indicators, the long-term trend of increasing air temperature was found to have the most direct and significant effect on water-use.

The effect of projected rising air temperature was evaluated for two scenarios: a lower emissions scenario with a lower increase in dry bulb temperature and a higher emissions scenario with a correspondingly higher increase in dry bulb temperature. The results indicate an increase in release of minimum flow from the dam and decrease in lake water level. In addition, long term average and maximum evaporation rates from the plant cooling system also show an increasing trend.

Yonas Kinfu

Bechtel Infrastructure

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