One of the largest abstractors of water is the power generation industry, where the circulated water cools the condenser of the steam turbine–boiler circuit allowing efficient generation of electricity. Additionally, almost all process industries need cooling water for a variety of primary and auxiliary applications around the plant.
Water based cooling systems can be either once-through or closed circuit. In coastal areas or where water is abundant, once-through systems tend to be favoured as they are generally a lower capital cost, require less power to operate and result in greater generation efficiency which leads to reduced environmental footprint and significant economic savings. Where water is less abundant, for example in inland regions, closed circuit systems are more appropriate. Either system type requires large volumes of water to be drawn from a body of surface water by a pumping station.
Surface waters commonly contain a range of natural and man-made debris that must be removed to avoid damage to the pumps and downstream equipment and to allow the cooling processes to work efficiently. The type of debris can vary from light contamination in some cases to many tonnes per hour in some coastal locations, where jelly fish, for example, can be a challenge to maintaining a continuous supply of cooling water.
Ovivo is also mindful of the need, both legally and ethically, to minimise the impact of water abstraction on the aquatic environment and, through strategic partnerships and product development, can offer a range of Fish Guidance, Fish Deterrent, and Fish Recovery and Return systems. In addition to the environmental benefits, these systems can cut the owner’s trash disposal costs and reduce the chances of disruption to generation due to the loss of cooling water as a result of massive inundations of schooling species.