Wet or Dry Cooling?

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Two major aspects related to water use in solar power plants are examined. First we compare the water used in various approaches to power generation. These include water requirements for cooling (where applicable) and other needs within the plant. Included is attention to water requirements for makeup in Rankine cycles, as well as for cleaning of concentrating solar systems. In the second thrust, we examine the impacts of using dry cooling for Rankine cycles. It is generally established that this approach requires premiums in both capital and operating costs (the latter is dependent upon the cost of water), as well as a penalty in performance when compared to wet systems. We examine the trends associated with this technology and outline some for the current performance issues with various cooling approaches.


Solar power plants – Cooling; Water use


Energy Systems | Mechanical Engineering | Oil, Gas, and Energy | Sustainability | Water Resource Management


Conference held: Denver, Colorado, USA, July 8–13, 2006


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