Chapter 4
Economic Considerations and Drivers


The cooling systems at steam-electric power plants represent an important element of the total plant cost of electricity due to capital costs, operating costs, and environmental compliance. The choice of cooling system has a significant effect on plant economics because of the effect on plant efficiency and capacity, and this choice can be affected by climate and hydrology. For example, in some cases a cooling tower can operate more efficiently than a once-through system if water intake temperatures are high, and in other cases the opposite can be true.

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Cooling System Alternatives
  • 4.3 Cooling System Selection Methodology and Trade-offs
  • 4.4 Cost and Performance Comparisons of Cooling Systems for New Thermal Power Plants
  • 4.5 System Economic Studies of Cooling System Retrofits
  • 4.6 Economic Benefits of Alternative Cooling Technologies
  • 4.7 Nomenclature
  • 4.8 References

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