Technical Briefs

An Investigation of Air-Cooled Steam Condenser Performance Under Windy Conditions Using Computational Fluid Dynamics

[+] Author and Article Information
M. T. F. Owen, D. G. Kröger

Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland, Stellenbosch 7602, South Africa

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 133(6), 064502 (Feb 16, 2011) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002277 History: Received June 08, 2010; Revised June 15, 2010; Published February 16, 2011; Online February 16, 2011

The development of an efficient and reliable method of evaluating the performance of an air-cooled steam condenser (ACC) under windy conditions using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is presented. A two-step modeling approach is employed as a result of computational limitations. The numerical ACC model developed in this study makes use of the pressure jump fan model, among other approximations, in an attempt to minimize the computational expense of the performance evaluation. The accuracy of the numerical model is verified through a comparison of the numerical results to test data collected during full-scale tests carried out on an operational ACC. Good correlation is achieved between the numerical results and test data. The effect of wind on ACC performance at El Dorado Power Plant (Nevada, USA) is investigated. It is found that reduced fan performance due to distorted flow at the inlet of the upstream fans is the primary contributor to the reduction in ACC performance associated with increased wind speed in this case. The model developed in this study has the potential to allow for the evaluation of large ACC installations and provides a reliable platform from which further investigations into improving ACC performance under windy conditions can be carried out.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic of a mechanical draft ACC fan unit

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Figure 2

Schematics of the (a) global flow field and (b) detailed numerical models

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Figure 3

Comparison of numerically predicted and measured steam turbine exhaust temperatures

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Figure 4

Comparison of predicted and measured fan inlet temperatures for (a) TP2 and (b) TP3

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Figure 5

Effect of ambient conditions on ACC performance and steam turbine backpressure for a southerly wind

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Figure 6

Illustration of the contribution of reduced fan performance and hot plume recirculation to reduced ACC performance under windy conditions (southerly wind)



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