At a time when water use is being challenged due to limits in water availability, conservation in the power industry is the next step in creating better long term water use. Agricultural solution are beginning got be implemented. They has been extensive in the utility industry, but yet to be pursued in the power industry.
Power uses about 40% of water in the us – primarily for cooling. The use includes evaporation and increased temperature given the cooling is designed to increase water temperatures up to 10F. Water cooling is more efficient than air cooling which costs about 25-30% of total efficiency. But such plants still use 60+% of their efficiency to cooling losses. Recycled water is an option but there are limited to temperatures, so even with full recycling getting to zero water use is hard, and only achievable with new power plants.
THe power industry continues to evolve and increasing efficiency is a prime goal – if yu can increase efficicency from 30 to 50% that is a huge amount of power without a huge added investment. Let’s watch the progress.