Sulfur Deposit Removal and Control in a Power Plant Cooling Tower: a Case History from Cerro Prieto, Mexico`s Largest Geothermal Field
H. R. Rosser
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Effective deposit control is necessary to achieve optimum cooling efficiency in all cooling systems. Evaporative cooling systems in some geothermal power plants experience an unusual form of fouling – the accumulation of hard elemental sulfur deposits in hot water distribution lines and spray nozzles, on the tower fill, and in the condenser. This paper describes field trials of a sulfur deposit dispersant conducted in two 400,000 gallon cooling systems associated with 25 MW power generation units at the Cerro Prieto IV Geothermal Power Plant (Mexico). A successful 28-day field trial demonstrated the ability of daily cleaner/dispersant treatments to remove and disperse existing sulfur deposits and biofouling deposits from a fouled, underperforming cooling system. A successful 3-month trial demonstrated the ability of regular cleaner/dispersant treatments to prevent sulfur deposit formation and improve cooling efficiency in a cooling tower which was mechanically cleaned prior to the trial. Plant operating data and trial monitoring data are presented, along with a discussion of the characteristics of the operating environment in the geothermal cooling water system which make these plants susceptible to this unique and persistent form of fouling.
Document Type:Conference Paper
- Cerro Prieto