Advanced Low Cost and Compact Utility Dry Cooling System

Period of Performance: 01/01/2013 - 12/31/2013


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Altex Technologies Corp.
244 Sobrante Way Array
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Utilizing a dry cooling system for power plant condensers can reduce cooling system water need by over 90%, versus a wet cooling system, thereby reducing permitting and associated water use problems. However, by shifting from a wet to a dry cooling system, the volume, weight and cost of the cooling system are substantially increased. To realize the water use reduction benefits of dry cooling, lower cost dry cooling condensers are needed. Altex has identified a highly efficient condenser heat exchanger technology, called AHEC, which can reduce heat exchanger volume and weight by 50% and 50%, respectively, while achieving the same heat transfer as competing technologies. Under the proposed project, Altex will design a condenser based on this technology, test a lab-scale unit under simulated conditions to demonstrate technical feasibility and then refine the full-scale design and life cycle costs to assess economic feasibility. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Because AHEC is constructed of low-cost materials and uses well-developed and common fabrication processes, heat exchanger capital cost is reduced by 60%. Additionally, the fan power needed to drive the heat transfer is reduced by over 50%, thereby saving electric power and reducing power cost, greenhouse gas emissions, and priority pollutants. The commercial opportunity for applying AHEC to existing utility installations is quite large, and AHEC will save $7.5 billion versus conventional dry condensers.