Water treatment in power engineering and heating
Why is it worth treating water for heating plants and thermoelectric power plants?
High water quality is of fundamental significance to the proper functioning of heating and thermoelectric power plants. Water with the proper parameters extends the lifetime of the most important elements of a heating network, such as boilers, heat exchangers and pipes, which is why water treatment plays a special role. Power engineering and heating are industries predisposed to rapid return on investment, and water that meets all relevant norms can only contribute to this. Proper water quality also ensures the effective and failure-free performance of processes and allows for greater savings.
Efficient and safe operation of heating equipment depends on the quality of water both feeding boilers and circulating in the associated heating circuits. The quality of circulating and boiler feed water directly depends on the quality of make-up water, used to replenish losses in these systems.
The use of mains water to feed steam boilers causes precipitation and scaling in the system (boiler), which in turn results in energy losses and increases the consumption of chemicals needed to clean the boiler. Thanks to the use of water softening systems resulting calcium deposits are reduced and bicarbonates contained in raw water easily go through a softening station into the boiler, breaking down into carbon dioxide (CO2) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) forming corrosive condensate. This situation results in an increased amount of blowdown water. In order to eliminate this problem it is necessary to use a reverse osmosis system.
How to reduce heat losses - modern water treatment techniques?
The need to desalinate steam boilers is a requirement of boiler manufacturers concerning maintenance of the appropriate salt content and alkalinity. The frequency of desalination and amount of blowdown water are dependent on several basic factors: boiler type, operating pressure and quality of boiler feed and make-up water. Installation of a pretreatment plant with the appropriate water treatment technology has a substantial influence on the quality of boiler water and the level of suspensions and total dissolved solids (TDS).
This ensures reduction of the volume of blowdown water and reduces energy losses, as the temperature of the liquid is equal to the temperature of steam in the boiler. This, in turn, reduces the consumption of make-up water, saving water and lowering costs.
Typical processes used in these facilities
- Mechanical filtration (reduction of mechanical impurities, protection of equipment and water systems)
- Water softening (reducing water hardness, protecting and extending the life of individual machines)
- Reverse osmosis (RO) (production of low conductivity water)
- Electrodeionization (EDI) (production of ultrapure water)