Efficient Cooling Ponds: Design

by Gerhard H. Jirka, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; School of Civ. and Environmental Engrg., Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.Y. 14853,
Donald R. F. Harleman, (M.ASCE), Ford Prof. of Engrg. and Dir.; R. M. Parsons Lab. for Water Resources and Hydrodynamics, Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Cambridge, Mass. 02139,
Carl F. Cerco, Asst. Marine Sci.; Virginia Inst. of Marine Sci., Gloucester Point, Va. 23062,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 11, Pg. 1547-1563

Document Type: Journal Paper


The design of cooling ponds for the dissipation of waste heat from steam-electric power plants is considered from the point of view of steady-state performance, and of transient performance. Particular emphasis is put on the design of shallow ponds, as defined by classification criteria proposed earlier, which lack a predominant vertical stratification and are dominated by the throughflow hydrodynamics. Such pond types are frequently constructed by diking or excavating an offstream land area. A schematic laboratory study was performed to test the effect on pond performance of various design measures, notably internal baffle arrangements, discharge structures and a deep intake reservoir. An optimal pond design is suggested with moderate beffling (length/width ratio of 5 to 10) to prevent recirculation zones, a radial discharge structure to minimize entrance mixing and deep intake reservoir with a residence time of at least one half day to insure damping of diurnal intake temperature fluctuations.

Subject Headings: Water intakes | Cooling (wastewater treatment) | Temperature effects | Ponds | Power plants | Laboratory tests | Reservoirs | Steam power

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