The Dissipation of Excess Heat from Water Systems

by Harvey E. Jobson, (M.ASCE), Res. Hydr.; U.S. Geological Survey, Bay St. Louis, MS,

Serial Information: Journal of the Power Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 1, Pg. 89-103

Document Type: Journal Paper


A model for the prediction of excess temperature is shown to have the form of the classical diffusion equation. The excess temperature in this model is defined as the difference between the actual water temperature and the water temperature which would have occurred provided that a particular heat source, such as a power plant, had never existed. This definition of excess temperature is convenient because it directly represents the incremental effect that a heat source has on a water system and, provided that historical water temperature records are available, the excess temperature can be predicted without the use of solar or atmospheric radiation data. A prediction equation for the surface transfer coefficient for excess heat illustrates that this coefficient is primarily dependent upon the water temperature and wind speed, and that it is almost independent of the humidity and temperature of the air.

Subject Headings: Temperature effects | Water temperature | Hydro power | Hydrologic models | Power plants | Solar radiation | Air temperature | Diffusion

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