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EPRI Receives $3 Million Award for Power Plant Cooling Research

PALO ALTO, CALIF., June 17, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) won a $3 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop a novel dry cooling technology for thermoelectric power plants. This new cooling technology has the potential to significantly reduce fan power consumption and steam condensation temperaturescompared to current dry cooling systems, and produce a more cost-effective option for reducing water use at thermoelectric plants.

EPRI is teaming with Drexel University, University of Memphis, Evapco, WorleyParsons, Maulbetsch Consulting, and its utility advisors to develop, manufacture, and demonstrate a cost-effective, 50 kW indirect dry cooling system that would use advanced phase change materials to improve heat transfer. The proposed design is anticipated to be compact, optimized for various geographic and weather conditions and would have the potential for integration into existing power plants.

"Successful scale-up and demonstration of this technology will help determine if it could be a competitive water conserving option for the next generation in power plant cooling," said Sean Bushart, director, generation environmental sciences at EPRI.

DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is funding the project under its Advanced Research In Dry cooling (ARID) program. The EPRI project is one of 14 totaling $30 million to support development of transformative new power plant cooling technologies that can cost-effectively and efficiently reject waste heat with minimal water evaporation. ARPA-E project teams will work to design kilowatt-scale testing prototypes to help ensure the technologies can be scaled up to megawatt-cooling capacity without significant performance loss.

EPRI also is a member of a University of Maryland led team that received an ARID award. For this project, the team will research a novel microemulsion adsorption system for supplemental power plant cooling.

About EPRI

The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, www.epri.com) conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety and the environment. EPRI's members represent approximately 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to more than 30 countries. EPRI's principal offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.Car.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass.

CONTACT: Clay C. Perry Senior Media Relations Manager 202-293-6184 clperry@epri.com Chris Mahoney Communications Manager 704-795-2576 cmahoney@epri.comSource:Electric Power Research Institute