Operating power generation facilities incur steam cycle water evaporative losses and water discharged as blowdown and require make-up water to be added to the steam cycle. Sources include well water and surface waters such as rivers and lakes. The make-up water systems replenish water to the steam condensate cycle as needed to maintain the water inventory of the cycle. The application includes water for BWR (Boiling Water Reactor) and PWR (Pressurized Water Reactor) nuclear plants. The make-up water is typically added to a condensate storage tank and then directly to the water cycling to the Reactor in a BWR plant and to the water cycling to the Steam Generator in a PWR plant. In a fossil fuel power generation facility, the condensate storage tank adds to the water cycling to the boiler. This is also accomplished in co-generation facilities and industrial plants that have an on-site power generation system.
The make-up demineralizers typically consist of one or more trains of three ion exchange resin vessels. First in sequence is a cation exchange vessel followed by an anion exchange vessel. The final make-up polisher is a mixed bed of cation and anion exchange resins which produces the highest quality water. The goal is to achieve low conductivity and low silica values in the make-up water. The make-up demineralizers are expected to produce high quality water and limit the impurity levels entering the cycle. High silica levels or high conductivity that indicates high impurity levels can contribute to scaling and metallurgical attack of the steam cycle components. Some systems operate without a mixed bed when the water quality is not as critical. Although strongly acidic cation and strongly basic anion exchange resins are frequently used, weakly acidic cation and weakly basic anion exchange resins are employed under certain conditions. Systems often include an RO (reverse osmosis) unit as the first stage treating raw water, and some make-up systems may include a carbon vessel or ultra-filtration when necessary.
Gravex cation, anion, and mixed bed resins are directly suited for make-up demineralization. Both uniform size and Gaussian particle distribution products are available for selection based on the needs and preferences of each customer and system.
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