Case Study

Desalinated water powers China’s economic growth

Location: YuHuan, Zheijang Province, China
Project: YuHuan Power Plant
Capacity: 36,000 m³/ day
Energy Savings: US$ 2.7 million or 27 million kWh/year*
CO2 Savings: 16,000 metric tons/year**
* energy savings estimates based on China’s power cost of $0.10/kWh)
**based on Energy Recovery’s proprietary Power Model analysis.

The Challenge: Desalinated Water Powers China’s Economic Growth

As electricity production increases in China to keep pace with the nation’s rapid economic growth, power providers are caught in a bind: energy generation requires processed water, but desalinating seawater to feed power plants requires significant energy. The 4,000 MW power stations expanding China’s electrical grid in preparation for the 2008 Olympics required a seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plant capable of processing significant quantities of water and a careful balance of energy considerations. Beijing CNC Technology, Inc. built the YuHuan desalination facility in Zheijang Province as the largest desalination project to address the water needs of the new power generating plants. The client wanted to avoid the power drain of waste-heat processing and take advantage of reverse osmosis’ higher yields.

The Innovation Solution: 
PX Pressure Exchanger 220

In their search for a SWRO solution that saves energy and money, the build team of East China Electric Power Design Institute Ministry (ECEPDI) and Beijing CNC specified Energy Recovery PX-220s for YuHuan based on the proven high efficiency and two-year trouble-free track record of the PX-220 installation at the Dalian Petrochemical Plant. The PX Pressure Exchanger® solution created for YuHuan features six trains processing 6,000 m3/day, each with six PX-220s, for a total of 36,000 m3/day.

The Result: 
Significant Energy and Cost Savings Drive Rapid Adoption

Energy Recovery’s YuHuan PX configuration, which has operated since 2006 without issue, achieves real energy transfer efficiencies up to 97% and has cut the energy required for YuHuan’s facility by 68%. Using the PX device has created an economically viable way for China’s residents and industries to benefit from the new electrical power because the PX technology recovers enough energy at YuHuan to reduce power costs by US$ 2.7 million per year. This reduction has cut the carbon footprint of the plant by almost 260 tons of carbon dioxide each year. Because of the success at YuHuan and of the China Petrochemicals Dalian Plant, China leads the world in adoption of efficient PX solutions, with more than 90% of SWRO installations in China using Energy Recovery’s technology.