Nalco programs save NV Energy 281 million gallons of water annually and reduce fuel consumption

Nalco, an Ecolab company (NYSE:ECL), has helped NV Energy dramatically reduce its water use and fuel consumption while supplying reliable power to its more than two million customers in Nevada.

NV Energy’s coal-fired Reid Gardner Station north of Las Vegas, Nev., uses both river and well water in its cooling system, but the source water contains high concentrations of silica, which can cause harmful buildup in the cooling system.

Nalco’s 3D TRASAR Technology for Cooling Water employs fluorescence-based monitoring to prevent silica buildup through a combination of innovative chemistry and sophisticated system control.

The optimized cooling system requires less fresh water to operate, allowing NV Energy to reduce its water withdrawals, saving more than 281 million gallons of water annually.

Based on water-use information from the Southern Nevada Water Authority, that’s enough water to meet the annual daily use needs of more than 3,400 people1. The reduction in freshwater use also reduces the facility’s wastewater by the same amount, helping it meet its ZLD (zero liquid discharge) requirements.

NV Energy also wanted to reduce environmental impact and improve operations at its coal-fired North Valmy Station, near Valmy, Nev. The station’s steam turbines, which drive the generators, were experiencing deposits that reduced overall efficiency.

NV Energy selected patented 3D TRASAR Boiler Technology, which combines advanced sensors, software and control capability to deliver a unique solution that allows real-time monitoring and control of the steam system under extremely high temperature and pressure conditions.

Nalco 3D TRASAR Boiler Technology provides the capability to apply proper treatments at the precise time and in the exact amount to prevent copper corrosion and deposits that can damage equipment, require expensive cleaning and reduce the efficiency of the generating process.

These improvements allow the North Valmy Station to generate the same amount of electricity while reducing fuel consumption by 87,000 tons of coal annually. The fuel savings reduced costs by $3.5 million per year, helping hold down electricity rates and providing additional eROI value to NV Energy.

“NV Energy is committed to providing cost-effective electricity to our customers while meeting or exceeding environmental standards,” said Kevin Geraghty, vice president of Power Generation for NV Energy. “Improving the operation of our cooling and steam systems with Nalco’s help allows NV Energy to continue to preserve Nevada’s precious water supply and reduce fuel use while still meeting the electricity needs of our customers.”