Thermosyphon System For Evaporative Cooling

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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Project Term:
08/06/2015 - 08/05/2016

Technology Description:

TDA Research will develop a water recovery system that extracts and condenses 64% of the water vapor produced by the gas turbine in a natural gas combined cycle’s (NGCC) power plant and stores this water for use in evaporative cooling. The system will provide supplemental cooling to NGCC power plants in which the combustion process – burning the natural gas to produce heat – produces a significant quantity of water vapor that is typically discharged to the atmosphere. First, a direct-contact condensation cycle will recover 27% of water vapor from the flue gas. To increase the amount of water recovered, a desiccant, which is a substance that attracts water, will be used to absorb an additional 37% of the water vapor. TDA’s desiccant cycle utilizes the waste heat in the exhaust to regenerate the desiccant for reuse. This water recovery cycle would occur during cooler months when the water from combustion is easier to capture. Much of the water collected during this period will then be stored in an adjacent lake and saved for use during hotter summer months when evaporative cooling offers the maximum benefit to improve power plant efficiency. The project team estimates that its technology can reduce the performance penalty of a dry-cooling system by 30% compared to wet cooling. Moreover, the team is designing the system to use low-cost materials, which reduces capital costs.

Potential Impact:

If successful, TDA and its team members will develop a novel water recovery system that reduces water consumption for power plant cooling by capturing flue gas condensate and storing this water for use in evaporative cooling.


Power plants can maintain energy efficiency by using the team’s technology, instead of using separate water sources for cooling when water use is restricted.


The team’s system could reduce water usage for evaporative cooling on hot days, which helps conserve water for other uses.


TDA will use low-cost materials for its system, helping to reduce the cost of dry cooling.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Addison Stark
Project Contact:
Dr. Girish Srinivas
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Southern Company
Southern Research Institute
AECOM Technology Corporation

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