Why are thermal/nuclear power plants’ chimneys so wide and huge?

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Why are thermal/nuclear power plants’ chimneys so wide and huge?

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4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

They’re cooling towers. They are that size and shape because the hot turbine exhaust steam is sprayed into the cooling tower high up, meanwhile there are fans at the bottom blowing air inward into the tower where it funnels upward and the shape causes it to increase in velocity and decrease in pressure which drops the temperature. This causes the steam to condense and fall like rain into the collection tank in the bottom. The steam turbine uses a lot of water when it’s running (and generating electricity) so a large cooling tower is needed to cool all that hot water down

Edit: it’s not the water directly from the turbine, it’s the water used to cool the water from the turbine, which is heated by the water used in the turbine, which is heated by the water used to cool the reactor. There are three separate water systems in the whole setup.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They are not chimneys, they are cooling towers that use water evaporation. The width is to let in lots of airflow.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They are not chimneys. They are [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooling_tower](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooling_tower) and is one of many ways you can cool the water in heat transfer system.

There are dry and wet variants of them and if you see something white escape from that it is just water.

You do not need them if there is another way to get enough cold water like if the reactor is on the coast and you can use the seawater.

You can alos use a artificial lake you pump water into and let cool, that is what Chernobyl used.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In addition to the great answers I wanted to point out that while these cooling towers are common at nuclear plants, they are used elsewhere too. There are many large coal fired power plants that also use these towers.

The association is so strong, however, that often times local citizens will insist that a nuclear plant had been built nearby if they see them installed.