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Power Plant Westfalen

Life cycle management for the natural draft cooling towers of units D and E

The two newly constructed power plant units D and E the hard coal power station Hamm-Uentrop hard coal power in Westphalia has a total capacity of 1600 MW. In 2014, the unit E was officially put in operation and commissioned by RWE AG. The natural draft cooling towers belonging to the new units have a height of about 166,5 m and can be used additionally to the primary function of the cooling of the cooling water and for discharging the cleaned smoke gases. For being able to do without the time-consuming and costly, mandatory coating of the cooling tower inner shell, an ”acid-resistant” high performance concrete was used for the first time in the power plant Niederaußem in the cooling tower of the unit K and has been proven there.

For the dedicated monitoring of the structure condition, a continuous life cycle management has been put in place by ZPP since completion of the cooling towers. The basis is the VGB guideline 613 ”guidelines for the life cycle management of reinforced concrete cooling towers in power plants”. In addition, many experiences were collected in other implementations of lifetime management on other cooling towers. Through an active participation in the corresponding VGB working groups, the gained insights in life cycle management enter the specific guidelines for cooling water specific guidelines

In the years 2009 to 2011, the cooling tower monitoring was installed on behalf of RWE Power AG and put into operation. Using additionally regular inspections, the unforeseen events such as damages are detected as early as possible. In order to identify and assess causes of damage in connection to a building monitoring, a correlation with the measured influences on the building and the possible material properties change (e.g. a subsequent hardening of the concrete shell) can be performed. With the derived findings, necessary remedial actions can be planned, initiated and implemented in subsequent audit periods in time.

Picture source: Knut O. Laubner/ZPP.de
RWE Power AG
Period of service
since 2015
Hamm, Germany
  • Maintaining