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Water Research Center:
Focus Areas

Active or Planned Research Projects

The role of innovation starts at the top, and our executives are uniquely qualified to recognize our most difficult challenges because of our history with Research and Development.

New technology allows Southern Company to address those most difficult challenges – a characteristic important to investment and stakeholder groups.

We have a centralized and independent Research and Development organization with the freedom to explore new technologies and reapply existing ones to new applications.

Seven Focus Areas

The WRC focuses on finding new ways to reduce, conserve and improve water quality for the power generation process in the following focus areas:

Moisture Recovery

Focuses on researching innovative technologies and methods to recover moisture that would otherwise be consumed or lost into the atmosphere through such processes as scrubber and cooling tower plumes and flue gas.

Cooling Tower & Advanced Cooling Systems

Explores ideas such as increasing cooling tower cycles of concentration, diversion/reduction of cooling tower heat loads, the feasibility and applicability of hybrid/dry cooling systems, wet surface air coolers, reducing parasitic load and the use of non-traditional water sources.

Zero Liquid Discharge

Explores technologies that separate pollutants into a solid material and a high-quality distillate. Waters created from these processes could be reused in the plant.

Wastewater Treatment

Focuses on technologies to treat water from various waste streams throughout the power plant such as floor drains and storm water runoff that will allow the use of these waters in various processes within the plant.

Solid Landfill Water Management

Explores water issues related to managing on-site landfills with the addition of new solids such as zero-liquid-discharge salts and sludges to existing landfills containing bottom ash, fly ash and gypsum.

Carbon Technology Water Issues

Develops models to determine the impacts of retrofitting various post-combustion carbon capture technologies to the use of water at the plant site, reducing the impact of CO2 capture on plant water use.

Water Modeling, Monitoring & Best Management Practices

Results from each of the focus areas are used to model strategies for managing water balances and to explore tools for evaluating overall water use (baseline and real time), process and wastewater rerouting, reuse/recycling and conservation/recovery methods and impacts. The Best Practices focus area will develop a standard procedure for formulating, evaluating and selecting power plant water management options based on reliable technical and economic analyses. The end result will enable quick and accurate assessments of water uses throughout an electric power generation facility, identification of conservation, recycle and/or reuse options, and evaluation of the impacts of such options on plant makeup water needs, process water chemistry and wastewater treatment requirements.

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Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Georgia Power withdraws 1.3 billion gallons of water per day from public waterways to generate electricity and returns 90 percent (or 1.1 billion gallons).