How Does an Air Cooled Condenser Work?

An air cooled condenser (ACC) is a direct dry cooling system where steam is condensed inside air-cooled finned tubes.
by SPG Dry Cooling
December 20, 2017
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An air cooled condenser (ACC) is a direct dry cooling system where steam is condensed inside air-cooled finned tubes. The cool ambient air flow outside the finned tubes is what removes heat and defines the functionality of an ACC. In thermal power plants (T), the steam from the turbine exhaust flows into the ACC where condensation occurs. Then the condensate returns to the boiler (B) in a closed loop. Since the steam coming from the turbine is at a low pressure, the ACC works at a pressure close to a vacuum, and non-condensable gases (G) are removed continuously by an air evacuation unit.



Air cooled condensers work well for power plants in water-scarce areas

Air cooled condensers are used for thermal power plants like combined cycle, concentrated solar, coal, biomass, and waste to energy. Since these kinds of power plants, which are equipped with ACCs, do not require a large volume of cooling water, the power plants can easily be built in a region where water may not be available, or where its use is restricted or expensive.


The building blocks of an air cooled condenser

An air cooled condenser is made up of modules that are arranged in parallel rows. Each module contains a number of fin tube bundles. An axial flow forces the cooling air across the heat exchange area of the fin tubes.


Different types of air cooled condensers exist aside from the classic A-Frame. At SPG Dry Cooling, we offer a number of unique solutions like the BoxAir ACC®, Hexacool®, ModuleAir® and W-Style ACC®.


The typical set-up for an ACC installation includes:

  • the supporting structure
  • the steam ducting from the steam turbine interface
  • heat exchangers, finned tubes, fans, motors, gearboxes, and auxiliaries such as the condensate and drain pumps
  • condensate and duct drain tanks,
  • the air evacuation units
  • related piping works and instrumentation


Why choose SPG Dry Cooling for
your dry cooling solutions?

SPG Dry Cooling is a global leader in air cooled condensers & coolers with equipment installed all around the globe. We offer several dry cooling solutions which fall under many international patents. SPG Dry Cooling has a workforce of 700+ professionals across the globe, being able to operate in all climates in conditions.



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