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Journal of Applied Mathematics
Volume 2011, Article ID 970467, 23 pages
Research Article

Numerical Study of the Effect of a Power Plant Cooling Water Discharge in the Montevideo Bay

Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering, Universidad de la Republica, J. Herrera y Reissig 565, Montevideo, Uruguay

Received 30 December 2010; Accepted 21 February 2011

Academic Editor: Jürgen Geiser

Copyright © 2011 Mónica Fossati et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The numerical simulation of the water temperature in the Río de la Plata River and Montevideo's Bay was done using the numerical model of finite elements RMA-10 in its 2D vertical integrated mode. Parameters involved in the formulations of thermal exchange with the atmosphere were adjusted using measurements of water temperature in several locations of the water body. After calibrating the model, it was used to represent the operation of a power plant located in Montevideo's Bay. This central takes water from the bay in order to cool its generators and also discharges high-temperature water into the bay. The correct representation of temperatures at the water intake and discharge of the plant reflects that the model is able to represent the operation of the central. Several analysis were made to study the thermal plume, the effects of the water discharge on the water intake of the power plant, and the effect on environmental variables of the study area like currents.