CASE STUDY – Retractable Winterization Screens

The power plant had a counter-flow cooling tower which, when inspected in February, had excessive icing which was causing damage to the wood structural members as well as degrading performance. As a temporary fix the customer had installed tarps to keep the heat in the tower and melt the ice but these had to be removed and reinstalled each year.

Galebreaker supplied a permanent retractable winterization screens solution which could be deployed in the winter and retracted back up in the summer.

THE PROBLEM

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Ice accumulations with no protection.

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Excessive icing build-up just inside the air inlet as a result of leaks above and freezing temperatures.

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The temporary tarp system that had been previously installed annually.

THE SOLUTION

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Galebreaker screens are custom manufactured to fit the specific openings for the customer.

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The tube that the screen is threaded into is attached at the bottom to the concrete curb with a series of ratchets.

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The gear drive with the handle crank. The kadored tube attaches to the gear drive and can be retracted or deployed quickly and easily.

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The finished product on the north end of the tower.

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This is the finished product on the west side of the tower. This is the side most susceptible to icing. The icing on the inside had been melted due to the retention of heat just inside the screens.

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This is a picture of the east side which had all of the obstructions. A series of (5) different screens were installed to miss all obstructions.

Conclusion

The project was a huge success with the customer. The cost to install and remove temporary tarps was eliminated. With temperatures in the high 20’s F, the ice was removed on the structures at the air inlet and the following benefits realized:

  • Improved performance
  • No damage to mechanical equipment
  • Complete seasonal protection
  • Fully retractable operation – quick and easy

The best practice for ice attenuation is pro-active operation of the fans. A combination of proper fan operation and deployment of Galebreaker Screens will help you operate your tower safely and pro-long the life of your cooling tower structure.

  • Galebreaker provide both temporary and permanent solutions:
  • Up to 64m wide (210ft) and 6m high (20ft)
  • Manual gear drive or chain hoist retractable systems
  • Standard and saline specifications
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