Case Study

Reducing Mechanical Fan Stress

Case Study

Reducing Mechanical Fan Stress

Home > Industrial > Mini Case Studies > Wind Protection Screens in Colorado, USA

Comanche Generating Station is a 1,500 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned by Xcel Energy and operated by Public Service Company of Colorado near Pueblo, Colorado. It has a 45 cell GEA Air Cooled Condenser Unit.

The Challenge

Since operation in 2010, the ACC unit has suffered with performance loss from the wind. This has caused thermal performance challenges, as well as mechanical stress, particularly fan vibration which has caused gearbox damage, oil leaks and costly maintenance and repair. In 2011/12 the customer put home made screens around the ACC to try and protect the unit from the wind. These had very limited success.

The Solution

Galebreaker provided a full sized sample in 2014 for the customer to compare to the ones he installed. These were trialled on one of the section bays that faced the prevailing winds. After several years of maintenance free service, the Comanche team and Galebreaker team set about analysing and discussing what would be the best size and porosity of fabric, orientation of the screens and how many. After some successful talks, Comanche Generating Station purchased and installed Galebreaker screens in 2016 and installed the Galebreaker solution around the entire perimeter of the ACC unit in 2017.

The Benefits

Comanche were extremely pleased with the Galebreaker wind screen solution. Firstly, the fan and gearbox maintenance was eliminated, and more importantly, confidence was created that the fans would now be properly protected from the Colorado winds. The home made screens were taken down and thrown away! – see picture

“I am not worried about Galebreaker’s guarantee; we’ve had their product installed for over 6 years without a single issue. I wanted their material because it is the best in the industry and will outlast everything we tried to use”. Ruben Roman, Sr. Operations Manager, Xcel Energy.”


“The Galebreaker design and installation is all zero maintenance and is far superior than the plant designed screen we had made. We had continual maintenance issues with our home made screens, especially with the cable ties pulling out in high winds. We would have saved time and money had we installed Galebreaker Wind Shields in the first place. Great job Galebreaker, a very professional product that solves our wind issues” Ron Lungu, Comanche Plant Superintendent.”

Case Studies

Check some of our projects to know how we help businesses solve their challenges