The subject power plant had a 3-cell counter-flow cooling tower located in the Chicago area. We first inspected the tower in February of 2018 and witnessed excessive icing which was causing damage to the wood structural members as well as degrading performance. The customer attempted to install tarps to keep the heat in the tower and melt the ice. This was a temporary fix, not custom fitted and had to be removed and reinstalled on a yearly basis. In December of 2018, Galebreaker supplied a permanent solution with their retractable winterization screens which could be deployed in the winter and retracted back up in the summer.
The primary problem faced on this installation and any installation relating to a cooling tower is the obstructions in the air inlet. On this application, Galebreaker covered the West Side 100%, the north side approximately 90%, the east was a combination of five screens missing any obstructions and the south side had too many obstructions to install the screens. This coverage was sufficient to eliminate the icing in sub-zero temperatures with the fans shut down.
The cost to install and remove temporary tarps was eliminated. With temperatures in the high 20’s F, the ice was eliminated 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
“These screens are performing great. Shortly after the west side and north end were completed, we saw an almost immediate melting process start. The ice has been eliminated on the inside and on the structure.“
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