Hyperbolic Cooling Tower Repair

Authored by:

Preventative maintenance is essential in protecting critical infrastructure and keeping facilities operational. In the power generation industry, a well-maintained cooling tower enables the entire cooling system to perform at optimum efficiency. Often times, the in-house staff of power facilities face challenges in properly evaluating these large structures. Structural Group companies offer Investigate-Design-Build services – a single source to innovative solutions. Watch the video below to learn more about our seamless turnkey approach to extending the life of hyperbolic cooling towers.

 

Hyperbolic cooling towers are a major element of circulating water systems in many power generation plants. Like other critical elements of the power generation process, disruption and downtime have to be minimized.

Typically constructed from reinforced concrete, hyperbolic cooling towers face a wide range of potential problems that can impact their useful life. Whether from initial design or construction shortcomings…..environmental factors, or ongoing operational wear……cooling tower deterioration is a serious issue. 

A proactive approach to maintenance and repair can extend the life of cooling towers, reduce overall repair costs, as well as reduce the risk of downtime and safety incidents within power plants.

The most common cause of concrete deterioration in cooling towers is corrosion of embedded reinforcement from chlorides or carbonation. If left untreated, concrete deterioration can impact safety, structural integrity and eventually lead to costly repair or replacement. Once concrete deterioration process begins, further deterioration and the cost to repair cooling towers accelerate exponentially.

Because of the operational importance of cooling towers and the high capital cost of replacing them, extending the life cycle of these structures is a high priority for any power plant. Despite this fact, facility departments that focus on operations do not always have the in-house expertise or resources to properly evaluate these large concrete structures. That’s where the companies of Structural Group can help.  With a mission to make new and existing structures stronger and last longer, our companies are focused on helping power providers maintain their concrete infrastructure so that they can focus on their core business - supplying power.

Our process starts with STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES’ field investigation staff that perform comprehensive condition assessments of cooling towers. Our NACE certified forensic investigation technicians work with our concrete investigation team to provide plant owners and managers with detailed assessments of the level of deterioration and imbedded steel corrosion within the structure.

We provide a root-cause analysis report to educate owners and managers of the underlying cause of the problem– not just a surface evaluation of the symptoms. Once STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES has an understanding of the severity of the problem, we can forecast service life of the existing structure with and without repairs.

Using these investigation results, repair alternatives are developed and then evaluated on constructability, schedule, cost, and durability in order to find the highest value solution. With the combined expertise of STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES’ engineering team with Structural Group’s contracting companies….STRUCTURAL or PULLMAN…..a single source responsibility for overall performance is achieved.

We use this turnkey approach… and leverage our years of construction experience working in the fossil fuel and nuclear energy industry, to provide a full package that includes proven and comprehensive design, product supply, installation, and quality assurance.

When major repairs are needed, our concrete repair solution builders develop the proper approach. Our detailed design solutions include methods for removal of concrete that is no longer structurally sound, along with the required surface preparation and the approach to material replacement.

Beyond repairing the damage, our corrosion control solution builders focus on stopping the corrosion rather than just repairing damage areas, in order to extend and maximize the life of your cooling tower. STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES’ line of galvanic corrosion control products, such as LifeJackets and LifePanels, are often part of protection and repair solutions for areas such as columns and ring beams.

Larger surface areas with varying levels of corrosion are typically protected through an engineered, multi-zone impressed current system. These impressed current systems use STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES’ proprietary Electrotech® power supplies and control systems. This state-of-the-art technology is used to monitor and adjust current supply to meet the needs of specific areas within the structure. As conditions change, controls can be adjusted and monitored on site or remotely.

Industry leading safety programs combined with our extensive training programs provide clients quality services that help to extend the life of their structures. The manpower of nearly 2000 trade workers from around the country work during shutdowns and through ongoing operations to ensure schedules are maintained and your project is completed on time.

Products, engineering, and contracting – we bring them all together to help you maintain your civil and structural infrastructure. If you would like to learn more about our Investigate-Design-Build services and our specialized infrastructure solutions visit structuraltechnologies.com.