Home > Case Studies > Effects of Compressed Air on Ice Plugs

Effects of Compressed Air on Ice Plugs

Testing on a feeder mock-up to examine the effects of compressed air on the integrity of ice plugs, and evaluate potential mitigating strategies.

A series of simulated ice plugging tests was performed on a feeder mock up assembly at Kinectrics.  Several issues of importance to a then-current station outage were addressed.

Of particular interest was the effect of compressed air on feeder ice plugs. For several years we have known that compressed air can cause severe degradation and even failure of ice plugs.  However, the mechanisms and safe limits of use are not clearly understood.

Specifically, tests were performed to better understand how compressed air could potentially cause ice plug failure, to define the threshold level below which ice plugs are not at risk from compressed air, and to investigate alternative approaches to the use of compressed air and potential mitigating strategies.

A mitigating strategy, which has the potential to completely eliminate the negative effects of compressed air on an ice plug, was successfully demonstrated.