Project: T172700 #0396

The reliable operation of spillway gates in northern climates has historically been one of the most challengingaspects of hydromechanical equipment design and operation. In spite of the significant advances that havetaken place in areas such as sensors and electrical control systems, the problems associated with ice buildup ongate equipment have not been solved. One of the most challenging aspects stems from the significant variety ofspillway gate types in use and the associated movement of water (particularly leakage) past the gate.

Equally important to the topic, there are numerous ice mitigation measures that have been employed over theyears; some of which provide excellent results at one site but fail to meet expectations at another site. Sincemost ice mitigation methods employ electrical resistive heating, the operating costs needed to keep thesesystems operational can be significant. As such, even those sites that are considered problem-free can oftenrealize significant benefits from enhancements that provide the same results at considerably lower powerconsumption.The objectives defined in the Request for Proposal provide a concise representation of the key challenges thatCEATI and the sponsoring utilities wish to address under this study; namely,

  • Document the various technologies used to ensure spillway gates stay ice-free in northern climates; notablythe advantages, disadvantages and applicability of each one.
  • Analyze how energy use can be optimized.
  • Document the best practices pertaining to design, operation, reliability and maintenance related to thesetechnologies and to spillway operation in winter.