The reliable operation of spillway gates in northern climates has historically been one of the most challenging aspects of hydromechanical equipment design and operation. In spite of the significant advances that have taken place in areas such as materials, sensors, de-icing systems and electrical/control systems, the problems associated with ice buildup on gate equipment have not been solved. One of the underlying difficulties relates to the significant variety of spillway 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 the years; some of which provide excellent results at one site but fail to meet expectations at another. Since most ice mitigation methods employ electrical resistive heating, the annual operating costs needed to keep these systems operational can be significant. As such, even those sites that are considered problem-free can often realize significant benefits from enhancements that provide comparable results at considerably lower power consumption, and therefore, operating costs.
Spillway gates, Hydromechanical equipment, Ice, icing, De-icing, Ice management, Ice mitigation, Winter operation, Reliability, Energy consumption