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Deicing Waterways for Ferry Crossings and Terminals

Deicing system for Ferry terminals and crossing

OctoAir™ diffusers installationA Ferry Crossing and Terminals deicing project in Ontario was presented to us in the spring of 2015. The ferry operator wanted to discuss cost effective ways to reduce problems associated with ice, slush and frazil build up along the 4-kilometer ferry crossing and in both ferry terminals. Ice in its many forms seriously impeded travel throughout the previous two past harsh winters, particularly at either docking point. This was particularly problematic for the community who relies on a tight ferry schedule to get people back and forth from work, school, etc. This is ultimately a safety hazard, one to be taken seriously by all parties involved.

Initially we looked at the cost of deicing the entire 4 kilometer span using the industrial grade 3/4 inch Bubble Tubing® diffuser. Because of power requirements, cost and time restraints this initial inquiry was re-directed to a more immediate solution of de-icing both ferry terminals. Indeed, this was where slush and ice build-up interfered with loading & unloading of passengers and vehicles, and made turning the ferry around difficult.

Power availability at either terminal dictated the de-icing systems to use. Single phase power was the only option at the time. Therefore, we opted for 16 x 3/4 HP compressors, housed in 4 stainless steel cabinets, with 4 compressors per cabinet. This was cost effective and doable within the time constraints. The design of using many smaller compressors allowed for stability of operations as well, compared to the other option of using one compressor for the entire project. As both ferry terminals were very similar in dimension and depth, we installed the exact same de-icing system set up for each.OctoAir-10™ diffusers ready for installation

A length of self-sinking airline hose was attached to each compressor at the end of which was our OctoAir-10™ Industrial stainless steel diffuser. At different depths, the OctoAir-10™ will shoot up a column of frothy bubbles. This not only mix the water column, bringing warm water up to the surface, but the bubbles also continuously break the surface tension, impeding ice formation. With no electricity or moving parts in the water, using aeration for de-icing is an excellent solution, and the installation with the OctoAir-10™ diffuser is efficient and easy.

Once the project was reviewed, approved and the PO issued, we ordered the equipment, delivered and installed the de-icing systems within 5-6 weeks. As for the finer details concerning site set up we worked closely the Transport Manager and his crew.

In our wildest dreams, we did not think it was possible to have completed the entire installation of 32 OctoAir-10™ diffusers in one day, but that is what happened.

We and the transportation crew were prepared and our distributor Ryan MacLean from DeIceAir in Muskoka was there to help us. The weather co-operated and the synergy was great!All that was missing was cold weather!Ferry deicing system installation team