Peterborough power station, Peterborough UK

Project facts

Description Peterborough power station, Peterborough
Challenge Fragile condenser panels extended out at an angle below the pipes

Opened in 1993, Peterborough Power Station owned by Centrica Energy, is a medium sized, gas-fired plant with an output of approximately 360MW. Like most modern power stations, Peterborough has an air-cooled condenser grid which avoids the need for clean water from the local supply and reduces the use of chemicals in protecting the boilers and steam turbine.

Brand Energy (Formerly Harsco Infrastructure) was approached to devise an access solution for painting the main supply pipes to the cooling grid. Access from below was made difficult by the fragile condenser panels which extend out at an angle below the pipes. Heavy scaffolding was also impractical due to the lightweight structure of the cooling grid which cannot support heavy loads.

Our solution was a pair of specially-designed mobile steel gantries supporting conventional powered cradles. The cradles moved both vertically and horizontally along the gantry, while the gantries could be winched along the pipes on guide wires. The gantries were mounted on two sets of off-set, jack-up wheels which allowed them to ride over the pipe ribs. The cradles can be lowered to the walkway at the base of the condenser panels for easy access. Once work on each pair of pipes is complete the entire gantry/cradle assembly is craned to the next row.

The entire assembly, painting and re-positioning operation is designed to be carried out without affecting the normal operation of the power station.

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