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Cleaning Electrical Equipment with Dry Ice Blasting

electrical maintenenceDry ice blast cleaning is a process that can be safely used on electrical apparatus. There is no damage to stator slots, turbine blades, or other delicate components. Popular applications include hydro generating equipment (stators & rotors), transformers, substations, gas turbine generators, nuclear decontamination, insulators, motor control centers, power distribution panels, and system components.

The benefits of cleaning electrical equipment with dry ice blasting include:

  • Safe for equipment
  • Safe for the environment
  • Safe for employees
  • Cleaning is done in place
  • Dry on contact
  • No secondary waste

fin fan Fin Fans

Heat exchangers, chillers, evaporators, condensers, generator fans, and air exchangers need to be cleaned regularly. The cooling coils surrounded by fins get plugged up over time with dirt and other debris as air moves through them. When this happens, it causes these expensive machines to work harder and consume more energy.

Dry ice blasting is the most efficient, environmentally friendly, and least time-consuming method for fin fan cleaning. Blockages in these coils are instantly removed with no mess or damage to the fins. The Wickens Dry Ice Blasting team are experts in industrial cleaning, ensuring the delicate fins surrounding the coils are not damaged and providing a cleaner clean. Other methods such as high-pressure washing are often used, but dry ice blasting is the most effective method and creates no secondary waste.

Electric Motors

Electric motors are designed for applications requiring motors rated for severe duty service and high starting torques. Dry ice cleaning can blast through built-up grime on these high performing motors.

Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)

Carbon dust buildup on VFDs can lead to arcing across terminals causing short circuits. Dry ice blasting is strong enough to remove all surface contamination, while delicate enough to not damage the components of the drive.

Electronic Components

Tricky cleanup requires a powerful solution. Dry ice blast cleaning removes dirt, grime, tar, and bitumen to reveal a clean surface on electrical components. Dry ice is safe around wires, without disassembly or downtime. Wickens Dry Ice Blasting machines are portable so cleaning can be done in place without taking up much space. Dry ice blasting can be used to clean electrical panels, variable frequency drives, and welded components.

Transformers

Dry ice blasting removes dirt, grime, and loose paint from transformers, improving performance more quickly than other cleaning methods. The process is completely dry and can be done on-site, which substantially reduces downtime. Following cleaning, transformers can also be painted to the customer’s specifications.

Stators and Rotors 

Dry ice blasting removes carbon deposits from windings along with other contaminants from the air vents on the stator and the rotor. Oil and grease is removed from the bottom of the rotor without damage to the insulating coatings or glyptal. A rotor and stator can typically be cleaned in 20% of the time and more thoroughly than it takes to clean by hand. There is no secondary waste as is the case with Walnut Blasting.

Gas Turbines

Dry ice blasting effectively cleans the rotor and casing. Deposits and fouling buildup are removed from the rotor blades without damage to the metal surfaces. Carbon buildup and mechanical debris is removed from the casing vanes. Dry ice also provides rapid cleaning of ancillary turbine parts facilitating fast turnaround.

Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG)

High-pressure tube wall cleaning with dry ice removes corrosion and gas deposits from the tubes and fins. Our extensive experience allows us to offer a turn key service in scaffold erection and confined space work.

Cogeneration Boilers

Boiler wall and heating tubes are cleaned with dry ice blasting, drastically improving heat transfer and flow. Quick turnaround is offered by our experienced technicians in confined space and scaffolding.

Decontaminating a “Semi-Hot” Cell

There are many old reactors and nuclear facilities that are either being dismantled or planned for decommissioning. Dry ice blasting can be used for decontamination of a “semi-hot” cell where lower levels of radioactivity are present as well as decontaminating building surfaces and removing contaminated coatings.

Before & After

Check out these before and after photos of Electric Power projects completed by Wickens Dry Ice Blasting.

Dry ice blasting safely cleaned delicate electrical equipment in an electrical power plant.
Electrical equipment in an electrical power plant cleaned using dry ice blasting.
Electrical equipment in an electrical power plant cleaned using dry ice blasting.

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