11 Ttips for when cold weather strikes

 

Biogas plant? Runs safely, even in winter.


1. Input system

  • Check the input system regularly: Any Large, frozen blocks of Feedstock should be kept clear of the input system, as they may cause damage to individual system components
  • For input hoppers with lids, it should be ensured that they are properly closed upon completion of loading, especially in strong winds


2. Over- and underpressure valve

  • Daily inspection of the sealing liquid for condensation and sufficient concentrati- on is essential in winter. This ensures a sufficient effective range even in the cold season
  • Do not use antifreeze for windshield washer systems for the over- and underpres- sure valve. The antifreeze used must be effective down to at least -30°C; if neces- sary, adjust the antifreeze concentration to suit the weather conditions; ensure there is the cor-rect ratio of antifreeze to water according to the manufacturer‘s recommendations
  • Good practice would be to agitate/mix the antifreeze weekly, as it cannot be ruled out that condensate layers, forming on top of the sealing liquid, might accumulate and freeze
  • It may be necessary to drain the liquid, make up a new mixture, and use it to refill the system; further information is available in plant specification documentation


3. Substrate and slurry lines, as well as sampling and urgent removal

Non-insulated components should be identified and protected from frost; inade- quate protection can lead to blockages which can in turn cause system failures
 

4. Air compressor

Where there is no automatic drainage fitted, the system must be drained more frequently, as more condensate is formed in cold wea- ther. Even Automatic drainage systems must likewise be checked on a regular basis
 

5. Gas pipes including gas isolation valves

  • Check daily whether exposed gas pipes are frozen as a result of condensate; they may need to be insulated and trace-heated
     

6. Trace heating and insulation

Regularly check that system components which are already insulated or trace-hea- ted are in good condition
 

7. Container roof systems

  • Check that roof systems are in good condition; be aware of permissible roof loads in the event of heavy rain or snow
  • Water pockets accumulating are to be avoided; also take rain aprons into conside- ration
     

8. Roof and floor inlets

Roof and floor drains must be carefully examined on a daily basis, to ensure that pedestrian and vehicular surfaces are kept free of water and ice
 

9. Buildings/enclosures

  • In the event of heavy frost, it should be ensured that areas which must remain frost-free are closed off, such as control system areas
  • In such closed-off areas, the requisite ventilation and the temperature of the am- bient air should also be checked with additional room heating introduced where required
     

10. Emergency and mixed cooling system

  • Check the emergency and mixed cooling system for frost resistance
     

11. Outdoor areas

  • Be aware of loose components: They may fly around in strong winds and cause unnecessary damage to the plant
  • General winter maintenance: Make sure that all paths are cleared, de-iced and non-slip

 

Checked everything? Then your plant is ready for winter and safe for operators and employees!