Ice Control Booms at Beauharnois Canal

Ice Control Booms at Beauharnois Canal

Cylindrical steel pontoons were used to create ice resistent safety booms, one 23km long, replacing the previous booms that did not provide enough resistance to the frazil ice at Hydro Québec's Beauharnois Generating Station

Concept design of three safety booms; two to be placed upstream and downstream of the Carillon hydroelectric station, and one to be placed downstream of the Chute Bell station. Existing booms were replaced with new cylindrical steel pontoons, as part of a field test to prove that the new pontoons have a better ice resistance capacity than the old pontoons.

The old Ice Boom pontoons, consisting of double pontoons, were made of an old floating platform. The old pontoons did not provide enough resistance to the frazil ice, allowing too much ice to pass over the boom during the spring breakup, as they were bulky and heavy, thus less buoyant. The old pontoons were also difficult to handle, as they had to be removed and stored for the navigation season. The new cylindrical pontoons are smaller and easier to handle for storage purposes.

The observations conducted during the winter of 2011-12 proved that the steel pontoons had a higher ice resistance capacity than the old pontoons. There are future plans to replace all of the pontoons of the km 23 Ice Boom with steel cylindrical pontoons of this same design.

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Problem

Replace old pontoons that did not provide enough resistance to the frazil ice.

Solution

New cylindrical pontoons that were smaller, easier to handle for storage purposes, capable of resisting the frazil ice.

Outcome

The new steel pontoons had a higher ice resistance capacity than the old pontoons.