Understanding Some De-Icing Systems For Mining Water Pools

17 January 2017
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Articles

If you have a mining business and have recently branched out to a cold weather area, then you may not be very familiar with the way that ice can build in your collection ponds. This is an incredibly serious problem in the mining industry, because a properly managed pool is required to optimize your mineral extractions. Since ice can seriously limit the amount of free water you have access to, it is wise to invest in a de-icing system that prevents ice formation. Keep reading to learn about some of the de-icing system features you should consider.

Diffused Aeration

If you keep pumping equipment in your water pools and also have docks, bridges, and other formations, then you likely understand that ice formation can and will cause damage to these features. This happens if water remains stagnant and still around solid formations. As the ice starts to expand, more and more pressure is placed on your equipment, and it becomes damaged.

For ice to form, water must be still. Slivers of ice form first, and then the ice builds out over larger areas of fluid. If water is continually stirred or moved, then ice crystals will be broken up as soon as they develop. Also, as water cools down, it becomes more dense. The dense fluid rises to the surface and forms continual layers of ice. Moving water is continually stirred up, and this makes it harder for the colder water to rise up to the surface. 

Since moving water has a difficult time freezing, a simple device like a bubbler can keep water active enough to prevent ice. Bubblers are ideal for deep water pools, since the bubbler sits on the bottom of the pond and releases a constant stream of air that moves up to the surface. This keeps water moving all through the depth of the pond. The devices can be used for wide pools as well, but you will need several different bubbler heads. For this type of de-icing, purchase an aeration package with a single motor and air pump. Buy several heads and hoses as well. All heads can be attached to one another, but they will need to be spread evenly across the floor of the pond.

When buying your bubbler heads, you will be able to choose the number of air diffusers you want. The more diffusers, the more water movement. However, keep in mind that you will need a larger motor if you want multiple heads with six or more diffusers.

Circulator Devices

If you have more shallow ponds or water structures, then circulator devices may be a better choice for de-icing. These devices are water submerged devices that mix and move water to keep ice from forming. Water movement is similar to bubblers, but the circulators create stronger streams of current instead of larger clouds of bubbles. 

Circulators are surface movement de-icing tools and are best for shallow ponds. Circulators are also best used when attached to docks, bridges, or other permanent structures. The mixers create the strongest current in the water, and only one or two circulators are needed on the structure to prevent ice. While this is true, you can also purchase circulators with float rings or float cages. The devices can be set anywhere on the top of the pond and will float in place. 

Floating mixers must be anchored in place to the bottom of the pool. Keep this in mind when planning the placement of the circulators. Power cords also must be run to a control box, so this should be worked into your plan as well. Additionally, while a single large circulator may be your best option if you do not have a lot of electrical options, you will need to consider the horsepower and wattage of the motor so you do not exceed electrical resources. For more information on de-icing services, check out a company like GMCO Corporation.