Deicing the waterways for the ferry crossing

Detail of a deicing project for ferries in Ontario carried out in 2015.

Clear the Way for Ferries in Winter

A project of deicing for ferries in Ontario was presented to us in the spring of 2015. The operator wanted to discuss cost-effective options to reduce problems associated with ice and frazil build-up along a 4 kilometer crossing and at the 2 terminals. Ice in its many forms, had seriously hampered ferry movements over the previous two winters, especially at each of the terminal points. This has been particularly problematic for the community, which relies heavily on ferries being on time for school and for work. It was also an issue of safety of all ferry users and staff which needed to be taken seriously.

As a first step, we evaluated the cost to deice the entire 4 kilometer path using the Bubble Tubing®. Due to electrical requirements, cost and time constraints, a more immediate solution to deice the two ferry terminals was preferred. It was mainly at the boarding location on each shore that the accumulation of ice and frazil made the maneuvers of the ferry difficult and disrupted the boarding and unboarding of passengers and vehicles.

The availability of electrical power at the terminals dictated the deicing system chosen. Single-phase power being the only option, we opted for 16 3/4 HP compressors, housed in 4 stainless steel cabinets. This solution was efficient, cost effective and deliverable on time. Since the two ferry terminals were very similar in size and depth, we installed the same type of deicing system on each shore.

A line of Torpedo weighted hose for the air supply was connected to each compressor and then to an OctoAir-10 stainless steel industrial diffuser mounted on legs. At different depths, the OctoAir-10 will release a column of bubbles. The movement created will not only mix the water column, bringing warmer water to the surface, but the bubbles themselves break the surface tension of the water, preventing the formation of ice. Without electricity or moving parts in the water, the use of the diffuser aeration principle is an excellent deicing solution and installation with the OctoAir-10 diffuser is simple and efficient.

Our team installed 32 OctoAir-10 promptly and efficiently.

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