During the scheduled outage at Wisdom Station May 14-25, employees replaced bypass pipes in the cooling tower, installed a new transformer and wireless communication system at the well field and rebuilt the refractory the surrounds the area where the burners enter the boiler.
Depending on whether the plant is operating or not, the interior of the bypass pipes that supply the cooling tower can be either filled with water or partially dry. Along with exposure to outside weather conditions, this fluctuation in the amount of water deteriorates the inside of the pipes. Crews removed old pipes and installed new sections during the outage.
Two drain valves on the west side of the cooling tower were also repaired during the outage. Crews had to dig around the buried valves to access them for repair.
At the well field east of Wisdom Station, a newly installed wireless control system will increase reliability of operating communications with the well pumps. Linemen from Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative removed three 1950s vintage PCB-filled transformers and replaced them with a new transformer fed by underground conductors.
One of the final outage projects involved repair of the refractory that surrounds the burners as they enter the boiler. The refractory helps to protect the boiler water tubes at the point where the burners penetrate the boiler wall.
After the maintenance outage projects were completed, Wisdom Station employees continued with interior painting projects begun earlier this year. Glazed block walls inside Wisdom Station had never been painted since they were constructed in 1959. Over the last five months, equipped with close to 100 gallons of primer and red, blue, tan and gray paint, the crew at Wisdom Station has changed that.
Employees began the painting project in the lunchroom shortly before new furniture arrived. They continued painting the walls in the entryway, hallway, an office and the locker room — all of which now sport a design scheme with color names like wild current, tamarind, naval, blue plate and windy blue.
“The inside of the plant was definitely showing some age,” says Patrick Connor, plant manager. “Everything looks a little more fresh now.”
Painting was suspended during the maintenance outage in May and has been resumed with outage work complete. The turbine room is the next area that will receive a fresh coat of paint.