Galvanize It! Online Seminar

Social Benefits for HDG Power Structures

Stirling Solar Array, Tooele, UT
Stirling Solar Array, Tooele, UT

The macro environment of a power facility structure is determined by its location. Whether a solar farm in a remote area, and urban transmission substation, distribution pole buried below the soil, or an offshore wind farm in fresh or salt water. All of the exterior exposed structural or tubular steel, as well as ancillary elements such as catwalks, ladders, fasteners, and railings, will be affected by the macro environment.

Each of the three macro environments (atmosphere, underground, soil, and water) have different indicators that determine the corrosivity to galvanized steel. In the atmosphere, moisture conditions, proximity to industrial pollution, and location relative to saltwater all affect overall corrosion protection afforded by the galvanized coating. On the other hand, the performance of galvanized steel buried in soil is dictated by moisture content, chloride content, and pH level, and in water exposure to the type of water as well as agitation, aeration, and temperature have the most bearing.

Because Hot-dip galvanized steel provides maintenance-free corrosion protection for 70 years or more in most environments, often for the life of the plant it ensures no interruption in the plant due to maintenance or repairs.  If parts constantly have to be replaced and boilers shut down to accommodate costly and time-consuming corrosion-related repairs, energy is not being provided as needed or intended. Eliminating maintenance means no additional materials, labor, or waste is created throughout its service-life, reducing environmental impacts as well.

Taking a power plants out of service for repairs would be costly and cause a gap in revenue.

Keuka Energy Wind Towers, Ainsworth & Fairfield, IA
Keuka Energy Wind Towers, Ainsworth & Fairfield, IA

Longevity

Hot-dip galvanized steel is often utilized in some of the harshest environments imaginable, yet it provides maintenance-free longevity for decades.  The corrosion resistance of hot-dip galvanizing varies according to its surrounding environments. Measurements of the actual consumption rate of the coating during the first few years of service provide good data for projecting a conservative estimate for the remaining life to first maintenance, because as zinc corrosion products build on the surface, which in most environments are adherent and fairly insoluble, the corrosion rate often slows as time progresses. 

Whether exposed in the atmosphere, subjected to blazing UV rays, snow, and/or other elements, submerged in water, or embedded in soil or concrete, hot-dip galvanized steel can withstand the different corrosive elements and fulfill the intended design life.  

Safety

Engineered Consistency and Resiliency in severe weather events. 

Efficiencies

High strength-to-weight ratio – longer spans, less poles.

Planning for future – more severe weather, longer spans over roadways, less poles in yards/right of way issues