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Although Ice Pigging is already established in warmer territories, what really happens when it meets ambient temperatures of 30 + C °? Can you really perform as well in hot climates?
Ice Pigging doesn’t just come to a halt when it gets too hot. Firstly, for countries with higher temperatures, our engineers counteract the effect of melting by using higher rated ice machines when making ice – often referred to as ‘tropical spec’ ice machines, due to their design for operation in the tropics.
Making ice is one part of the process, but what about performing Ice Pigging of warm pipes? It’s undeniable that ice melts faster in warmer conditions however, this can be countered by using ice with a slightly higher ice fraction (ratio of ice to liquid) and by simply injecting more ice. Ice at the front of the ice pig chills the pipe, and the ice that follows will clean the pipe, so a warmer pipe just requires slightly more ice to chill. With more ice in the pipe, exactly the same highly-effective clean can be achieved.
SUEZ recently conducted Ice Pigging trials in Singapore, only a few hundred kilometres from the equator. Temperatures in Singapore are +30°C year-round. With a bit of careful planning, high ambient temperatures were dealt with and with water temperatures reaching +29°C-, the hottest encountered to date – a little bit of extra ice was enough to counter-act the inevitable extra melting that occurs. Thanks to our knowledgeable experts, the trials went unfazed by the temperatures and were deemed successful.