Cooling towers in Opole make music
Opole - Polen
After a construction period of five years, two new energy-generating units of the Polish coal-fired power station Opole II were commissioned in September 2019, ensuring a secure electricity supply to 4 million private households in the years to come.
MC not only contributed its know-how from its Thermal Power Plants FoE (Field of Expertise), it also had significant input in the elaboration of the external design. The operator PGE had the interior and exterior surfaces of the two cooling towers – each measuring a good 182 m high – coated with MC surface protection systems and visually enhanced with artistically styled musical notes from a Polish folk song from the region.
Cooling tower inner shells protected
The general contractor, Polimex, and the coating subcontractor Beroa/Dominion had already gained good experience with MC’s systems, in particular during a similar project involving Europe’s largest thermal power site of Bełchatów in Poland’s Łódź region.
The transparent epoxy resin sealant MC-DUR 1277 WV, which also acts as a primer for other coatings (meaning that fewer coats are required) was used as the concrete curing agent. MC-DUR 1277 WV delays evaporation of the water during the curing of fresh concrete and so increases the mechanical and chemical resistance of its surface. Then the highly acid-resistant epoxy resin sealant MC DUR VS NR 3 was applied in two coats over a surface area of around 40,000 m² inside the cooling towers. The pigmented, UV-resistant top-section sealant MC-DUR VS PUR was then applied over the upper third.
Striking visuals, top protection
For the design of the 45,000 m² external surfaces, the client PGE chose an artistic concept from among competing ideas submitted by local schools, with rainbow and sun motifs and musical notes from the Opole region folk song “Poszła Karolinka do Gogolina” (“Little Caroline has gone to Gogolina”).
The hyperboloid cooling towers made application of the exterior design more difficult and posed a real challenge for all those involved – one that was, however, overcome with total success.
The decision was made to use a pigmented surface protection system from MC for this – now available with a technically improved formula under the product name MC-Color Flair. It is characterised by very high resistance to fading, UV radiation and weathering, yet is open to water vapour diffusion and is also extensively dirt-repellent. The prefabricated components of the columns and cross-members of the supporting structure for the water distribution system within the cooling towers had been factory-coated with MC-DUR 2496 CTP. This special, fast-curing resin sealant based on KineticBoost-Technology® had been successfully used for the first time four years earlier for the repair of an older cooling tower in Opole and has since been applied as a coating for many such cooling towers worldwide.
The operators are delighted with both the technical quality and the visual design of the two giant cooling towers in Opole and are pleased to have been instrumental focusing attention not only on Poland’s energy industry but also the country’s folklore.