This article describes a recently completed sled anode installation for ship terminal corrosion prevention on the water side of a dock structure along the Houston Ship Channel.
The project involved protecting a new combi pile wall being installed in front of an older existing conventional sheet pile wall nearing the end of its useful life. The combi wall utilizes large diameter steel pilings as the primary structure combined with conventional Z-pilings as the secondary structure.
For this project, there were twenty-seven 60” diameter steel pilings being driven to a depth of 100 ft and spaced approximately 10 feet apart.
This cathodic protection system design, prepared by another CP company, called for twenty-five discreet shallow vertical anodes to protect the land side area between the new and old dock structure and two sled anodes to protect the new water side.
The interior side of the existing wall was already being cathodically protected with a deep anode system.
MATCOR was successful in securing the contract for the supply and installation of the new sled anode system. We utilized MATCOR’s Sled Anode assembly consisting of mixed metal oxide coated, titanium tubular anodes installed with custom fabricated concrete ends. In addition, we utilized a Kynar/HMWPE #1 cabling system installed in a flexible protective black HDPE pipe.
Benefits of MATCOR’s Sled Anodes for Ship Terminal Corrosion Prevention
Each of the sled anodes include lifting lugs for ease of installation and floating locator buoys to allow for temporary removal in the event of dredging operations.
The sled anodes weighed approximately 5800 lbs each to assure that the sleds remained anchored in place along the ship channel floor.
The use of sled anodes makes for an easy installation and minimizes the need for divers – in this case the use of divers was only needed to help route the cabling back to shore.
Each sled anode was designed for 75 amps output for 30 years continuous service in seawater. The two sled anodes are being powered off a common rectifier configured with an RMU for remote monitoring of the systems operations.
These sleds were installed using a qualified marine sub-contractor who provided a properly sized crane mounted on a barge to facilitate the installation.
Have questions or need a quote for ship terminal or other near shore structure corrosion prevention? Contact us at the link below. For immediate assistance, please call +1-215-348-2974.
In January, MATCOR held a one-week Safety training program for our Louisiana, Houston, Midland, Guthrie and Casper construction and field technical personnel. A total of 58 field personnel, excluding management and safety trainers, were taken out of the field, and brought to our Guthrie, Oklahoma facility for this training.
Taking a week off from performing paid work to focus on Safety is an important part of our commitment to Safety.
The training was broken into smaller teams and held in various meeting locations in two different buildings to allow us to provide proper social distancing to protect our employees during this period of COVID-19. The precautionary measures allowed us to safely train a large group of people without a single incident of COVID-19 transmission.
Topics covered included an 8-hour Basic Plus and Basic Plus Refresher course administered by the Oklahoma Safety Council, Excavation Competent Person training, Fork Lift and Backhoe Equipment Training, Operator Qualification certification, H2S ½ day training, CPR and First Aid, and training on BrandSafway Internal Safety Programs including Short Service Employee, Incident Reporting, Driving Safety Refresher, Confined Space, Fall Protection, Walking Surfaces, Job Safety Planning, Drug and Alcohol Policy, DOT Motor Vehicle Record requirements and a host of other topics. Trainers included outside third party trainers and in-house trainers from BrandSafway and MATCOR.
MATCOR continues to invest in our people, so that they are well prepared to perform their work in a safe and professional manner.
Have questions or need a quote for cathodic protection or AC mitigation materials or services? Contact us at the link below. For immediate assistance, please call +1-215-348-2974.
Over the past couple of years, MATCOR has invested significantly in new equipment including vertical and horizontal drill rigs, water trucks, Mud Puppy™ drilling mud management systems, hydrovac excavation equipment and other support equipment. But MATCOR is also investing heavily in adding talented people to continue to propel our growth initiatives.
Angie has joined MATCOR as our newest Gulf Coast Account Manager working out of our Houston office. She is a 30-year CP industry sales professional with extensive CP product knowledge. She is passionate in supporting and advocating for her clients, understanding their current challenges, and helping to fuel successful outcomes.
Mario has joined MATCOR as a Project Manager to support our fast-growing Permian office in Midland, Texas. He is a certified PMP project manager professional with 9 years of industry experience working for several cathodic protection companies. He has an electrical engineering degree and brings a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and competence to MATCOR.
Cody is another experienced corrosion professional who has joined MATCOR and will be working as a Project Manager out of our Casper, Wyoming office. Cody is a U.S. Army veteran, who spent some time in the drilling and exploration side of the oil and gas industry before transitioning into operations. He has worked for several operators, including most recently at Silver Creek Midstream, where he was a corrosion program manager. As a previous MATCOR customer, he brings a valuable owner/operator perspective to MATCOR and the project management role.
Have questions or need a quote for cathodic protection or AC mitigation materials or services? Contact us at the link below. For immediate assistance, please call +1-215-348-2974.
However, where AC power is not readily available, there are other alternative power supply systems available. One of the most common of these are solar powered systems.
Solar powered systems, when properly designed, can provide reliable power for an impressed current cathodic protection system where AC is not readily available. There are, however, some technical considerations that should be taken to assure that the system is cost effective and reliable.
Design of Cathodic Protection Systems to Minimize Power Requirements
This may seem obvious; however, the typical CP system design is not designed based on optimizing power requirements. For AC powered impressed current cathodic protection systems, the cost of the electrical power required is very low and the overall power draw is not significant. Therefore, CP designers focus on optimizing the overall cathodic protection installation costs and not reducing the power requirements. AC power is relatively low and AC power costs are very low.
But when we are talking about designing a CP system where AC power is not an option, the economic drivers are different.
The cost of the power supply for a solar powered cathodic protection system increases exponentially as the wattage increases. Therefore, investing additional monies on the CP system design to reduce power requirements can have a significant impact on the overall installed cost of the solar power system.
Power is simply defined by the equation W=I2R where W is Power, I is the total design current, and R is the total system resistance.
There are two ways to reduce power requirements for a solar powered cathodic protection system
The first has to do with the required current output for the system. Typically, CP designers are overly conservative in terms of design current. If we believe 20 amps of current is needed, then why not install 40 amps of capacity. If we need more current, we will have that capability by simply turning up the voltage on the rectifier. AC power is not a concern.
However, when considering solar powered CP systems, reducing the maximum current density has a huge impact on the solar system sizing.
A 25% reduction in the system’s current requirements reduces the power requirement by 44%.
For solar powered cathodic protection systems, the design current needs to be scrutinized to make sure that we are not being overly conservative and installing excessive current capacity that is not warranted by the application.
Another important factor in reducing the power requirements is designing the cathodic protection system to reduce anode bed resistance. This can easily be achieved by understanding that anode bed resistance is largely a function of the overall total anode system length. Designing the anode system to increase anode length can drastically reduce anode bed resistance. For deep anode groundbed systems this means spending a little more in drilling costs to extend the active anode length.
This will increase the cost of the CP system, but these additional costs can often generate a much larger savings in solar power system costs. Also consider the use of long length linear anodes for shallow anode bed systems as these systems also have a much lower anode bed resistance.
Multiple Small Systems May Be Less Expensive Than One Large System
Another consideration is the quantity and spacing of CP systems.
Given the exponential costs associated with solar cathodic protection systems as the wattage increases, it often makes more sense to install multiple smaller anode systems, than to try and design one large CP system.
A single 30-amp system with 1 ohms resistance would require a solar power system rated for a minimum of 900-Watt plus a design safety factor. Installing two 15-amp CP systems in different locations can improve the CP current distribution by eliminating some attenuation concerns, but more importantly it also reduces the total wattage of solar power required by 50%. The cost savings of installing 2 x 225-Watt versus a single 900-Watt system can far exceed the incremental costs of having two installations.
Solar Cathodic Protection System Application in Wyoming
The photos above provide some perspective on the size and space requirements of a typical Solar Power system. These photos are from a recent MATCOR installation in Wyoming and are based on providing continuous power for a 15 amp, 1 ohm anode bed. The battery capacity is sufficient to provide 7 full days of autonomy.
Autonomy is the term used for describing how many days without sunlight the system is sized to support using stored solar energy in the battery reserves. As can be readily seen from the photos above, the solar power systems do take up a reasonably large footprint for a relatively small system, further emphasizing the value of minimizing the CP system power requirements
Should you have a need for a Solar Powered CP System, contact your MATCOR representative. MATCOR’s engineering team is available to help you with optimizing the overall system design.
Have questions or need a quote for a solar powered cathodic protection system? Contact us at the link below. For immediate assistance, please call +1-215-348-2974.
MATCOR expedited manufacture and installation for this “late start” AC interference mitigation project requiring over 73,000 feet of gradient control wire.
The construction window in the High Plains Region encompassing southeastern Wyoming is a relatively short one as the winter months can be quite inhospitable to construction activities.
As such, the disruption caused this year by COVID-19 resulted in numerous projects’ starts being delayed as companies dealt with the pandemic, leaving installation contractors with less time to complete critical installations.
MATCOR was recently involved in one of these late start projects. A new construction AC transmission line was built, encroaching on the right of way of an existing pipeline in Southern Wyoming. AC transmission was scheduled to begin in early November of 2020.
AC Modeling & Mitigation Design
The pipeline operators had commissioned an AC modeling study and mitigation design which was not finalized until early August.
MATCOR was hired on August 5th, by the pipeline owner, to supply and install the mitigation design with a completion date of October 1st.
The mitigation design called for the installation of:
Approximately 73,500 linear feet of MATCOR’s Mitigator® Engineered AC Mitigation System gradient control wire
Three deep well grounding systems
AC coupon test stations
Satellite RMUs (remote monitoring units)
Solid state decouplers
MATCOR did not hesitate to commit to this aggressive installation schedule that required materials to be manufactured and procured on an expedited basis.
MATCOR is the OEM for the AC Interference Mitigation System
As the original manufacturer of the Mitigator, MATCOR was able to immediately ship 10,000 feet from stock inventory. The balance of the material was immediately moved to the front of our production schedule. Within a few days of receiving the order, MATCOR had mobilized to the site and was making preparations to kick off the installation.
MATCOR performed the Mitigator installation using a cable plow with a dozer providing a pre-rip. MATCOR also deployed a new hydro-vac truck to perform pot holing for line locating and test station installations.
A MATCOR drilling rig and crew performed the deep grounding drilling.
Completed Ahead of Schedule
The entire AC installation was completed and commissioned one day ahead of the scheduled completion date without incident and to the pipeline owner’s satisfaction.
This project highlighted all of MATCOR’s core competencies:
Manufacturing of materials
Broad construction capabilities
Professional project management
Field technical expertise
When you need to get it done and the clock is ticking – MATCOR performs.
Have questions or need a quote for AC interference mitigation materials or services? Contact us at the link below. For immediate assistance, please call +1-215-348-2974.
Additionally, MATCOR is reducing our quote validity dates to two weeks and stipulating that the price validity is based on the price of Iridium remaining below 4500/oz. Should the price of Iridium exceed 4500/oz, MATCOR will review and confirm validity of the pricing at time of order placement.
We regret that these measures must be taken, but these are extraordinary times. MATCOR is committed to working with you to minimize the cost impact of the global iridium price surge.
This includes reviewing your project needs and evaluating alternate anode solutions.
Please contact us with any questions or to review existing quotes or alternatives for your upcoming cathodic protection projects.
Surging Iridium prices have shocked the cathodic protection industry. We have put together the following FAQs to explain what iridium is and how it is used in cathodic protection materials.
What is Iridium?
Iridium is a rare earth metal that is, as the name implies, quite rare. It is considered part of the Platinum Group of metals as it is found as a trace element in the extraction of platinum. It is the second densest, and the most highly corrosion-resistant of all metals.
How is iridium used in cathodic protection?
It is the primary active element for all Mixed Metal Oxide (MMO) anode coatings used in oxygenated environments which include coke, soil, mud, fresh water – basically anything but seawater which is a chlorinated environment.
How expensive is iridium?
Up until a few weeks ago, Iridium prices were generally stable throughout 2020 in the range of $1500 to $1700 per ounce. In mid-December the price of Iridium skyrocketed over 200% in the space of a few short weeks. This hyperinflation in the cost of Iridium has caught the CP industry by surprise, and MMO anode suppliers are being forced to dramatically raise prices because of the significant additional costs of Iridium Oxide used as the active catalytic element. SOURCE: dailymetalprice.com
Why is the price of iridium skyrocketing?
There are a couple of factors that have created this pricing crisis. First, most of the world’s Iridium comes from a few Platinum mines in South Africa, and with the global pandemic having recently hit South Africa very hard with a new and more virulent strain of Covid-19, the mining output has diminished significantly. We hope this is a short-term supply issue. The second factor has to do with the European Union announcing a major investment in Hydrogen as a green fuel for electrical generation. A new membrane technology (PEM) uses iridium as a catalyst to generate hydrogen. The announcement led to several speculators buying up Iridium supplies and driving the price up.
What happens next and how long will this last?
It is impossible to predict how high the price of Iridium will rise before reaching a peak, how long the pricing remains at these elevated levels, and what the stable price in the future might be for Iridium. What is certain is that the supply of Iridium will adjust as the mines in South Africa go back to production and as the elevated price leads to more supply being developed to meet the demand. Historically the supply of Iridium has always been available to meet the demand and when that equilibrium is restored, we can expect the price to drop and stabilize.
What is MATCOR doing to address this issue?
MATCOR is applying a surcharge on all MMO Anode products effective February 1st. We will continue to monitor the MMO situation and work with our suppliers to maintain our supplies and contain our costs as best we can. We hope that this is a temporary situation that will resolve itself in the next several months.
Are there alternatives for cathodic protection that do not utilize iridium?
We still believe that MMO anodes remain the best anode material when considering the outstanding track record of this anode, its dimensionally stable properties, and its long service life. However, MATCOR can also supply conventional anodes including high silicon cast iron and graphite anodes. We are also evaluating Platinum anodes which were the original dimensionally stable catalytic anode before the advent of MMO, although platinum has its limitations and is simply not as robust an anode material. If you have further questions please feel free to contact your local MATCOR sales representative or visit our website and submit your question there
Cheap and abundant Marcellus Shale gas derived from US fracking technology helps to drive competitiveness for a wide range of industries in the United States. This is especially true for the US Steel industry, and MATCOR’s recent project in Western Pennsylvania in the rolling hills of the Monongahela Valley is a great example of this.
Nestled on a hilltop 250 feet above the valley is US Steel’s Mon Valley Works–Irvin Plant. This hot strip mill in the Pittsburgh West Mifflin suburbs first opened in 1938. The hilltop site required more than 4.4 million cubic yards of earth to be moved, more than any other project other than the Panama Canal. In May of 2019, US Steel announced plans to invest $1 billion dollars at the site to expand it and to build a cogeneration power facility expected to be operational by 2022.
MATCOR was selected by US Steel to install, commission and test an impressed current cathodic protection system to protect the critical coke oven gas (COG) product pipelines mixed at the West Mifflin COG facility. The coke oven gas is a mixture of commercial natural gas and recovered waste coke gas. This blending of natural gas with recovered gas reduces costs and improves US Steel’s energy efficiency. The pipeline, affectionately called the Green Monster, traverses the valley feeding various facilities. Mostly above grade, the pipeline goes below grade in numerous locations.
MATCOR’s MMP 3605 mixed metal oxide based canister anodes were selected as the new cathodic protection system anodes to protect the buried piping. Fifteen anodes were installed in individual 20-foot depth augered holes and connected to a #2 HMWPE buried header cable requiring approximately 1500 linear feet of trenching. The project included site specific safety training, regular coordination with site personnel and site restoration (seed, straw and fertilizer) after completion of the installation.
The project was a tremendous success and MATCOR is proud to have been able to partner with US Steel for their buried pipe corrosion protection.
Have questions or need a quote for cathodic protection materials or services? Contact us at the link below. For immediate assistance, please call +1-215-348-2974.
MATCOR is pleased to announce that we have partnered with LineVision, a Massachusetts based technology company, to provide their innovative overhead transmission line monitoring technology to the pipeline industry as part of MATCOR’s comprehensive suite of AC Interference and Monitoring services.
LineVision’s PACT® (Pipeline AC Threats) system is a patented, self-contained, solar powered utility power line remote monitoring solution that provides pipeline operators with critical information regarding the operation of high voltage transmission lines owned by the power utility company. These innovative power line sensors provide critical data to operators without relying on the power company to provide it.
The ability to independently monitor critical transmission line information can greatly reduce the time required for modeling and eliminate any need for guesswork or assumptions when utility data is not readily available from the power company. Information obtained from the power line sensor includes: • HVAC current being transmitted • Phase order information
For AC Interference Modeling efforts, we can temporarily install this overhead line monitoring solution along the right-of-way (ROW) in strategic locations. This allows us to collect representative data over a period of time to provide the necessary inputs for the AC modeling software.
The LineVision PACT transmission line monitoring equipment can also be incorporated into your AC mitigation system monitoring program to provide information on the actual HVAC line usage. This is especially helpful when understanding how the line’s power flow usage level varies—the PACT system provides alerts if the usage increases over time.
This information, combined with your AC Test station AC and DC current density data trends can help to provide a more accurate picture of your mitigation system’s compliance with the AC mitigation criteria as detailed in NACE SP 21424-2018. This standard requires demonstrating that your system is mitigating to the required criteria level on a time averaged basis, and that it accounts for variations that could impact mitigation. Monitoring the AC transmission power flow is one of those variables.
Have questions about the LineVision PACT technology, or need a quote for AC mitigation services? Contact us at the link below. For immediate assistance, please call +1-215-348-2974.
The Jolly Green Giant, the Pillsbury Doughboy, the Geico Gecko, Ronald McDonald, the Energizer Bunny… please all step aside and make room for the world’s newest, and soon to be famous, icon, RUSTY the MATCOR Chili Pepper spokesperson.
“My mission is to protect the world’s infrastructure from the evil scourge of corrosion.”
RUSTY is not trying to sell vegetables, biscuits in a can, hamburgers or batteries. No, RUSTY’s mission is to protect the world’s infrastructure from the evil scourge of corrosion. We look forward to RUSTY’s corrosion adventures.
A big shout out to Ted Morris of Nustar Energy, a 38-year veteran of the pipeline industry who has spent the last 29 years in Corrosion Control. Ted Morris was the grand prize winner of our “Name MATCOR’s Icon Contest”. The contest garnered a tremendous number of very thoughtful entries, but RUSTY was an immediate favorite of the selection committee. Ted will be retiring in the near future, having served the industry well, and we at MATCOR dare say that RUSTY may prove to be one of his great legacies. Thanks Ted!
A very close second place in the naming contest goes to Fernando Villamizar Ariza of Ingacor Colombia, with his name entry of “Cowboy Rust”. Thank you Fernando!
There were many honorable mentions and we thank everyone for the effort and creativity.
Cathodic Protection Systems | Cathodic Protection Design | alternatives to sacrificial anodes and galvanic anodes