Russia - Cool lighting for cooling towers

CHP-25, one of the most powerful heat and power plants in Russia with a production of 7030 millions kWh per year, is located in the western autonomous region of the capital, the Ochakovo-Matveyevsky district. 
Its history is inextricably linked with the city's economic development. The construction of this combined heat and power plant was conditioned by the need for electric and thermal energy related to the fast deployment of housing and industrial constructions in the south-west of Moscow in the early 70’s. During the following decades, the plant had been gradually but consistently expanded, till it reached the current extent in the 90’s. Continuous upgrades operated through ground-breaking equipment and full-scale automatic control systems are continuously being implemented to keep the structure at the highest standard levels.
In 2016, as part of a recent upgrade, the cooling towers No. 4 and No. 5 were provided with a specific façade coating, followed by the arrangement of an architectural lighting system capable of meeting the technical requirements and specifications of the facility. Each of the two illuminated hyperboloid structures is a giant pipe with a base diameter of 72 metres, an upper diameter of about 41 m, and a total height of 82 m. 
According to the developed lighting concept, the dynamic colour changing  illumination of the exterior surface of the cooling towers had to take into account the texture and colour of the applied coating. The lower part of the towers has been painted in light grey, while the upper part in blue. The top crown presents a grey and red check pattern. It is important to notice that, for the first time in Russia, a customer agreed on the possibility to apply, to this kind of strategic industrial facility, a dedicated illumination not only to the structure walls but also to the steam cloud emitted by the cooling towers.
200 units of POWERSHINE MK2 S RGBW have been installed around the whole perimeter of the two cooling towers at a height of 5 m from the ground on specifically designed mounting structures. Located at a very short distance from each other, these fixing supports have been painted in the same grey colour as the tower coating and have been further protected by a sub-layer of zinc. Supplied with spot, narrow or elliptical optics, the powerful LED fixtures selected easily reach the top of the structure providing optimal light output levels and remarkable colour distribution evenness.
The upper contours of the two cooling towers have been enhanced by an array of ZAPHIR RGBW and ZAPHIR in dynamic white colour temperature located at an height of 82 m. 114 units of ZAPHIR RGBW with elliptical optics have been mounted along the lower perimeter of the inspection walkway, which surrounds the whole crater of each tower. These fixtures point towards the steam cloud, a by-product emitted by the operating cooling tower.
In accordance with the approved lighting scheme, the visual perception of the spatial continuation of the towers represented by the steam appears always new and different owing to the varying speed and direction of the wind, which shapes the clouds in distinct ways. The dynamic colours projected onto the ever-changing vapour create the illusion of foam pouring out from a huge boiling pot. 
The ZAPHIR DW floodlights are fixed head down on custom mobile structures specifically designed for this project and located right under the walkways. These custom brackets provide flexibility in adjusting the position of the fixtures, allowing a reliable installation and meeting the strict safety requirements for high-altitude work. Fitted with MEDIUM optics, these fixtures provide a grazing effect to the upper part of the cooling towers, which has been painted in blue, whereas the adjustable colour temperature of the dynamic white configuration chosen allows an easy change of the shade of the blue coating.  
The whole illumination is managed by an automated control system, which allows to generate and transmit the DMX512 signal and to diagnose the health of the plant components. Timely notification of problems and detailed reports on the work parameters can reduce the maintenance costs while ensuring a smooth operation of the lighting system. 
The overall energy consumption level of the lighting system used, which lights up about 18.5 thousand square meters, is in the range of 8-34 kW depending on the operating mode. This confirms the validity of the use of modern LED technologies in the field of lighting which allows a significant reduction of operating and maintenance costs.
Products installed:
Customer: PJSC "Mosenergo"
Development of the concept of lighting and lighting design: "Svetoproekt", Moscow
Supply of equipment and project management: Progress, Moscow
Photo: Roman Vukolov, GRIVEN Russia