Development and implementation of an innovative, integrated steering algorithm for the high-grade silicon alloys production process in electric, arc-resistance furnaces of the IV furnace building on the basis of on the holistic control system of the process parameters

PLANNED PERIOD OF IMPLEMENTATION:
01.11.2018 - 31.01.2021
MAX VALUE OF THE PROJECT'S ELIGIBLE COSTS
17 863 405,14 PLN
MAX SUBSIDY VALUE
7 616 137,14 PLN

Project objectives:

The projects objective is a development and implementation into the industrial practice of an integrated steering algorithm for the high-grade silicon alloys production process in electric, arc-resistance furnaces. Thanks to R&D works and deployment of innovative process solutions, it will be possible to reduce energy consumption with simultaneous increase of the Si basic element yield, what will translate into reduction of production costs of the furnace basic product and increase in production volume, and by this - enhancing competitiveness of the plant.

 

Project assumptions:

PThe subject of the design works is a development and implementation into the industrial practice of an integrated steering algorithm for the high-grade silicon alloys production process in electric, arc-resistance furnaces. The objective will be achieved by: 1. Real-time integration of measuring and IT control systems of the entire technological process. 2. Industrial practice implementation of the patented method of identifying the resistance and capacity of active workspaces arc-resistance furnace, particularly for ferrosilicon production. 3. Development of an innovative method for measuring electrodes’ endings position when submerged in the feedstock. 4. Development and implementation into industrial practice of integrated algorithm to control the production process of high-grade silicon alloys using innovative methods of identifying resistance and capacity of active workspaces of the furnace and measuring electrodes’ endings position when submerged in the feedstock. 5. Providing the furnace operation and supervising staffs with modern IT tools for control and command of technological process. Based on industrial research findings, development works will be performed, what will consist of equipping furnaces of the IV furnace building with a demonstration installation in a form of a system responsible for controlling and visualisation of an entire industrial process of ferrosilicon production in the IV furnace building, having common database for steering and for visualising.

 

Implementation stages:

The project is implemented in four stages:

  1. The first stage covers industrial research carried out in cooperation with scientific centres: The Silesian University of Technology and the Research and Development Centre GLOKOR sp. z o.o.; the research will embrace analysis of the existing control and process steering systems, preparation of project assumptions and guidelines for construction of a demonstration installation in terms of measurements, control and command of the silicon alloys smelting process, lab tests of an innovative measuring system for recording and analysis of currents and voltages flow of the furnace electrodes in real-time and development of an innovative method of determining electrodes’ endings location in the arc-resistance furnace hearth. At the given stage, an integrated algorithm to control production process of high-grade silicon alloys will be developed, as well as production process results reporting and forecasting system. The last element of the industrial research will be preparation of a schedule of validation tests with the use of the innovative process controlling master system equipped with the integrated control algorithm.
  2. The second stage covers development works in terms of design and demonstration installation construction in a form of a system responsible for controlling and visualisation of an entire industrial process of ferrosilicon production in the IV furnace building, having common database for steering and for visualising. What is also planned is an extension of the existing scattered measurement, control and steering systems for silicon alloys production in the IV furnace building with adjustment to cooperate with the master system, creation of a system for identification of electric arc parameters, as well as resistance and capacity of active workspaces of the furnace, also building a prototype of the master system for measurements and control of high-grade silicon alloys production in furnace of the IV furnace building of the DCS type.
  3. The third stage covers development works in terms of technological tests in a form of: a) real-conditions tests of a modernised and newly installed equipment for process measurements and control, as well as methods of optimisation adjustments, as a response to changing smelting conditions. b) real-conditions tests of the master system equipped with the integrated control algorithm.
  4. The fourth stage comprises pre-implementation works focused on providing industrial property protection of the solution developed within the project with respect to the innovative method of measuring electrodes’ endings position when submerged in the feedstock, development of a technical procedure specification and employees’ training in terms of implementation of the innovative technology.

 

Project's results::

The result of the project will be a complete production line of two furnaces with electrodes of a diameter of 1200 mm, operating with average active power of 16-16.75 MW with electrical efficiency of the power supply system of min. 94%, with a system for measuring position of electrodes’ endings submerged in the feedstock with accuracy of +/- 10 cm and determination of the arc power every 20 ms which enables stable maintaining of a unit indicator of energy consumption at the level of 8353 kWh/t of FeSi75 or lower and average performance of min. 46 tonnes per day per furnace.

 

Source of financing:

The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund within sub-measure 1.1.1 “Industrial research and development works conducted by enterprises” of the Smart Growth Operational Programme 2014-2020.