Maximisation of energy efficiency of six-electrode arc-resistance furnace for production of high content silicon alloys by developing innovative solutions, in particular in terms of the furnace’s energy supply system.
Acronym: PIEC XVI (FURNACE XVI)
The project's objective is to develop and implement into the industrial activity an upgraded, energy efficient technology of producing high percentage silicon alloys in the production line of the six-electrode arc-resistance furnace fitted with an innovative power supply system.
The process of ferroalloys manufacturing is a complex technological process influenced by factors related to furnace unit energy efficiency, chemical and grain-size composition of feedstock, weighing precision along with a proper input timing and feedstock surface formation, self-baking electrodes forming, cooling of furnace structural elements, carrying the process forward by handling the furnace as well as tapping of molten metal. The key technological challenge of production in electric arc-resistance furnaces is maximisation of energy efficiency of the smelting process. In order to face the challenge, the experienced Re Alloys’ staff, in cooperation with scientists, launched implementation of an R&D project resulting in an upgraded, energy efficient production technology. The objective will be reached thanks to application of a modern energy supply system providing electricity to operating space of furnace hearth, a key element of which is a low-loss bifilar high current circuit.
The project is implemented in five stages:
- The first stage covers industrial research held by the Silesian University of Technology and the Research and Development Centre GLOKOR sp. z o.o., what will bring assumptions and instructions for an upgraded, energy efficient technology of producing high percentage silicon alloys by taking advantage of the geometry of six-electrode furnace hearth (characterised by uniform distribution of energy) to the maximum.
- Within the second stage, a technical design of demonstration line elements will be drawn up. The main technological challenge for designers will be to match all installation elements with the innovative bifilar high current circuit and combining it all with the existing infrastructure of the furnace building.
- Within the third stage, a demonstration line will be built - a six-electrode arc-resistance furnace along with auxiliary systems, based on technical guidelines and assumptions set out in the first stage of the project and detailed designs at the second stage. Tasks within the project will cover delivery, mounting and launching of the installation's elements.
- Within the fourth stage of the project, test runs will be carried out - it is assumed that a unit indicator of energy consumption per tonne of FeSi75 produced is at the level of 8465 kWh and overall productivity at the level of 40 tonnes per day. Demonstration line tests will be carried out for the period of 4 months.
- The fifth stage will result in preparation of a patent application in terms of bifilar high current circuit. Moreover, a technical procedure specification of FeSi production in the arc-resistance six-electrode furnace with the use of the new, innovative, energy efficient technology will be drawn up.
Expected results of the project:
- increase of average active power of the furnace from 11.2 MW to 14.2 MW, that is by approx. 25%
- obtaining maximum, technically feasible electrical efficiency of the furnace at the level of 95% and production efficiency increase
- rise of the furnace performance for FeSi75% from 30t/24h to 40t/24h, that is by 33%
- reduction of a unit indicator of energy consumption per tonne of FeSi75 from the average level of 8965 kWh/t obtained in the base year 2016 to 8465 kWh/t, that is by 5.5%
- improvement of the furnace’s power factor (cos φ) from the current level of 0.76 to the minimum of 0.85, and by this, reducing the plant’s passive power compensation.
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.