PROJECT

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

Akronim: ALGOR

Nr Projektu: POIR.01.01.01-00-0093/18

Project objective:

The project objective was to develop and implement to the industry an integrated steering algorithm for the high-content silicon alloys smelting in electric arc resistance furnaces. Thanks to R&D works and the deploying innovative process solutions, it is possible to reduce energy consumption and at the same time to increase the yield of basic element, Si, what translates into reduction of basic product manufacturing costs and increase in production volume, and thus into improvement of the plant’s competitiveness.

PROJECT ELIGIBLE COSTS

PLN 17,790,660.07

SUBSIDY VALUE

PLN 7,569,122.39

PERIOD OF IMPLEMENTATION
01.11.2018 – 30.11.2023

Project objectives:

The subject of the design works was a development and implementation into the industrial practice of an integrated steering algorithm for the high-grade silicon alloys production process in electric arc furnaces. The objective was 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 of electric arc resistance furnace, particularly for ferro silicon production.
  3. Development of an innovative method of measuring position of electrodes endings immersed in the feedstock.
  4. Development and implementation into industrial practise of integrated algorithm to control production process of high-grade silicon alloys
    using innovative methods to identify resistance and capacity of active workspaces of the furnace and measuring position of electrodes endings
    immersed in the feedstock.
  5. Providing the furnace operation and supervising staff with modern IT tools for control and command of technological process. Based on industrial research findings, development works were performed, what consisted 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:

The first stage covered industrial research carried out in cooperation with the scientific centres: the Silesian University of Technology and the Research and

  1.  Development Centre GLOKOR sp. z o.o.; the research embraced 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 location electrodes endings in the electric arc resistance furnace hearth. At the given stage, an integrated algorithm to control production process of high-grade silicon alloys was developed, as well as production process results reporting and forecasting system. The last element of the industrial research was the 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 was also performed was 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. What is more, within this stage, a system for identification of electric arc parameters was built, as well as resistance and capacity of active workspaces of the furnace and 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 were created.
  3. The third stage covered 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 comprised the pre-implementation works focused on providing industrial property protection of the solution developed within the project with respect to the innovative method of measuring position of electrodes endings when submerged in the feedstock, development of a technical procedure specification, and employees’ training in terms of implementation of the innovative technology.
Results of the project:
The result of the project was the 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 with the funds of the European Fund for Regional Development within the Submeasure 1.1.1 “Industrial research and development works implemented by enterprises” within the Smart Growth Operational Programme 2014-2020.