EnPot is non-intrusive, low-risk, high benefit technology

EnPot heat exhchanger for aluminium smelters

Dr Mark Dorreen, Technical Director of Energia Potior Ltd, says the EnPot technology is a non-invasive, low risk, high benefit technology.

It does not change the intrinsic nature of the process. It is totally non-invasive, so it carries no integrity risk to the smelter, and in fact should reduce insurance risk and business interruption premiums.

"Apart from the ducting fans, there are also no moving parts," he says.

"This is the beauty about the EnPot technology, it offers a number of significant benefits to smelter operations but poses little, if any, risk to smelter operations", he says.

"The primary risk smelter operators would be concerned about is fan failure, i.e what happens if one of the fans removing air away from the pot failed. The answer is that we build the system in manageable modules (from 3-47 pots) and always build redundancy into the ducting system. This means it would require multiple fans failures to stress the system and this would be contained to a single module.

Illustration of EnPot exchangers

"The exchangers themselves would automatically be in insulation mode if fans fail, and this also gives the operators the option of turning the amperage down until the system is restored.

"In a worst case scenario, the specially designed spring loaded mounting systems mean that the heat exchangers themselves can be removed from the pot in a matter of minutes".

Dr Dorreen says that the installation process also carries little risk and they have designed the process so that a potline can also remain fully operative during installation.

REDUCED RISK to the smelter IN A COMPLETE SMELTER POWER OUTAGE

Dr mark Dorreen says that in the case of a complete smelter power outage, then the EnPot system actually reduces risk and works in the smelters favour.

"The system is designed to insulate the pots until power is restored and depending on what pot technology is used, can double the time available to the smelter before pots freeze. The extended timeframes before pots freeze could make a huge difference in the case of a complete power outage, potentially saving millions of dollars and reducing risk to insurers/shareholders, by either avoiding a freeze altogether, or by having additional time to prepare for a shutdown.

"Restarting a smelter is notoriously difficult, time consuming and expensive. In some cases in the past it has proved uneconomic," Dr Dorreen says.

Dr. Dorreen say the April 2016 power outage at TRIMET's Essen smelter proved the EnPot cells performed better and were easier to restart than the conventional cells.

Performance RISK

During the feasibility study phase, we develop specific computer modelling for each smelter, which enables us to give smelters a reasonably accurate indication of post EnPot conversion performance. 

Trimet's Essen Smelter