The modernization work in Electrolysis Hall 3 at the Essen site is in full swing. Since last year, the team led by Dr. Joachim Heil has been installing additional busbars under and beside the electrolysis furnaces.
These busbars reduce voltage losses between the cells and minimize the magnetic field inside the furnaces, thereby increasing the efficiency of the energy used. For a power-intensive company like TRIMET, this is of central importance.
"We have already equipped 72 electrolysis furnaces with the new busbars. By the end of the year, all 120 furnaces in Hall 3 are expected to be converted," says Dr. Joachim Heil, head of the electrolysis department in Essen. "According to our previous calculations, the entire production hall will then save approximately 9,400 megawatt-hours per year."
To install the nine-meter-long busbars, each of the 120 electrolysis furnaces must first be lowered onto a transport cart. A crane then lifts the more than 100-ton heavy furnace to the designated installation location. The entire transport is necessary because the tight space does not allow for the easy installation of the busbars under the furnaces. Therefore, assembly within the load-bearing structure is required, which takes place in the cathode repair workshop. The additional busbars beside the furnaces are welded while the respective furnace location is empty. Once that is done, the equipped furnace is lifted back onto the transport cart using the crane and returned to the production area, where employees raise and connect the furnace.
The work is carried out almost exclusively by the company's own production employees, who have the necessary capacity due to production slowdowns. In this way, the employees are making their own workplace future-proof.