AEL Intelligent Blasting cuts energy consumption by 500 kWh per hour

Wednesday, January 9, 2019
AEL Intelligent Blasting cuts energy consumption by 500 kWh annually

This 720 Mtpd nitric acid plant in South Africa saves 3.6 M Rand annually on operating costs, thanks to an upgrade from direct-on-line operation to VLT® drive control of electric pumps and motors.

For many years, motors and pumps in the process cooling water (PCW) system operated direct-on-line. With the upgrade, AEL Intelligent Blasting aimed to improve efficiency and reliability by introducing AC drive motor control. They chose VLT® AQUA Drive FC 202 and VLT® HVAC Drive FC 102 drives from Danfoss, based on their ability to ensure stable operation despite unreliable mains power supply. These drives offer Automatic Energy Optimization and kinetic back-up features to support highly efficient and reliable plant operation.

The remarkable payback time of only 18 months reflects the vast improvement in process cooling water efficiency enjoyed by AEL Intelligent Blasting.  

“The drives were selected based on the kinetic back-up feature, which is valuable to us because of our unstable electricity supply and a lot of small voltage dips causing our facilities to trip out. With this feature we can keep the plant online without any issues, therefore saving millions,” explains Johan Engelbrecht, AEL Nitrates MV Electrical Engineer.

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