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Electrical Boosting Solution

Pick the right one

Think about the future

When choosing a boosting solution for your glass furnace, you need to look ahead 15 to 20 years to get the best return on investment (ROI) in terms of capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating expenditure (OPEX). Think about the changes you might need to make if your business grows. Will you need to increase your output, what will the most efficient methods be in future, and which new energy regulations might affect your costs and carbon footprint?

Eurotherm by Schneider Electric have over 50 years knowledge in the glass industry, and our boosting solution is designed with the future in mind. Giving you the flexibility you need to “buy what you need now”, “expand later” and “re-use elsewhere”.

  • Improves energy efficiency
  • Reduces the risk of unplanned down time
  • Reduces initial and lifetime capital spend
  • Simplifies the supply chain
  • Reduces real estate costs
  • More sustainable

Why do you need electrical boosting?

Electrical boosting is needed to apply extra energy in areas of the furnace that are difficult to heat using gas, particularly when melting coloured glass, or running a high throughput glass melting furnace. The method improves and enforces convection currents in the melt, enabling increased pull rates, better fining, and glass quality improvements.

The technology is now well established and considered to be safe and efficient, and in most cases a well-designed combination of gas melting with electrical boosting is still the sensible choice. Looking forward, even though we seem to be far away from running out of fossil fuels, eventually glass melting will need to become “all electric” and in that respect glass manufacturers and system designers have an obligation to keep improving electrical power concepts to meet future needs.

Improve electrical boosting efficiency

Reduce energy bills and carbon footprint

New energy saving regulations may be introduced during the 15-20 year lifetime of the furnace leading to higher energy costs, extra taxes and fines, and the need to publish results for carbon footprint reduction. The latest traditional energy saving boosting designs do not address the whole power system, typically giving an energy reduction of around 1-2% and a poor ROI (within 18-24 months).

In a typical power system, electrical noise is present due to the physical properties of the components and the design. The noise affects the energy measurements taken by the electricity supply company, adding extra costs in un-used energy, and energy is lost in the system itself rather than being used to melt the glass.

Why Eurotherm?

The Eurotherm electrical boosting design substantially reduces electrical noise in the system.

How does this help?

Compared to a traditional design, the energy lost in the system is greatly reduced, which means most of the electrical power contributes to the melting process, and the energy used is correctly charged by the supplier. Electricity charges are minimized and carbon footprint is reduced.

Compared to a typical boosting system, the electricity bill can be reduced by around 10%

Reduce the risk of unplanned down time

Keep your process running 24/7

Glass furnaces need to run 24/7 otherwise the glass melt will start to cool. This slows down production until the melt has returned to the right temperature and consistency. In a traditional electrical boosting design, a single transformer and power controller are used to supply power to the heating electrodes. In the event of a device failure the boost power is lost, causing the melt to cool and slowing down production. The repair is costly with excessive downtime.

Why Eurotherm?

Our design uses a network of multiple small transformers and multiple power controllers.

How does this help?

If one transformer or power controller fails, the others continue working, enabling the furnace to continue at full capacity. The remaining devices have enough bandwidth to supply the extra energy needed to make up for the loss. Utilising multiple transformers and power controllers often costs no more than using one large transformer.

Reduces the cost of lost production due to unplanned downtime

Reduce initial and lifetime capital spend

Increase productivity during the lifetime of the furnace

A furnace campaign needs to last 15 -20 years but during that time, the demand for a successful glass product may rise. What if you need to increase production by melting more glass in the same furnace footprint, or maintain productivity levels as the output decreases towards the end of a campaign due to worn out components? In a traditional “fixed” furnace boosting design, upgrading to gain extra power means replacing the whole system at a high cost with excessive downtime.

Why Eurotherm?

Our electrical boosting design is modular and easily scalable. Extra boosting power can be added to the furnace in steps during the campaign.

How does this help?

Additional boosting can easily be added at any time, in order to melt glass faster during the furnace start-up sequence, run the furnace at a higher capacity, or extend the life of the furnace by a few years.

It’s the most cost effective design if you want to buy what you need now, and expand later

Simplify the supply chain

Standardised components reduce inventory and costs

Global glass plants typically run on a variety of different voltages, so supply chains need to specify and purchase different size transformers and power controllers for each region. Inventory costs are high due to multiple component sizes being kept for spares, and expensive components cannot be re-used by different regions at the end of a furnace campaign.

Why Eurotherm?

The Eurotherm electrical boosting design uses a stepdown transformer which transforms the incoming supply voltage down to your chosen plant voltage. This feature means all plants can run at the same voltage.

How does this help?

The transformers and power controllers can all be the same size (standardised parts) for use in any global region, simplifying the ordering and re-use of parts and reducing inventory costs.

Same components can be used in all plants in all regions

Reduce real estate costs

Save space and reduce your carbon footprint

Land is expensive and available space for system upgrades can be a problem in older facilities. A traditional boosting solution needs a large electrical transformer which is either oil filled, or air cooled by air conditioning units. Both types need to be situated in an external room away from the furnace for safety, and take up a lot of factory floor space.

Why Eurotherm?

The Eurotherm boosting solution is designed using multiple relatively small tightly sealed transformers which can be positioned much closer to the furnace. The smaller, modular components make up a flexible network of sub systems that can be fully integrated into the furnace steelwork.

How does this help?

The system is completely adaptable to available space and to specific furnace electrical power demands. The traditional transformer room and associated air conditioning or oil are no longer needed, saving space and reducing the carbon footprint.

Flexible design needs less space, saves associated costs, and is more environmentally friendly

A more sustainable future

Reduce the environmental costs of industrial waste

Traditional boosting system design often uses components with mechanical parts that wear out over time. It is also common for damaging vibration to occur in the whole system due to poorly applied power. Most of the system components are high value because they contain large amounts of copper and the resulting maintenance in replacement parts is costly not only in financial terms but also in unnecessary environmental waste.

Why Eurotherm?

The components used in the Eurotherm design have minimal mechanical parts and are chosen or specifically designed for their high durability in the glass manufacturing environment. Also, the design in combination with expertly applied power control minimises vibration in the system.

How does this help?

Less mechanical parts and vibration reduces the risk of damage to high value components. Unlike a traditional boosting system, most of the parts used in the Eurotherm design will last longer than the furnace lifetime and can be used in further furnace campaigns.

More sustainable through extended life and re-use of high value components

A future-proof solution

For the most future proof boosting solution in terms of CAPEX and OPEX that is also efficient, reliable, safe and sustainable, choose Eurotherm.

To learn more, read our white paper, “Improved Furnace Boosting System Design”.

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