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VRT and analog SCR power supply upgrade solution

Energy Efficiency for Electric Heat Treatment Furnaces

Why replace analog SCR power supplies or variable reactance transformers (VRT)?

CapEx and OpEx costs are high, and workpiece yield and quality are uncertain.

Analog SCR power supply challenges:

  • At control outputs below 100%, analog SCRs cause high harmonic distortion on the power supply and a poor power factor, as well as a significant decline in energy efficiency

  • Due to poor power factor, energy is wasted in the system, leading to unnecessary extra costs for filters and capacitor banks

  • Analog SCRs cause difficulties in the control of the furnace heaters. Temperature stability and accuracy cannot be achieved causing process repeatability issues

Download the SCR customer success story

Variable reactance transformer challenges:

  • Deadband regions make the control loop more difficult to set up and adjust, resulting in unstable heater control
  • Harmonics are inherent in VRT systems, therefore a water cooling system is needed to compensate for the heat losses
  • Clogged water pipes need regular maintenance that can damage the dielectric insulation resulting in safety issues

The challenges of analog SCR power supplies also apply.

Download the VRT customer success story

Variable reactance transformer challenges

Eurotherm power control solution for electric furnaces

Typical energy saving ≈10%

The Eurotherm power control solution offers improved reliability and efficiency compared to legacy analog designs, helping to reduce maintenance and energy costs in a standardized design.

Eurotherm power control

A pre-designed packaged solution with a typical return on investment in 2 years or less [1].

The power supply solution driven by an EPower power controller is available in three standard sizes up to 400A to cover a wide range of furnaces, with customization available on request.

A turnkey solution, transformer included

Available for single phase or three phase power control – 2-leg or 3-leg power control

Fully engineered and supported by Eurotherm engineering teams

Customer FIRST service level agreements (SLAs) available

Download the VRT/SCR data sheet

Lower energy costs

A typical energy savings ≈10% with a return on investment in ≈ 2 years or less [1]

  • Typical power factor better than 0.9 helps to meet the limits set by utility suppliers, reducing the risk of penalty charges
  • Predictive load management can stabilize power demand, helping to reduce peak demand charge penalties

[1] Return on investment is dependent upon local energy rates

Improve furnace performance

High accuracy temperature measurement and precision power control help to improve workpiece throughput and quality:

  • Repeatable performance throughout the furnace temperature range
  • Achieve higher Nadcap furnace class temperature uniformity

Download the White Paper – Improving Electric Furnace Heating Efficiency With EPower Advanced SCR Controller Solutions

Reduced unplanned downtime

Improved power efficiency combined with diagnostics help to improve overall system robustness.

  • Less equipment to maintain
  • Monitoring of key parameters provides diagnostics for faster maintenance
  • Advanced notification of heater deterioration enables pre-ordering and scheduling of replacement parts
  • Predictive load management can keep the power demand within the capability of the power line, helping to reduce the risk of power outages

CapEx savings

An investment generally lower than that of a solution based on an analog controller (SCR) or VRT.

  • No need for power factor correction systems
  • Transformers and power controllers can be air cooled, or water cooled using the furnace cooling system
  • The footprint of a digital solution is generally smaller
  • Ethernet connectivity reduces the cost of cabling
  • Greenfield power distribution systems can be smaller due to load sharing and shedding, which balances and controls the energy demand on the general site supply

Contact our Eurotherm heat treatment specialists

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