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Operational Experience of a Highly Efficient Induction Billet Heater

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Operational Experience of a Highly Efficient Induction Billet Heater: Improving Energy Efficiency with Superconductivity

L. Masur, Zenergy Power USA, South San Francisco, USA
C. Bührer, J. Kellers, C. Fülbier, A. Steinhauer, and I. Hahn, Zenergy Power GmbH, Rheinbach, Germany
W. Witte, Bültmann GmbH, Neuenrade, Germany

Track: EXTRUSION EQUIPMENT - Billet/Log Heating/Handling

ABSTRACT --- Induction heating is a basic process for the aluminum industry. In
induction heating, the metallic workpiece is exposed to an electromagnetic field,
and the electric power is converted to heat directly within the workpiece.
Commercially available superconductive coils enable a new approach to induction
billet heating, adding significant value to the process. The highly energy-efficient
billet heaters developed here fit into an industrial range from 0.2 megawatts (MW)
to 2MW of heating power. Distinctive features can be summarized as follows:
Greater than 80 percent energy efficiency, including all thermal losses and electrical
losses due to peripherals; Excellent temperature homogeneity of the heated billet,
due to deep thermal penetration; Improved process logistics, due to single billet
heating and accommodation of different billet sizes; No coil change upon change of
billet size, due to uniformity of magnetic field; No reactive power compensation,
oscillation circuit, or transformer required for the grid connection. This paper
reports on the performance of a recently built first superconducting induction
heater. This machine will be installed at a commercial aluminum extrusion plant in

© Extrusion Technology for Aluminum Profiles Foundation (ET Foundation). All rights reserved. No part of The Proceedings may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the ET Foundation.