The commissioning of the new, spacious drying oven with regenerative thermal oxidation (RTO) in the electrical machinery (BeM) area successfully achieves the first phase of the “Impregnation Modernisation and Expansion” project. Preparations for the second phase, in which the vacuum impregnation systems will also be replaced during the course of next year, are already in full swing. With these investments, BENNING is securing the energy-efficient and environmentally friendly production of wound equipment such as coils and transformers for the next one or two decades.
It is a clear commitment to Bocholt as a location.
In these demanding areas, the components used must meet high technical requirements and withstand high demands. A defect and the associated failure – such as of a hydropower generator – is usually associated with large economic losses for the operator of the plant. Once installed, these components can often only be replaced on site with a great deal of time or not at all.
The respective purpose of the various components to be treated requires an individual composition of the insulating materials to be used. After curing, the precisely coordinated formulations give the impregnated component exactly the desired electrical, mechanical and thermal properties it needs for its application. For example, the rated voltages range from a few volts (< 100 V) to high-voltage coils with 13,000 volts.
Another challenge is the careful impregnation of the components themselves. Because of the complexity of the components with many edges and corners, cavities can quickly form. The air bubbles trapped inside would significantly reduce the high-voltage insulation and possibly even render the component unusable. Therefore, a vacuum is created in the impregnation container, which eliminates even the smallest air pockets and accurately fills all cavities with the impregnation medium.
Robust, durable insulation system
Finally, the drying and curing process takes place in the new chamber oven. In order for the substances present in the formula of the impregnation medium to react with each other as desired, the temperature curve must be finely adjusted during the drying time. For this purpose, individually adjusted temperature curves can be programmed and stored in the control system of the new chamber oven. The result is a robust and durable insulation system of the best quality.
The furnace chamber has an internal dimension of 3 x 3 x 3 m and is loaded with the impregnated windings such as transformers, coils, chokes, motor or generator windings via a movable table – the so-called furnace trolley. With a maximum output of 200 kW, temperatures of up to 180 °C can be generated inside in a controlled manner. Specially programmable temperature-time curves are used for this purpose.
The volatile hydrocarbons (VOC – Volatile Organic Compounds) produced during the curing process are completely converted into harmless components post-combustion in the regenerative thermal oxidation plant (RTO plant).
Efficient energy recovery
Two heat recovery chambers are located below the central combustion chamber, where the thermal oxidation of the pollutants takes place. They are equipped with a heat storage mass that can absorb, store and release energy. This way, the heat from the clean exhaust air is transferred to the raw gas. Thus, by the time it reaches the combustion chamber, it is preheated close to the temperature needed for oxidation. The combustion of the organic components contained in the raw gas, which already takes place autothermally from a concentration of approximately 1.8 g/Nm³, is now sufficient to transform the raw gas into clean gas by means of oxidation.
This reduces the use of the main burner to the start-up phase of the oven. From the combustion chamber, the hot clean gas flows through the heat recovery chambers and leaves the plant as clean exhaust air.
Quality, sustainability, economic efficiency
This efficient form of heat recovery, combined with the modern oven control, now saves about 70 % of the natural gas used in the BeM compared to the old system. At the same time, these optimised manufacturing methods contribute to a reproducible level of quality that guarantees the longevity of the manufactured windings for electrical machines as well as for the transformers of the company’s stationary power supplies and traction chargers used worldwide.
Cost-effectiveness, quality and a careful approach to our environment go hand in hand here. The project “Watering House Modernisation and Expansion” is another example of a corporate philosophy that intelligently combines the sustainable use of our natural resources with economic action and maximum quality standards.