An analysis of the electrical circuit of submerged-arc furnaces

Doctoral Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The measurement of the electrical variables of a submerged-arc furnace is difficult owing to errors in the measurement of electrode-to-bath voltages and the difficulty in maintaining measurement connections to the hot, harsh environment of a furnace. A system is proposed which provides an accurate, reliable measurement of the electrode-to-bath voltages so that the electrical variables of the furnace can be determined. A means for measurement of the arcing conditions under each electrode has also been developed. The measurement system has been used in the examination of the conduction mechanisms occurring in a furnace and this has resulted in a significant improvement in the understanding of the operation. In addition, a method for determination of the lengths of the electrodes has been established. A problem with the measurement system is that it is necessary to make connections in a hot environment and on occasions, when a furnace eruption has occurred, the measurement leads have to be replaced. As a result, an indirect technique for determination of the resistances under each electrode has been developed and used for control of the power distribution in the furnace. The technique is based on an assumption about the relationship between the reactances in the furnace and all measurements are made on the primary side of the furnace transformers where reliable connections can be made.

Bibliography: leaves 167-174.