Parallel difference power control system Padicon® to help an old-establ ished company in Riesa to cut power peaks in the long term.
- reduction of costly power peaks
- Padicon® supports an environmentally compatible steel production
- transparent overview of the power consumption thanks to the monitoring tool and real-time control
- parallel differentiated load management discloses productivity potentials
- noticeable cost reduction at same production capacity
Melting furnace at Elbe Stahlwerke Feralpi GmbH (ESF)
The small town of Riesa looks back on a rich tradition in metallurgical works which goes back to the early 18th century. In 1843, Schönberg Bros. founded the first steelworks following the English model with puddling furnaces and steam hammers. After World War II, the Riesa steelworks advanced to become the most important model company of that industry in the planned economy of the GDR.
Following the economic breakdown around 1990, Elbe Stahlwerke Feralpi GmbH (ESF) was established on the historic site in 1992.
The major product of the company is concrete reinforcement steel, for which there is great demand on construction sites of any size. Other products are reinforcing elements, steel mesh, continuous casting billets and lattice girders for end users. The raw materials needed for the production is recycled steel scrap, so to save natural resources. The production of the Elbe Drahtwerke Feralpi GmbH (EDF), which was established in 2002, is also based on this important raw material. Environmentally compatible production is one of the major principles of the company. An environment management system based on DIN was established in 2007.
Elbe Stahlwerke Feralpi GmbH (ESF) was founded in 1992
Elbe Stahlwerke Feralpi GmbH strictly follows state regulations and abides by any specified exposure and emission limits. Compliance with these limits is continuously checked both in internal and external tests and audits. Installing environmentally compatible and natural resource saving production equipment enabled the company to achieve this. Feralpi Group was awarded the renowned environment certificate for this in 2008. Today, Feralpi’s about 600 employees in Riesa make roughly one million tonnes of finished goods per year in a quality that is very much asked for both in Germany and abroad.
The modern Padicon® system helps saving energy costs permanently.
Competitive energy prices are of essential importance for the steel industry
Modern electronic control system provides clear real-time monitoring and control of the power consumption.
Being a very energy-intensive industry, the steel industry consumes more than 20 terawatt-hours per year, which is almost 10 per cent of the entire industrial electric energy consumption in Germany. Most companies in this sector view rising electricity costs with great concern. The increase in power costs by about 15 euros per megawatt-hour during recent years means additional annual expenses of 180–200 million euros for the steel industry, which is about one fifth of the annual investment sum. In addition, there is only little, if any, competition in the electric energy markets. Not less than 80 per cent of the generation capacity lies in the hands of just four oligopolists, which align their electricity rates to the price index of the Leipzig Energy Exchange EEX. Although only a small portion of the available electricity is actually traded through the EEX, their indices greatly affect the general power rates. Moreover, the share of statutory taxes and dues meanwhile amount to about one third of the end user prices. It will hardly be possible for the steel industry to cope with this distortion of competition within the European Union in the long run.
Innovative solutions to tackle high electricity costs are sought after
Steel scrap being turned into new products at ESF
In 2007, Dr. Tanneberger GMBH installed a parallel difference power control system Padicon®, which monitors the production facilities of ESF and EDF synchronously.
It appeared to be a particular challenge that the steel production features one extraordinary large energy consumer and many much smaller consumers in both works. By developing and implementing update versions, Dr. Tanneberger engineers have found a way to adapt the Padicon® system to the company-specific requirements of Elbe Stahlwerke Feralpi GmbH. Since then, modern control equipment has ensured a permanent cut in the power peaks which goes along with a reduction in the annual electricity expenses.
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