Energy efficiency in industry
Increasing Capacity and Optimizing Alunorf’s Cooling Water Systems – Germany
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Alunorf, the world's largest aluminium rolling and casting plant, is located in the city of Neuss and consists of a smelting plant for the production of aluminium ingots as well as a hot and cold rolling area.
Large quantities of cooling water are required for the production process in order to remove the waste heat. Cooling water is provided by three cooling towers, each with its own cooling water network. When Sweco was appointed to provide expert assistance, these three networks were not linked and each of them supplied a different area of the aluminium plant.
The cooling towers operated at full capacity and the failure of a single cooling tower cell would be enough to trigger production breakdown. In addition, a huge number of unregulated heat exchangers were straining the cooling systems.
In order to increase operational reliability and prepare for the planned extension of the cooling water system, Alunorf contracted Sweco to identify the weaknesses of the existing cooling systems.
We analyzed and determined the potential for optimization, as well as options for extending the cooling water system. Alunorf immediately implemented a range of the measures recommended and the results confirmed our analysis.
Analysis of system weaknesses, on-site inspections, measurements and data evaluation, preparation of a catalogue of measures, cost calculation, and profitability analysis.
- Cooling tower performance, total: 57.5 MW
- Cooling water flow, total: max. 6,200 m³/h
- Flow temperature: 25°C
- Return flow temperature: Approx. 33°C