Companies collaborate on voltage solutions for large EAFs

11th August 2023

Companies collaborate on voltage solutions for large EAFs

POWER IN UNITY GE Power Conversions has developed an advanced power supply solution to transform existing ironmaking lines through technological solutions and reduce the industry’s carbon footprint

Global solutions provider Tenova and leading power conversion company GE Power Conversion signed a Cooperation Agreement in June, combining their efforts on target projects that are aimed at offering and implementing innovative power feeding solutions based on medium-voltage power converters, for electric arc furnace (EAF) or submerged arc furnace (SAF) technologies.

Tenova and GE’s collaboration was formed to jointly design and market tailored medium-voltage power feeding systems for EAFs and SAFs, allowing the effective use of high electric power even on constrained grids, while reducing both operating costs and the environmental impact of new and pre-existing furnaces.

It was formed in response to steelmakers increasingly exploring technological solutions to transform their existing ironmaking lines and reduce their carbon footprint.

GE has developed Direct Feed, an advanced power supply solution dedicated to EAFs.

The Direct Feed system controls the EAF voltage and arc current accurately at variable frequency. Its digital control system enables a qualitative monitoring of the electrical arc, offering improved process stability, better operating expenditure (opex) and enhanced grid power quality performance.

The innovative alternating current-direct current solution based on scalable patented back-to-back hybrid Modular Multilevel Converter topology, is directly connected to the grid feeding up to 60 kV. It addresses increasingly challenging constraints imposed by grid, codes which conventional solutions cannot meet.

This growing demand for very large, highly productive electric furnaces poses substantial challenges to the stability of energy distribution grids, often causing the active power required to meet productivity targets to not reach its users with conventional energy supply schemes.

“It’s the union of two companies sharing a common culture of transparency in business and passion for technology, joining forces to meet the ever-increasing expectations of a market in tumultuous development and bring the steelmaking industry one step further towards decarbonisation,” comments Tenova Stream Business Unit executive VP Paolo Argenta.

“The vast experience of our companies in the respective technical fields, together with the expertise of our end-users allows us to bring to the market an effective, flexible and reliable solution to EAF and SAF operators.”

GE CEO Edgardo Torres adds that being trusted by an important player in the steel market such as Tenova confirms that the Direct Feed technology is the “right answer” to the growing challenges faced by the industrials.

“We propose an innovative solution to the steelmakers that will not only allow them to increase their performances but also support them on their decarbonisation journey while providing a much better opex.”