Defrosting coal wagons with wireless technology
September 28, 2017
A Slovakian coal plant had a problem with coal freezing in wagons, hindering the unloading process and threatening the regular supply of electricity.
Sometimes it is better to use wireless connectivity rather than solving problems with cable management. There are places where you simply can’t use a wired solution. Take, for example, the Slovakian power plant ENO Nováky. The power plant, using coal to produce electricity, had a problem with coal freezing in wagons, hindering the unloading process and threatening the regular supply of electricity to households. The power plant decided to contact Austyn International, a company in the field of outdoor and indoor heating.
The main goal of Austyn International was to design and deliver modern and economical system for defrosting wagons with brown coal to mitigate problems with electricity supply. The system had many requirements such as using existing facilities, ensuring continual and effective defrosting, minimizing operating costs, reducing heat losses, and increasing reliability and accuracy of control.
Austyn International designed a thawing solution consisting of 450 infrared heaters with 3.6 kW output and 108 heaters with 1.2 kW output (input of 1.8 MW), as well as an automatic RS AGS system, which controls thawing based on input data (such as number of wagons and outside temperature). Data are transferred wirelessly through the IQRF mesh network.
Thanks to this solution, electricity production for the town of Prievidza is no longer threatened by frozen coal, and the risk of failure of fuel supply to boilers is significantly reduced. The IQRF network used in the solution allows to obtain data from a large number of sensors at once and control the infrared heaters in places where installing wires would be problematic or completely impossible due to the specific environment.