Stuart Hakes is a New Zealander who joined the industry just over 50 years ago.
After obtaining his Glass Technology qualifications, he started his career running four furnaces at a container plant, three of which had electric boost installations. He rose through the ranks as Batch & Furnace Manager, followed by Production Manager, at a flaconage plant before going back home to New Zealand as Manufacturing Manager at the Christchurch NZ operation, which at that time had a mix of hand shops, automatic tableware and containers and insulation fibre products. During his term in NZ the plant focussed on export smallware (flaconage) for the American market and tableware exports, principally to Australia. During this time he was able to negotiate a very attractive power supply agreement as a major user resulting in the installation of two all-electric furnaces as well as conversion of all forehearths to all-electric operation.
After stints in the container plants of A.C.I (now part of the O-I Asia Pacific Group), Papua New Guinea, Thailand and Indonesia, he then moved to Australia running the Mould Operation before ending up in China.
Initially, he was part of the team looking for new businesses before being given the task of setting up a state of the art, advanced technology mould manufacturing facility in Tianjin.
Following his return from China in 1999 he joined F.I.C. (UK) Limited as Chief Executive. F.I.C. (UK) Limited is one of the leading specialist suppliers of electric furnaces, boost and many other products to improve productivity in the furnace and other associated areas. At the beginning of 2014, F.I.C. joined the Glass Service Group of companies which are primarily based in the Czech Republic specialising in CFD modelling, ESIII total furnace control, Flammatec burners and glass defect analysis.
The future of the glass industry in tomorrow’s world requiring dramatic reduction in CO2 emmissions
Long Rock Industrial Estate, Penzance, Cornwall. TR20 8HX UK
It is well known that the EU has laid down very stringent targets for CO2 emissions for the next 30 years or so. It is a requirement that by 2030 there has be to a 40% reduction when compared to 1990 emissions of CO2 and by 2050 an 80% reduction. It should be fairly obvious to all at this meeting that this target is not achievable with current furnace designs. Although these regulations apply to the EU, there is growing acceptance in other parts of the world that CO2 reduction is a priority, the only possible exception being the USA, at the present moment. Even Australia, who have been in denial until fairly recently is coming round to the necessity to reduce CO2
The question remains therefore, how do we achieve this? When you examine the improvement in thermal efficiency over the last 100 years or so, it can be seen that we have made very great strides, however, it is also very clear that we have plateaued and that there is very little opportunity to make any dramatic improvements and certainly not to get to the levels of CO2 which is required. This leaves us with a dilemma as to what the next step should be.
A look at the primary energy consumption of a glass container furnaces and furnace type also shows a similar pattern in that “big is beautiful” in terms of energy efficiency. However, although the energy efficiency is better there are very specific differences between the types of furnace. Generally, end-port furnaces are more efficient than cross fired furnaces even at the top end of the tonnage range, of between 250 – 400tpd.
Whilst oxy-fuel furnaces initially look good, they are still having difficulty when competing with end-port, however, once there is a correction for the electricity, then they look less efficient. As can be seen on the graph, there is one standout feature and that is of a small furnace which is considerably more efficient than any other. That is an electric furnace!!. Recognising that “big is beautiful” it surely means that a larger, all-electric furnace would indeed be more efficient still and that is the case, however, there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about electric furnaces.
The second graph shows that a small all-electric furnace has an energy efficiency starting at around 70% and going to around 85% at 250tpd whereas a similarly 10tpd fuel-fired furnace starts at around 35% and peaks at 45% for the same 250tpd. This reinforces the view that electric furnaces are the way forward.
Most current furnaces are in the range of 1-25tpd. There are more than 10 operating between 100-200tpd, and FIC are currently designing a furnace for a customer requesting 350tpd and we believe 600tpd is possible. Within all-electric furnaces there are a number of different types, namely cold-top, hot-top and semi hot-top. Within this range there are also different geometries, square, rectangular, hexagonal, duo-decagonal, round and shelf types.
A number of different transformers could be used, both open and closed and partial delta, star connected or scott squares which are balanced, two phase and of course single phase. The electrode positions can be top, side-wall, shelf, bottom or even plates. This paper will examine these briefly to look at the options. The paper will then go on to discuss what alternative options are available to improve fuel efficiency. These include briquetting, pre-heating of the batch and/or all the cullet, dry batch optimisation, burner technology, advanced furnace control, oxygen, Syngas and energy substitution. All of these have a limited effect on reducing the CO2.
It is generally accepted that the only way forward by the industry is to use either super boost or all-electric furnaces. Obviously much depends on how the electricity is generated but with the increasing availability of bio fuel, wind farms, solar farms, wave production and nuclear, there are CO2 free options. However, the move to super boosting and electric is fraught with misunderstanding and misinformation. We need to re-examine the old ways with new technology and we need to think creatively and start from scratch and we need a paradigm shift. In terms of step changes there is the GMIC USA Next Gen melter project, submerged burners, in-flight plasma furnaces but we also have to consider the availability of fossil fuel long term. All of these items point to electric melting as the only viable option.
The paper will examine some of the options for super boosting as a temporary improvement and also show the way forward with original thinking for new all electric furnaces. 600tpd furnaces are possible but they do not look the same as the current all-electric furnaces, in other words a paradigm shift is required using new technologies such as use of low thermal mass materials, emissivity coatings and creative design in order to assist the power supply company to manage some of their costs, particularly maximum demand.
Furnaces have already been designed and operated conforming to some of these parameters and these will be discussed briefly, together with some ideas of how a 600tpd all-electric furnace might look in the future.