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Europe’s largest wheat biorefinery starts production using VLT Automation Drives.

07 May 2010

The first tanker of sustainably produced bioethanol has been dispatched to Shell from the largest wheat biorefinery in Europe, which recently started production. The Ensus plant, located at Wilton on Teesside, cost in excess of £250m, with a further £60m of investment from associated companies. It will use 1.2m tonnes of wheat to produce more than 400 million litres of bioethanol and 350,000 tonnes of high-protein animal feed per year.

Annual production is expected to meet about a third of the UK requirement under the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation, which requires 3.5 per cent of all transport fuel to come from biofuels in 2010-11. The plant will also produce 350,000 tonnes a year of high-protein animal feed, which will replace imports.

Alwyn Hughes, Ensus chief executive officer, said: ‘We are taking in animal-feed wheat, of which the UK has a large surplus, and refining it into bioethanol and high-protein animal feed. At the same time, we are capturing all the CO2 we produce for use in the food and beverage industries.’

The plant was designed and manufactured by Simon Carves, based in Manchester UK, who awarded the prestigious contract for the variable speed drives (VSDs) to Danfoss, following careful evaluation of VSD manufacturers.

In summing up his experience of using Danfoss for supplying frequency converters for the project, Rob Simcock, Simon Carves' Electrical Project Engineer said Danfoss provided excellent customer service, highly competitive pricing, simple and efficient installation and commissioning, and excellent reliability.

Danfoss UK projects division supplied 50 VLT Automation Drives, over 7MW in total, ranging from 0.75kW to 315kW. This included 34 bespoke control panels with Danfoss Advanced Harmonic Filters to ensure G5/4 compliance.  The Danfoss VSD panels were manufactured by Integrator Select Control Systems of Hebburn, Tyne & Wear, who were able to meet the project timescales, documentation requirements and flexibility required when working with large projects of this type.

Danfoss VLT Automation Drive
Danfoss VLT Automation Drives for this project include integrated Profibus DPV1 for communication with the Emerson DCS control system, SIL2 Safe Stop technology avoiding the need for costly and bulky contactors; and ATEX approved thermistor supervision simplifying the protection of Ex rated motors in hazardous areas.

VLT high power drives greater than 90kW include a novel cooling system, ensuring that 85% of the cooling air required is passed through a sealed IP55 back channel, avoiding contamination of the drive and panel electronics. This innovative design also reduces the size of the enclosure required and the associated door cooling fans.

For low power applications of less than 90kW, IP55 enclosures were selected, avoiding the need for control panels. The IP55 VLT Automation Drive includes a lockable mains disconnect switch, integrated Profibus, safe stop and ATEX approved thermistor supervision. The built-in dc link chokes ensure low harmonics and mains input current, whilst avoiding derating associated with using series ac line reactors.

Danfoss VLT Training
During the building phase of the factory, training courses tailored to Ensus and Simon Carves electrical team were implemented. This was achieved with on site training days, covering best installation practices and hands-on exercises with VLT Automation Drives. This success was followed up with advanced training for Ensus specialists at Danfoss training facilities in Graasten, Denmark.

Danfoss VLT Service
Danfoss VLT Drives are recognised as being the market leader for innovation and are renowned for outstanding reliability. Even with highly reliable products, quality service & support is vital to customers and in particular to a chemical plant operating 24/7 production. The Ensus Refinery has the benefit of a tailored Danfoss Service Contract which ensures a fast response to site in the unlikely event of a VSD failure, peace of mind, controlled maintenance budgets and maximum plant uptime.

Danfoss VLT Drives - Recommended by Ensus
Paul McLaren, E & I Engineer for Ensus said: ‘I’ve found Danfoss an excellent organisation for response to issues and technical information, friendliness and professionalism of staff and ease of use of equipment. I would recommend Danfoss as a provider of high quality and reliable drives.’

 


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