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Short-Circuit Detection for Electrolytic Processes Employing Optibar Intercell Bars

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3 Author(s)
Pablo E. Aqueveque ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Univ. of Concepcion, Concepcion, Chile ; Eduardo P. Wiechmann ; Rolando P. Burgos

This paper presents a method to detect metallurgical short circuits suitable for Optibar intercell bars in copper electrowinning and electrorefining processes. One of the primary achievements of this bar is to limit short-circuit currents to a maximum of 1.5 p.u. of the actual process current. However, low-current short circuits are more difficult to detect. Thus, conventional short-circuit detection instruments like gaussmeters and infrared cameras become ineffective. To overcome this problem, the proposed method is based on detecting the voltage drop across anode-cathode pairs. The method does not affect the operation of the process and does not require modifications of the industrial plant. In order to verify the performance of this proposal, experimental measurements done over a period of four months at a copper refinery are presented. A 100% success rate was obtained.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications  (Volume:45 ,  Issue: 4 )