The Impact of Increased Anode Size and Amperage Creep on Anode Management
The Alcoa Deschambault smelter is investigating increasing anode size as part of a drive to continuously increase pot amperage (amperage creep). The new larger anodes will be both taller and longer and will impact the number of green and baked anodes, as well as the number of pallets, that can be stored within the smelter. Each of these storage areas have multiple functions: to link the operations of upstream and downstream plant areas, required due to differences in production rates, maintenance schedules, and working schedules; as a buffer for unplanned downtime; and to allow for anode or butt cooling before subsequent operations. The present article reviews the methodology used to evaluate the impact that a change in anode dimensions and amperage creep can have on storage areas and their ability to maintain their functions. The methodology includes layout reviews, mass and anode balance, functional analysis, and schedule optimization.