Development of electrode tip position measurement technology for electric furnaces

Author(s): T. Gerritsen, A. Sadri, D. Chataway, M. Cramer
Infacon XV: International Ferro-Alloys Congress, Edited by R.T. Jones, P. den Hoed, & M.W. Erwee, Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Cape Town, 25–28 February 2018


Knowledge of the electrode length, and thus the location of the tip of an electrode, is crucial to the efficient operation of ferroalloy furnaces. Currently, operators use a variety of methods to estimate electrode length, including visual assessment and electrode consumption models, all with limited success. Until recently, no continuous and accurate method for measuring electrode length, or tip position, has been developed for commercial use. To solve this problem, the authors sought to develop electrode tip position measurement technology for electric arc furnaces. After extensive research, a system, “ElectroDAR”, was developed based on the propagation of electromagnetic waves through a small, multi-phase waveguide in the electrode. Laboratory testing has suggested that ElectroDAR will be capable of continuously and accurately measuring electrode length and tip position during operation. This paper first reviews and discusses the research conducted relating to existing electrode length measurement systems. Then, the newly developed electrode tip position measurement system, ElectroDAR, is introduced and the development of the technology is described.