EnPot was rolled out on a commercial scale at TRIMET following on from the successful trial installation on 12 pots which began in June 2014. The goal for TRIMET had been to find pathways to allow the smelter to shift power use by +/- 25%.
Dr. Martin Iffert, former CEO of TRIMET Aluminium SE, believes that the EnPot technology can be used like a virtual battery to buffer demand against supply in Germany, as the country seeks to increase its use of renewable power generation under the Energiewende programme.
“TRIMET’s trials of the EnPot technology indicate that by being able to dynamically increase or decrease energy use, TRIMET could become the energy bridge buffering supply and demand in Germany,” he says.
“This would enable TRIMET to become a significant part of Germany’s energy storage capacity. Our goal is to use our smelters to give Germany a virtual battery capacity of 12GWh, which would be approximately 25% of Germany’s current pump hydro storage capacity,” Dr. Iffert says.
The installed EnPot system has proven to be robust, stable and reliable with no major equipment failures or problems since start up.
The system responds quickly to set point changes and the reproducibility of the system outputs such as air flow rates and heat extraction is high. This has meant that the outcomes of any set point changes can be predicted and the system is readily customisable and controllable to changing conditions.
In April 2016 TRIMET had a lengthy power outage. The cells fitted with EnPot had less difficulty in being restarted than the cells without EnPot. The TRIMET outage proves EnPot’s value in the case of a serious power outage, that pots can be kept warmer for longer, and that restarting is less problematic.