Interview with Geoff Matthews and Dr. Mark Dorreen from Energia Potior in Light Metal Age on the problem with the current aluminium smelting model and what can be done about it.
Aluminium smelting requires a large consumption of electricity in the primary electrolysis reduction process (over 3% of the total electricity use globally) and it needs electricity continuously to keep the electrolysis process running.
Currently, the energy input of a smelter cannot be varied by much more than plus or minus 5%, meaning a smelter essentially operates at full capacity 24/7, 365 days a year, for its entire lifespan.
Maintaining maximum production at an aluminium smelter creates power supply problems for national grids, especially for those that seek to generate a higher percentage of their electricity from renewable sources.
The EnPot technology gives smelters the ability to vary electrical energy consumption up or down by as much as 30% to take advantage of off-peak power prices, accommodating the intermittent supply of renewable energy within the grid, and allowing production to be better matched to primary aluminium supply and demand.
Read the full article below.