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Verlinde hoist plays key role at automated biomass facility

16 April 2014

The Verlinde 6.3 metric ton EUROBLOC VT hoist is dedicated to the management of green waste and plays an important role in a largely automated new biomass heating system operated by Dalkia in France.

The biomass heating facility runs continuously and is supervised round the clock by two operators. Automation has to be at a maximum level and especially the uninterrupted supply of material to the boilers. The basic principle of a gas system is to open or close a valve. With biomass, on the other hand, different operating modes are required and especially with respect to storage and the feeding of boilers. Three fuel pits are filled during the day by a constant stream of trucks. Each boiler has its specific pit. Fitted with scraper floors, the pits provide a constant supply of fuel. The third pit is used as an intermediary storage space for the boilers' night time supply of fuel and, if required, during the day or continuously over a three day period. The 6.3 metric ton suspended crane (class 5M ) fitted with Verlinde components and fully automated plays a vital role in the management of the shredded wood storage area and for the continuous supply of fuel to the boilers.

The storage space is fully laid out in a grid pattern
In order to automate the main storage area as much as possible, it is laid out in a virtual grid pattern of thirty identically dimensioned squares. The suspended crane with its Verlinde components is fitted with a 3.5 metric ton grab, has a capacity of 5 m3 for a maximum load of 1.5 metric tons and is equipped with an on-board controller on the trolley. The controller, which also manages the grab's hydraulic system and the overload or anti-skew safety devices, has a permanent secure Wifi link with the installation's other controller, a Siemens brand Simatic. The latter memorises the area's grid layout to enable it to organize the smooth and regular unloading of the fuel. In this way, thanks to the position sensor linked to the grab, the system knows the height of the matter deposited in each square. As and when the trucks loaded with shredded wood arrive, the suspended crane transfers the material from the truck offload area to the storage space and is instructed to release the load in the square best suited to take it.

Long travel of the suspended crane is 30m, cross travel 16m at a maximum height of 13m and is fully secure thanks to the use of at least a hundred sensors, absolute encoders and roller limit switches. For even greater safety, all devices are duplicated and the whole on-board intelligence of the suspended crane is accessible to operators. An indispensable tool for operating the heating plant, the suspended crane is geared to a productivity rate of 140 m3/h of handled material. To meet the above specification conditions, the lifting speed is 20 m/min and the horizontal travel speed 63 m/min.  The variable speed option for up/down and long travel has been selected because it prevents current spikes while enabling smooth starts and restricts load oscillation during transfer operations. Likewise, the wireless control feature was adopted to simplify manual operations.