Water Detection Technologies for EAFs Significantly Improve Safety and Sustainability

Safety, reduced operating cost and energy consumption: Results of demonstration project at Nucor Steel Seattle Inc. exceed expected benefits in these areas.

A breakthrough technology that continues achieving successful outcomes: Tenova Water Detection System® (WDS) proves to be a valuable asset to steelmakers allowing to predict water leaks with high accuracy, minimizing the number of false alarms. This technology has a dramatic impact on safety, environmental and economic performances of the plant.

In July 2017, Nucor Steel Seattle, Inc. officially signed off on Tenova Water Detection System® (WDS). The System was approved based on controlled testing and successful detection of actual EAF water leaks.  

These results confirmed that the WDS met the plant’s requirements to detect and alert plant operators when higher than normal water conditions were present in the EAF.  Furthermore, the WDS has also demonstrated minimal false alarms even in Seattle’s highly variable seasonal weather conditions. 

Tenova WDS is the only commercially available system that is capable of continuously analyzing EAF off-gas for both H2 and H2O vapor. The real-time EAF process information and NextGen® off-gas hardware include full spectrum analysis of the water conditions in the EAF, which are evaluated for abnormalities compared to standard levels. NextGen® is a hybrid optical/extractive off-gas analysis hardware system that delivers faster analytical response times, requires minimal maintenance with reduced hardware and installation costs.

In addition to the WDS results, the NextGen® + i EAF®, previously commissioned in April 2016 on the 115 ton EAF, surpassed the plant’s expectation for quantifiable and sustainable improvements in monthly process consumptions and operating costs. average monthly furnace consumptions were significantly decreased in the following areas: 5% electrical, 1.5% oxygen, 11.5% natural gas, 7.5% injected carbon and 32% charge carbon. 

Complete system performance has more than doubled from the original estimated savings target determined at the start of the project with total electrical and chemical energy costs per ton of steel being reduced by over 6%.