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Old 04-30-2019, 09:51 AM   #21
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Was it designed for 12 or did someone get the bright idea to stack them 12 high rather than eight or ten?
Absolutely not; the entire complex was not meant to function the way it does. But, as with almost everything industrial, functions change. I have rarely seen a facility that was thought out, designed and built with what was going to happen thirty years down the road.

This plant started out as simply a 60" hot strip mill. The target customer was for small custom orders. You wanted six coils, you ordered six coils from us. US Steel would only sell you six hundred coils. So, slabs were imported back then from wherever and rolled to customer spec. And, naturally, they arrived cold. The "warehouse was X feet high and designed to hold X number of slabs. Slabs were inserted into a re-heat furnace and rolled. Then someone along the line got a bright idea to make slabs on-site. And the board of directors concurred!

The melt shop was added only ten years or so ago, and the super tall EAF (electric arc furnace), LRF (ladle refining furnace, also electric arc) and casting bay were tacked on to the side of the warehouse. So, by design the caster runout table ended in the lower, former warehouse bay, and the existing cold slab handler crane became a hot slab handler crane.

Easy to see the shortcomings of the design. No exhaust fans in the lower bay ceiling- weren't needed. Increased slab making insured the need for taller stacks of product- ran out of space. A twenty foot high stack of 8" thick slabs will retain much heat for weeks. Slabs directly out of the caster are just south enough of molten to retain their shape. And the list goes on. It's a recipe for cooking anything hanging in the ceiling. I just happen to have frying crane controls in that damn low ceiling.

Still waiting on a callback from EIC. Hope they can come up with a solution. Still going to recommend peeling some of the siding off during the summer. Might mention exhaust fans, but that would be a huge expense to ventilate such a huge area.

Oh well, why I get the big bucks, right? Come up with a solution. Workin on it!

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Old 04-30-2019, 10:07 AM   #22
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It's a recipe for cooking anything hanging in the ceiling. I just happen to have frying crane controls in that damn low ceiling.
This isn't my wheelhouse, but, it sounds like you may need a engineer (process engineer?). If the steel holds its heat, then by all means cool the place down. Even in the Middle East they only design gensets for 30-50 degrees Centrigrade (not even near 200degrees F).


Edit 90-120 degrees F is 30-50 degrees C
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:14 AM   #23
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30 minutes down the road!

Make it work. Make money. That's why we're here. Gitter done!
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:14 AM   #24
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30 minutes down the road!

Make it work. Make money. That's why we're here. Gitter done!
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:34 AM   #25
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30 minutes down the road!

Make it work. Make money. That's why we're here. Gitter done!
The management "what do you mean you can't get blood out of a turnip?"
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:29 AM   #26
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For inquiring minds that want to know, here's a quick update on the EIC cooling solution:

Their lead engineer wrote me back the nicest letter... and stated that no, they cannot cool with 80c (176F) ambient, and they certainly cannot cool at 87.4c (190.04F) as stated on their web page. They can cool to 70c (158F). Well, from my exhaustive research so can everyone else.

I have replied back to her with a link to their website and asked her what the text on that web page REALLY means (I suspect she will be done with me!). I am now curious as to what happens to a Peltier effect device when the ambient goes out of range. Will it simply cease to provide any cooling or can it damage the unit? I would think that it would just fail to provide any heat exchange. The things aren't terribly efficient anyway.

So, folks, the magic show didn't happen; we're going to have to change tack. Maybe a duct from the building wall to the cabinet and a simple fan. 90F through a 40 foot insulated duct would still reach the cabinet at well below 180F.
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Old 05-01-2019, 02:26 PM   #27
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From your first post it sounds like you have multiple cabinets to cool.

They should invest in a good HVAC engineer to develop this system. One thing that comes to mind since you said pulling in rooftop air is an option to consider, is to install a RTU and draw in outside air and cool it (by 20F or whatever it will cool it by) and feed a manifold which feeds cool air to the cabinets. At least you won't be trying to work with 175F air.
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Old 05-01-2019, 05:51 PM   #28
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If the almighty powers will allow me to yank the uppermost sheet metal siding off the building (about 800 feet), or at least every other sheet, then any number of solutions might be feasible, including an RTU off to the side. That is exactly how our two 210 ton melt cranes are cooled, though the melt side is not quite as hot because it has a particulate extraction system over both furnaces. It brings in a goodly amount of outside makeup air to feed the baghouse dust collector.

Still workin on it.
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:08 PM   #29
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Do you have roof ventilation fans?
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:19 PM   #30
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I thought 190F was out of range!
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:04 AM   #31
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John, there are no roof vent fans at this time. We might consider a couple of downdraft fans over the parking spot of the crane and the slab runout table. Yes, the temperature 600 feet down the bay would still be abnormal, but even a slight cooldown when back home should help. The space is too vast to ventilate the entire building. Up front costs of retrofitting forced exhaust would almost certainly be cost prohibitive. We have to weigh the cost balance between crane failure modes/ downtime versus capital or maintenance engineering expenditures. I do not know what that balance is yet, but I am actively tracking temperatures, crane downtime, and repair parts/ labor costs.

Telsa, I'm not sure I understand your last post. Indeed 190F ambient seems to be absolutely out of range for any type of (feasible) point of use cooling technology available today, and especially for a machine that travels close to a quarter mile each way hour after hour.

The list of solutions is shrinking, and may come down to either ducting outside air to the cabinetry, which might get temperatures to 125+ in the enclosure, or to install a conventional compressor based air conditioning unit with its makeup air close to an outside air source, then ducting (much) cooler air to the equipment.

More to come.
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:59 AM   #32
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John, there are no roof vent fans at this time. We might consider a couple of downdraft fans over the parking spot of the crane and the slab runout table. Yes, the temperature 600 feet down the bay would still be abnormal, but even a slight cooldown when back home should help. The space is too vast to ventilate the entire building. Up front costs of retrofitting forced exhaust would almost certainly be cost prohibitive. We have to weigh the cost balance between crane failure modes/ downtime versus capital or maintenance engineering expenditures. I do not know what that balance is yet, but I am actively tracking temperatures, crane downtime, and repair parts/ labor costs.

Telsa, I'm not sure I understand your last post. Indeed 190F ambient seems to be absolutely out of range for any type of (feasible) point of use cooling technology available today, and especially for a machine that travels close to a quarter mile each way hour after hour.

The list of solutions is shrinking, and may come down to either ducting outside air to the cabinetry, which might get temperatures to 125+ in the enclosure, or to install a conventional compressor based air conditioning unit with its makeup air close to an outside air source, then ducting (much) cooler air to the equipment.

More to come.
How do other foundries address this problem?
Or, how does your competition do this process?
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:13 PM   #33
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Most other facilities are purpose built for the hot environment. The most common type I'm familiar with is the ridge roof vent system. You start with a common gable style pitched roof. A smaller louvered peak ridge roof then runs the length of the building and its design creates an inherent draft from bottom to top. I'm sure there are other types of natural ventilation types as well.

The other thing they do is to make the roof high enough to put the bridge rails closer to the center of the building in elevation. This lets the hot air pile up in the peak but leaves the cranes below the hottest area. This is the kind of environment for Peltier cooling, or sometimes simply a couple of filtered fans.

Our flat roof steel building was fine for its initial design when the products were moved around cold. The mistake when designing for expansion was failure to consider the addition of superheat in a low bay environment. Now they either have to live with it or spend a $hit-ton of money to fix it. I'll give them several options with costs, and then we'll see just how badly they want it rectified.
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Old 05-23-2019, 02:44 PM   #34
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Well, I’ve beat my head against the wall for some weeks now, and I think I may have a shot at a solution, or at least a band-aid. However, I could use another opinion or two. I’ll explain:

There appears to be no magic machine available to drop the temperature inside the cabinets. Nothing short of space station equipment can survive the high ambients inside the building. All my A/C engineering contacts have either blocked me or changed their e-mail addresses!

I measured 179F this morning on the cabinet door front with a non contact IR thermometer; too hot to touch bare handed (1000 hrs, inside air ambient 159F, outdoor air ambient 68F @ 64% RH). I measured 149F at the furthest east bridge structure, just beside the man entry door. So, my thoughts are:

1.) I have persuaded the ones- we- bow- to to allow removal of the upper wall section sheet metal on the east side of the building, at least a couple hundred feet of it anyway.

2.) I will be having quotes from our resident HVAC company to install 8” double wall insulated spiral ducting along the upper bridge structure, 30 feet from the cabinet to as close as possible to the east wall without dinging it on columns. There will be a replaceable filter and rain hood at the east intake.

https://www.spiralmfg.com/high-press...d-spiral-pipe/

3.) I’m pondering an 8” Coppus blower (probably the Cadet) installed several feet from the intake.

http://escosalesco.com/PDF/Dresserra...atalog2015.pdf

There would be an 8” duct opening cut into the upper east side of the enclosure and an 8” exhaust hole with slide gate and louvers cut into the lower west side. The blower would (might) be thermostatically controlled but would run continuously throughout the summer. So, here’s where I need thinkers.

I am concerned about condensation during temperature and humidity shifts in the weather (from where the air will be drawn). In the dead heat of summer, I don’t think it’d be a huge problem, but transitions in weather in early spring and fall could have some wild swings, both in temperature and humidity. Do we think that 6-800 CFM of (somewhat) cooler air rolling around in a hotbox full of relays and radio transmitters could become a condensation issue? Should I look at less air movement? If 800 CFM is too much for a 36”x36”x12”, should I send some of the excess air to the contactor cabinets?

I can get at least a 20-30F degree delta T just by forcing in air from 30 feet away, and could even get a bonus if pulling the siding off allows outside air to mingle at the intake. But I damn sure don’t want to drown my electronics in the process.

As usual, all opinions are welcome, except giving this project to someone else! Would love to, but still must earn my tenure.

Regards,
Mark

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Old 05-23-2019, 06:38 PM   #35
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With the humidity in the air and the temperature differentials you may indeed get some rain in that box. How about a fan speed control? Once you determine best practices for airflow vs. relative humidity maybe incorporate a humidistat to control fan speed.

Sounds like you're on to as best as can be expected given the circumstances.
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Old 05-23-2019, 07:05 PM   #36
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I thought you'd only get condensation on the cooler side of the temperature differential, if 150 degree warm humid are comes into a 175 degree cabinet you won't get condensation. You get condensation on a cold glass of water not a hot cup of coffee.
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Old 05-24-2019, 04:31 PM   #37
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Do a search on ammonia absorption units...I know some overseas telecoms were using these units for telecomm cooling in remote areas ; Australia comes to mind , with no power available for standard cooling units.
Same principle as the 3-way style of refrigerator in campers etc.
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:55 AM   #38
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Just a quick update to this thread- I bought and installed an 8" Coppus type blower and located it at the farthest east edge of the bridge (where the siding panels have been removed). I put a K&N air automotive air filter on the intake side, and a 25 foot flexible duct on the exhaust side along the bridge girder to a cut hole in the radio panel. I also installed a filtered louver on the opposite side of the cabinet (to prevent backflow debris if the fan shuts down).

My remote thermometers have told me that at the least we have lowered the internal temperature by 20- 25F (the heat load of the cabinet and a little bit more). We (the electricians) have had no calls to the crane since last Friday for heat related failures. Prior to Friday we were averaging about one call per shift for radio failures. All the guys were doing was opening the cabinet door and letting the electronics cool down for twenty minutes.

So, from my shift reports, and a couple of craftsmen comments, it appears that the electronics are being cooled at least enough to keep functioning. It's still hotter than I wanted, but we are limited for solutions due to the hostile environment. I bought cheap parts and pieces as this is just a proof of concept, but will enhance the install if it proves to be successful for prolonged duration (better fan, insulated ductwork, etc.). It's been hotter than the hinges of hell here and will be around 100F for the next few days. If The crane doesn't go down today or tomorrow, I'll be a seriously happy camper.

Thanks again to all of you who have helped with suggestions and possible solutions. It helps to have other professionals to bounce a few ideas of.

Cheers
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Old 07-19-2019, 11:34 AM   #39
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I'm happy to hear you're on to something that looks positive. And your boss must be happy with the budget.
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