Leading electrical equipment supplier Zest WEG Group recently commissioned an installation at a sugar mill in Mozambique that has not only led to robust improvements in centrifuge performance, but has also achieved significant energy savings.
The scope of supply included three 132 kW squirrel cage electric motors from WEG`s W22 range and three WEG AFW11 variable speed drives with an active front end to drive the mill’s centrifuges. The drives supplied are equipped with a regenerative unit that regenerates energy back to the supply under braking conditions and the design of the motors was also customised to avoid any change on the existing installation.
The mill’s existing motor also had external cooling and additional 18.5 kW motors were used to draw clean air in from the outside atmosphere for this purpose. The solution provided by Zest WEG Group completely eliminated the need for this external cooling system, saving energy
Although it has successfully completed several installations in the sugar sectors of other African countries, this is the first project of its kind to be carried out by Zest WEG Group in Mozambique.
In addition to a 30% improvement in productivity, the quality of the sugar from the new centrifuges also improved at the mill. The existing system had taken too long to slow down and the sugar had dried out more, creating a caking effect. With the new system, the mill operating team now has more flexibility and control over the drying times.
“I believe this order was placed with us amid stiff competition based predominantly on our track record of supplying custom designed electrical solutions to sugar operations in remote areas of Africa,” Edson Cristofolini, Zest WEG Group product and projects manager, says. “Our team spent a lot of time researching and engineering a solution that would suit this particular application, working in close consultation with the mill’s technical team and drawing from our extensive experience in the African sugar sector. We also tapped into the international knowledge of our holding company, WEG, a leading supplier of electrical solutions to the sugar industry in Brazil and other parts of the world.”
The installation, fully customised to integrate with existing technology, was installed and commissioned within a week to ensure minimum downtime on the production process.
“The sugar industry in Mozambique is growing steadily and we believe further investments will be made to boost productivity in that country and to bring old technology up to modern standards,” Cristofolini comments. “Based on our experience and existing track record in this industry we are extremely well positioned to meet these needs.”
At the same time, the Zest WEG Group team installed an 800 kW motor in another area of the mill to control the cane cutter and a 1.8 MW slipring motor to power the cane shredder.
The Zest WEG Group is an acknowledged leader in the supply of electric motors and drives, motor control panels, generator sets, energy solutions and ancillary products and services.