March 5, 2012
Transformer restarted at the Alcoa Fjardaál smelter - Smelter now reaching same production level as before transformer fire

The rectifier which was damaged in a fire in the Alcoa Fjardaál smelter in December 2010 has been restored and restarted. While a transformer in it had to be replaced, other parts could be repaired. The amperage for the potline, which was decreased after the fire, has now been increased and the production is gradually reaching its former level.

The fire occurred in one of the five rectifiers at the Fjardaál smelter, in late December 2010. Quick and correct reactions prevented the fire from spreading further and salvaged the other rectifiers, which were working properly, from overheating due to the heat of the fire. Therefore, the smelter was kept in operation despite the incident.
 
Immediately after the fire, preparations for replacing the rectifier were started. Fjardaál’s rectifiers consist of a rectifier transformer, a voltage regulating transformer, diode rectifiers and various other parts, and the whole rectifier package weighs altogether around 500 tons. Whereas some of the units were repaired in workshops in Reydarfjördur, the rectifier transformer was transported to Norway for repair and a new voltage regulating transformer was built in Japan.
 
Altogether, almost 100 people have been involved in this huge project: Alcoa employees and various contractors, including HRV Engineering, which was the head contractor in the groundwork, design and execution of the project. AFL Engineering was responsible for the surveillance of the project.



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Hoisted ashore


The new voltage regulating transformer (262 tons) from Japan hoisted ashore. It was built by Fuji Electric in Japan.



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"Home" again


The rectifier transformer, which was repaired in Norway, lifted into its place by the smelter. The crane was especially ordered from Denmark for this job, and also to lower the transformer in its place. It weighs about one thousand tons and has a lifting capacity of 750 tons.



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All set


Rectifier has reached its place and started working normally again.