Reduced Ventilation of Upper Part of Aluminum Smelting Pot: Potential Benefits, Drawbacks, and Design Modifications

  • Ruijie Zhao
  • Louis Gosselin
  • Mario Fafard
  • Donald P. Ziegler
Part of the The Minerals, Metals & Materials Series book series (MMMS)


Maintaining current draft conditions in the upper part of Al smelting cell requires important electricity consumption for the fans. A reduction of the ventilation rate could significantly diminish the total power requirement at the blowers. However, adverse changes in operating conditions due to this ventilation reduction may disrupt the pot thermal equilibrium. A CFD model was created to investigate the influence of ventilation reduction on pot thermal balance. With the objective of maintaining normal heat losses by the top of the cell, several modifications are simulated, such as using plate fins on the anode assembly, changing hood gap geometry and modifying anode cover thickness. Heat transfer rates are determined for these modified designs, and compared to those currently achieved.


aluminum smelting pot energy efficiency fan power CFD ventilation reduction 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    A. Sørhuus and G. Wedde, “Pot Gas Heat Recovery and Emission Control”, Light Metals 2009, (2009), 281–286.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    M. Fleer et al., “Heat Recovery from the Exhaust Gas of Aluminum Reduction Cells,” Light Metals 2010, (2010), 243–248.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    M. D. Gadd, “Aluminium Smelter Cell Energy Flow Monitoring” (Ph.D. thesis, University of Auckland, 2003).Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    H. Abbas et al., “The Impact of Cell Ventilation on the Top Heat Losses and Fugitive Emissions in an Aluminium Smelting Cell”, Light Metals 2009, (2009), 551–556.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    H. Abbas, “Mechanism of Top Heat Loss from Aluminium Smelting Cells” (Ph.D. thesis, University of Auckland, 2010).Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    O. A. Lorentsen et al., “Handling CO2eq from an Aluminum Electrolysis Cell”, Light Metals 2009, p. 263.Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    R. Zhao et al., “Heat Transfer in Superstructure of Electrolytic Cells-Part I: Thermal Circuit and Sensitivity Analysis from a Waste Heat Recovery Standpoint”, Applied Thermal Eng., (2012), (submitted).Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    ANSYS FLUENT, “Ansys Fluent 12.0/12.1 Documentation,” Users Guide Manual, Ansys Inc, 2009.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Z. J. Zhai et al., “Evaluation of Various Turbulence Models in Predicting Airflow and Turbulence in Enclosed Environments by CFD: Part I—Summary of Prevalent Turbulence Models”, HVAC&R Research, 2007, vol. 13, no. 6:853–870.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    Z. Zhang et al., “Evaluation of Various Turbulence Models in Predicting Airflow and Turbulence in Enclosed Environments by CFD: Part 2—Comparison with Experimental Data from Literature”, HVAC&R Research, 2007, vol. 13, no. 6:871–886.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    R. Zhao et al., “Heat Transfer in Upper Part of Electrolytic Cells-Part II: Heat and Flow Analysis and Correlations Based on CFD”, Applied Thermal Engineering, (2012), (submitted).Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    K. Rye, “Heat Transfer, Thermal Conductivity, and Emissivity of Hall-Heroult Top Crust”, Light Metals 1995, (1995) p. 441–449.Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    R. H. Perry et al., Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook, (McGraw-Hill New York, 1984), vol. 7.Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    M. Taylor et al., “A dynamic model for the energy balance of an electrolysis cell”, Chem. Eng. Res. & Design, 1996, vol. 74, no. 8:913–933.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. [15]
    X. C. Shen et al., “Top Heat Loss in Hall-Heroult Cells”, Light Metals 2008, (2008), 501–504.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruijie Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Louis Gosselin
    • 1
  • Mario Fafard
    • 2
  • Donald P. Ziegler
    • 3
  1. 1.Aluminium Research Centre-REGAL and Departement of Mechanical EngineeringUniversité LavalQuébec City, QuébecCanada
  2. 2.NSERC/Alcoa Industrial Research Chair MACE and Aluminium Research Centre-REGALUniversité LavalQuébec City, QuébecCanada
  3. 3.Aluminerie DeschambaultAlcoa Canada Primary MetalsDeschambault-GrondinesCanada

Personalised recommendations