Steel News

SMS group Unveils DC Power System for Metals Plants

12/16/2022 - SMS group has launched sales of an internal DC grid that promises to help steel mills decarbonize production and run more efficiently. 

Called DC ECO GRID, the SMS group technology allows plant components to link to standard AC power systems as well as to renewable energy sources and energy storage units. 

“As a systems supplier and system integrator of large-scale steel production plants, we combine all electrical consumers and power producers. Our DC ECO GRID connects them to hybrid power distribution grids, AC and DC, thus improving the plant’s energy efficiency. It is the link between a green metals industry and new green energy supply systems,” said Gerald Mayr, SMS group executive vice president, electrics/automation. 

“Combined with energy management consulting, business case definition and concept development as well as solution design and system integration, we provide an integrated solution – from a single source,” he added. 

Conventional metallurgical plants are typically supplied with power from three-phase AC grids, but the disadvantage there, SMS group said, is electrical loss arising from flicker compensation and adaptation of the power factor, along with the physical space requirements for such plants. 

However, the DC ECO Grid solves some of those problems, SMS group said, because fewer rectifier components are required. Another advantage, the company said, is that the system can recover wasted energy. 

“Unlike AC grids, in which the braking energy of the machines often goes to waste in the form of heat, DC grids allow for energy to be recuperated and fed back into the grid,” it said. 

But the biggest advantage is the ability to power plant components with renewables and connect to energy storage systems. 
“With renewable energy sources and energy storage units connected directly to the DC ECO GRID, the plant is not only more flexible and independent of overall variations or power outages that might occur in the public grid, but also relies on CO2-neutral resources for green steel production,” SMS group said. 

SMS group has more details about the technology here.