STARprobe™

A proven technology allowing simultaneous measurements of four cryolitic bath properties instantly

How it works

It is currently difficult to instantly know the exact and complete status of a pot. The STARprobeTM has been developed specifically to provide all critical real‑time information necessary for optimal pot control in the potroom.

The probe is used to take a sample of the liquid bath of the pot to be controlled. The patented probe tip comprises two calibrated temperature sensors: one measuring the reference material, the second measuring the molten bath sample. Thanks to the DTA (Differential Temperature Analysis), the cooling curve of the bath can be precisely monitored without any interference from ambient conditions.

The four bath properties measured by the STARprobeTM are:

  • Bath temperature
  • Superheat
  • Alumina concentration
  • Bath Ratio (excess AlF3)

Key features

Improved Pot Control

  • Real-time information on status of a pot
  • Precise measurement
  • Measurements are perfectly synchronized, allowing for precise adjustment of parameters to run the pots very close to their optimal limits. Huge improvements have been achieved in Alcoa’s plants using a new automated pot control algorithm1, developed especially to take advantage of this new opportunity:
    • 0.5% improvement of current efficiency
    • Savings in voltage (35 mV)
    • 5% savings in AlF3

Productivity Improvement

  • Very easy to operate – touch-screen interface
  • Automatic data transfer (Wi-Fi)
  • Reliable system – Proven technology used for ten years with over 4 million measurements

 Environment-friendly

  • Reusable probe tips – each allowing 100 measurements on average
  • Probe tips  are recyclable – no waste

[1]  Wang, X., Tarcy, G., Batista, E. and Wood, G. "Active pot control using Alcoa STARprobeTM" Light Metals, (2011), 491-496