In the cement industry, energy costs account for a large proportion of production costs. For economic reasons, cement manufacturers strive to further reduce the demand for fuels and electrical energy. At the same time, they try to lower CO₂ emissions in order to safeguard or improve their competitive position. Here, the optimisation of the heat recovery in the clinker cooler is a key lever. Due to frequent fluctuations in the kiln operation, uneven distributions occur in the clinker bed of the cooler and the heat transfer is impaired. In order to assess the efficiency of the heat transfer and to change control variables in a targeted manner, suitable measurement and evaluation methods are still lacking.
In the research project, infrared cameras are used to record the surface temperature of the clinker bed at the inlet and outlet and to calculate specific temperature gradients. Together with calculated cooler enthalpy flows, this allows control room personnel to identify the condition of the cooler. In operational tests, this is used to optimise heat transfer in the clinker cooler by controlling the drive system and adjusting the cooling air distribution. The obtained results should lead to generally accepted recommendations. In addition, a measurement, control, and regulation concept will be developed to integrate the measurement and calculation data into the cooler control system.