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Resurrection of a CFEI 100 KVA Induction Furnace

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awemawson:
As some of you may know it has been my intention to get my 100 KVA induction furnace back into a working state. It was all set up and functioning before I moved house nearly 13 years ago, but since then it has been tucked away in the fire proof room I built specially for it when the workshop was erected. Other things have taken priority and it's never been re-commissioned.

Back in Bromley before I moved, I powered it from a 100 KVA Agrecko diesel generator sat at the bottom of my garden, and as here I have a large enough incoming 3 phase supply (160 amps per phase) I sold the generator to fund building works.

Now, so many years later I am loath to slap it across the incoming mains, as if things have deteriorated over the time in storage it could cause considerable nuisance to the local community when I trip the local over head supply. Hence buying and re-building another generator described here :

https://madmodder.net/index.php/topic,12989.0.html

Initially I had intended to house the generator in a 'lean too' extension that we call the stable on the opposite side of my workshop from the fire proof room, but this has the disadvantage of being quite a way away, hence long expensive cable, and a bit remote to shut down in an emergency. Also the floor slopes somewhat and is rather rough concrete.

Investigating small containers / lorry backs / freezer rooms / concrete sectional garages to place in a bit of ground actually next to the fire proof room they all were discounted for one reason or another - mainly cost.

I then had the bright idea to buy a three axle 'plant trailer' allowing me to push the generator into place on this bit of ground, weather proofing it by building a steel sheeted  frame over it - trailer described in this thread :

https://madmodder.net/index.php/topic,13086.0.html

The shine came off that idea when I costed the metal work for the cover and it was coming out at over 600, so this morning I started investigating the cost of cabling (massive cross section) as I reasoned that with a bit of ingenuity I could extend the Emergency Cut Off circuit into the foundry itself.

Now I knew that I had some (short I thought) flexible 5 core 35 mm '07RN-F' umbilical cords already made off with massive male and female 'Commando' plugs and sockets from the original installation but had no idea how long they were. If I bought some more I could perhaps wire the generator across the back wall of the main workshop. Now this stuff is  26 per metre so I didn't want to buy more than needed.

Having wrestled the coils from whence they were stored (on top of the CEIF driver box - oh boy are they heavy!) It turns out that I have a 10 metre and an 18 metre length - a really excellent find as it's enough without buying more  :thumbup:

My friend Graham (Seadog) came the other day and we were discussing the furnace and looking at pictures that I'd taken back in 2005 of it's internal electronics, and to my absolute HORROR I noticed that there is a 3.6 volt Lithium battery in a holder on the main board that presumably retains some needed parameters, and is now well over 15 years old  :bugeye: I have no idea what is RAM  retained or how the parameters are set, so this could be a show stopper as I doubt information is around on these rather rare animals.

Needless to say we shot out at a great rate of knots, moved things about so doors could be opened, and AMAZINGLY the battery STILL measures 3.6 volts  :clap:

So the show is still on - phew

awemawson:
I think that the next thing to do is get the chiller working - this keeps the water cooling jacket cool for the internal high power electronics in the blue box, and also that surrounds the drive cables for the actual induction coil that is wrapped around the crucible.

I still have an access issue in that space - things have to go, so if anyone wants the huge BOC TIG welder (red box) and the Bridgeport chip tray (on top of the chiller) they can have them for free if they come and collect.

mattinker:
Hi Andrew,
Looking forward to this thread! Maybe you'll have a pour scheduled around Christmas! Knowing you, you'll have it up and running well before then but I'd love to see it in operation!

Cheers, Matthew

awemawson:
Matthew good to have you along - oh believe me I too would LOVE to see it working after all these years  :clap:

It's a totally illogical thing to do - I got the Induction Furnace because my neighbour at the last place built a house in the bottom of his garden so I ended up with someones kitchen next to my oil burning smelly foundry.

I moved so that I don't have such problems being a bit more isolated here (as you know) so logically I should really have abandoned this furnace and made another oil fired one but the pig headed bit of me is determined to get it going again.

mattinker:

--- Quote from: awemawson on March 09, 2020, 10:58:27 AM ---
It's a totally illogical thing to do. What has logic got to do with all this? More fun!



--- End quote ---

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