Truck load-specific quality measurement at the Kaipola power plant

Inray Fuel is a quality measurement system for fuel, and it measures the quality of solid fuels in real time, such as moisture and foreign matter contents. The system enables reliable, truck load-specific pricing and the utilisation of online measurement data in process optimisation.

Collaboration with UPM-Kymmene Oyj started in October 2013, when the Inray Fuel system was installed at the fuel reception facility of the Kaipola power plant to be tested over a six-month period. During this period, comparative measurements with other systems were carried out and the system underwent further development, in particular for the more challenging fuel types. The measurement period was successful and clearly showed the advantages of online measuring compared with the current practices.

In December 2014, the Inray Fuel system was re-installed at the UPM-Kymmene Oyj Kaipola plant. At the same time, Inray Fuel was integrated with the plant’s IT systems and many functions were automated. At the moment, the quality of each fuelwood load arriving at the crushing station is measured. As the driver arrives at the receiving station, he launches the measurement process; as he finishes unloading he will immediately be presented with the load’s energy, moisture, and foreign matter contents. Previously this kind of load-specific information was unavailable.

With certain fuel sections, the inner moisture contents for loads have been in the range of 20-80 w-%. With this much variation in moisture, considerable challenges arise for the reliability of methods based on samples. Especially for crushed stumps, the foreign matter content has been high at times. Currently definitions for foreign matter are not done systematically due to the lack of a reliable method.

Unlike other systems Inray Fuel measures the entire fuel mass on the conveyor and calculates the load-specific energy content for it, taking into account foreign matter content as well. Truck load-specific, reliable quality information enables considerable cost savings for the entire production chain through process optimisation.