IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - Spanish - November/December 2020 - 119

de la Compañía Pittsburgh Reduction
a 115 V CA para impulsar tres convertidores rotativos. Estos convertidores
produjeron 160 V CC para dar una salida total de 7,500 A para el uso de los
hornos. Como el proceso era continuo,
una vez que se iniciaba tenía que correr hasta su finalización. Si el aluminio fundido se solidificara, el horno se
arruinaría. La Compañía Eléctrica de

las Cataratas del Niágara garantizó un
suministro continuo, las 24 horas del
día y los 7 días de la semana, durante la duración del contrato. También se
conectó un convertidor de repuesto y el
lado de la CC fue respaldado por baterías de almacenamiento.
En 1907, la Compañía Pittsburgh Reduction había cambiado su nombre por
el de Aluminum Company of America-

Un regulador
de inducción
es como un
motor de
inducción que
no gira.
Alcoa. Cesó la producción en las
Cataratas del Niágara, Nueva York,
en 1949.

Carborundum

figura 8. Patente estadounidense emitida para el horno eléctrico. (Fuente: The
U.S. Patent Office, U.S. Patent 560,291, 19 de mayo de 1896).
noviembre/diciembre 2020	

La Compañía Carborundum comenzó
sus operaciones en el otoño de 1895.
Edward G. Acheson, uno de los inventores (1891) del proceso del carborundo, fue también el presidente de la
compañía. El material conocido como
carborundo es el compuesto carburo
de silicio (SiC). El SiC es un mineral
sintético, es decir, no se encuentra en
la naturaleza. Se forma utilizando una
mezcla de material carbonoso (normalmente coque de petróleo) y una
arena de sílice o de cuarzo, que reacciona a altas temperaturas para formar
SiC y CO. La energía para la reacción
se proporcionaba al pasar CA a través
del núcleo. Este núcleo estaba compuesto de carbono muy puro para ofrecer una menor resistencia al paso de la
corriente eléctrica que la del material
circundante. También tenía que ser
capaz de ser calentado a un grado intenso sin destrucción. El material que
rodeaba el núcleo era una mezcla de
20 partes, en peso, de carbón, coque u
otra forma de carbono reducido a pequeñas partículas; 29 partes de arena;
cinco partes de sal común; y dos partes de aserrín. Después de unas pocas
horas de funcionamiento, el calor del
núcleo causaba que la mezcla circundante se encendiera, como se muestra
en la figura 7. Esto aumentaba su temperatura y producía un ahorro en la
cantidad de energía eléctrica gastada.
El proceso duraba aproximadamente
24 h, después de lo cual se apagaba la
energía, y se dejaba enfriar al lingote.
ieee power & energy magazine 	

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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - Spanish - November/December 2020

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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - Spanish - November/December 2020 - Cover3
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