IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - Spanish - November/December 2020 - 121

soldadura del acero. La producción de
fertilizantes por fijación de nitrógeno
es su uso más importante.
La potencia de CA fue suministrada
a Union Carbide a 2,250 V, y el consumo fue típicamente de 5,000 hp. La
central contenía 10 transformadores de
2,000 hp y dos de 500 hp, así como
40 motores bifásicos de 1 a 200 hp.

Resumen

figura 11. Horno de carburo de Horry. (Fuente: The Electric Furnace, 1914).

Carburo de calcio
La compañía Union Carbide comenzó
a operar en las Cataratas del Niágara
en 1898. Fabricaba carburo de calcio
(CaC2) usando cal quemada, también
conocida como cal rápida o simplemente cal. La cal se produce al calentar
la piedra caliza a 1,000
°C (1,830 °F) en un
horno de cal. La cal se
combina con el carbono
mezclándola con coque
molido en un horno de
carburo a una temperatura de 1,090 °C (2,000
°F) para producir CaC2.
Inicialmente,
los
hornos producían lingotes de CaC2 en un
horno de proceso por
lotes, pero cuando se
celebró la conferencia
del Instituto Estadounidense de Ingenieros
Eléctricos en las Cataratas del Niágara en
1904, el funcionamiento se había convertido
en continuo utilizando
el horno rotativo de carburo Horry. Había 50 hornos de arco
de CA en funcionamiento, cada uno
de los cuales era circular, de 10 pies de

diámetro, 3 pies de ancho, y hecho de
acero. Dos electrodos de carbono estaban situados en la parte superior de la
tolva, en la que se alimentaba la carga
de coque y cal, como se muestra en el
punto (E) de la figura 11. La cal y el
carbono se fusionaron por el arco entre
los electrodos y el carburo resultante se formó
en el punto (C). El carburo fluido se solidificó
gradualmente mientras
la rueda giraba a la velocidad de una revolución
cada 48 h. Las placas
de cubierta se fijaron a
la rueda en el punto (P)
y, después de que la rotación las llevó a (Q), se
quitaron para permitir
que el carburo solidificado se rompiera. Cada
horno extrajo 4,000 A a
75-80 V.
Una libra de CaC2,
cuando se expone al
agua, suministra 5 ft3
de gas acetileno. La iluminación con gas fue
uno de los principales
usos del acetileno a principios del siglo
XX. El acetileno se usaba, y hasta cierto punto todavía se usa, en el corte y la

En cierto
modo, la
primera
Central
Eléctrica de
Adams podría
considerarse
un proyecto
piloto de
tecnología
eléctrica
moderna.

noviembre/diciembre 2020	

En el mundo de la ingeniería del siglo
XIX, se gastó mucha energía cerebral
debatiendo si la potencia bifásica o
trifásica sería la mejor para ser transmitida y utilizada. Algunos pensaron
que dos fases serían mejores para la
iluminación y tres fases para la potencia industrial. Esto se debió al hecho
de que la iluminación, la mayor carga en ese momento, era monofásica.
También existía la preocupación de
que las cargas monofásicas extraídas
de un circuito trifásico causaran serios
problemas de equilibrio de tensión.
Se preveía que la mayoría de las cargas industriales serían motores, y se
consideraba que los motores trifásicos
eran mejores para esa aplicación. Resultó que, en las Cataratas del Niágara,
la mayoría de los primeros procesos
industriales eran electroquímicos y,
por lo tanto, serían monofásicos en
CA o CC, siendo la CC proporcionada
por convertidores síncronos bifásicos.
Uno puede preguntarse por qué se
consideró el bifásico en primer lugar.
Las patentes originales de Nikola Tesla eran para circuitos bifásicos, así que
cuando Westinghouse compró estas
patentes, adquirió un sistema bifásico. Westinghouse diseñó y construyó
los primeros alternadores del Niágara,
por lo que eran bifásicos por defecto.
Los sistemas bifásicos no se repetirían
en los alternadores de gran potencia
fuera de las dos Centrales Eléctricas
de Adams originales. Las otras cuatro
centrales generadoras de las Cataratas
del Niágara, con varias unidades en línea para 1910, utilizarían alternadores
trifásicos muy parecidos a los que se
utilizan en la actualidad.
En cierto modo, la primera Central
Eléctrica de Adams podría c- onsiderarse
ieee power & energy magazine 	

121



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

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