Three surface mount Eurodeck weighbridges installed by Weightron Bilanciai are playing a small yet crucial role in the transportation of biomass to Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire*. The 18-metre, 50-tonne- capacity weighbridges have been installed at King George Dock, at the Port of Hull as part of a £100m investment in biomass handling facilities at the Humber Ports, owned and managed by Associated British Ports (ABP).
The weighbridges are used to weigh vehicles transporting the biomass from ships unloaded at the quayside to the new biomass bulk handling facility within the port. Designed and built by Hull-based Spencer Engineering, this facility incorporates a 3,000m3 storage silo, conveyor system and high-speed rail loading system, capable of loading up to 30 supersize biomass rail wagons in just 45 minutes.
The Eurodeck weighbridges are fitted with Weightron’s CPD digital load cells, which have established a reputation for long- term reliability and precision. The weighing process is controlled via the company’s innovative DD2050 touch screen driver terminals, installed with the Weightron’s powerful Winweigh weighbridge integration software.
The DD2050 terminals, which also incorporate intercoms, provide a simple, yet comprehensive touchscreen interface that guides drivers through the weighing process. This optimizes vehicle throughput and weight data collection/management. Satellite D410 weight terminals are located in the site office for local weight reading. The Weightron system also incorporates incoming vehicle card readers, card swallowers, traffic lights and control barriers. Vehicle position sensors at each end of the weighbridges ensure correct vehicle positioning prior to weighing.
Two of the weighbridges operate in one direction only with single DD2050 terminals, whilst the third has DD2050 driver terminals and controls at both ends, allowing it to be used in either direction. This third weighbridge has been installed adjacent to one of storage sheds and provides a ‘safety net’ back-up for use under extraordinary operational conditions.
Weightron has extensive experience in supplying weighbridge systems to the biomass and energy-from-waste industries. A key benefit for its customers is that the company designs and manufactures all the key components, instrumentation and software within the measuring chain, thereby ensuring optimized system reliability and performance. The Winweigh software manages the weighbridge operation and peripheral equipment to streamline the weighing process, whilst providing seamless integration with the external ABP management system.
Once the conversion of three of Drax Power Station’s generating units to biomass is complete, the vehicle throughput at this site is expected to be the highest for any weighbridge installation in the UK.
Paul Holland, ABP Head of Operations Hull & Goole, is pleased with the operation of the weighbridges:“Accurate and reliable weighing is an essential part of the biomass handling facility at Hull docks. The weighbridge systems ensure efficient vehicle flow and provide essential weight data. It is important to ensure ships can be off- loaded as quickly as possible and that biomass is transported efficiently to the storage discharge silo for onward transportation to Drax Power Station.”
*Drax is set to become the UK’s largest single renewable electricity generator through the operation of the new biomass facilities. The biomass conversion will ultimately see three of the six generating units at the power station converted to burn sustainable biomass in place of coal. Each unit has the capacity to burn around 2.3 million tonnes of biomass per annum. The first unit has been running successfully on sustainable biomass since the spring of 2013. Associated British Ports has signed a 15-year contract with Drax Power Limited to handle biomass shipments destined for the Selby-based power station.