Following the success of the 2 tandem rotary wagon tipplers which ThyssenKrupp Fördertechnik GmbH.’s Bulk Materials Handling Division of St. Ingbert Rohrbach in Germany built for the Peat Energy Division of Bord Na Mona (the Irish Peat Board) for the Edenderry Power Station in the Irish Midlands in 2000, they have recently been awarded a contract for 4 similar tipplers to be installed at the new peat-fired power stations under construction at West Offaly and Lough Ree.

The contract was awarded by Foster Wheeler Energia Oy of Varkaus, Finland, which is supplying the two new power stations in the Irish Midlands as turnkey deliveries to the Electricity Supply Board of Ireland (ESB).

Each power station will be equipped with 2 tandem rotary tipplers, which will unload 1 million tonnes of peat per annum at each station.

The 4 tipplers, each with a diameter of 5.5 m., a length of 14 m., a carrying capacity of 24 t. and an unloading capacity of up to 94 wagons/hour, will be supplied complete with side arm chargers, hoppers, discharge belt conveyors and weighing equipment. A facility for lorry unloading will be provided at each power station.

The units have been designed and rated for the unloading of peat trains consisting of a minimum 16 wagons plus 1 locomotive up to a maximum of 20 wagons. The plant will be operated by the locomotive drivers who will pass through the tippler and position the first 2 wagons inside the tippler. Depending on the type of wagon, there is a gap of up to 300 mm. between the wagon buffers. In order to position the wagons accurately in the tippler, the coupling between the wagons must be stretched. To achieve this, the rail track is arranged on an incline, which allows the wagons to roll back until the coupling is stretched after the side arm charger is stopped. Once stretched, the wagons are held by 2 backstops in the tippler.

As soon as the backstops and the light barriers have indicated that the wagons in the tipplers are correctly positioned, the wagons will be tipped. During the time when the tippler is turning, the side arm charger raises its arm and returns 2 wagon lengths to push the trainload forward again by the length of 2 wagons and the whole process is repeated until the train has been completely unloaded.

After the positioning of the first 2 wagons, the operation is automatically controlled by a PLC system and control desk installed in a central control room. The amount of peat delivered to the power station is monitored by weighing equipment installed in the tipplers which weighs each pair of wagons before and after tipping.

The wagon tipplers were selected following a competitive tender exercise and will be similar to the ones supplied to Edenderry which, in turn were versions of single wagon tipplers supplied by ThyssenKrupp Fördertechnik to Bord Na Mona and the Electricity Supply Board of Ireland, some more than 30 years ago, which are still in operation.

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