US Pat. No. 9,417,321

MEASUREMENT OF CHARGE BANK LEVEL IN A METALLURGICAL FURNACE

Hatch Ltd., Mississauga ...

1. A system for monitoring a level of a feed material layer contained in a metallurgical furnace, the metallurgical furnace
being an electric furnace, the system comprising:
at least one non-contact sensor to sense a distance between an upper surface of the feed material layer and a reference position,
the at least one sensor positioned above the feed material layer;

a process controller communicably linked to the at least one non-contact sensor to output a control signal based on the sensed
distance;

a protective housing to protect each non-contact sensor;
a thermal radiation shield positioned between each non-contact sensor and the feed material layer;
a gas supply system to flush each protective housing with cooling gas; and
at least one electrode in the metallurgical furnace having one or more operating parameters controllable based on the control
signal, the at least one electrode being communicably linked to the process controller,

wherein the non-contact sensor is electromagnetically insulated from electromagnetic interference present in the metallurgical
furnace, and

wherein the non-contact sensor is selected to penetrate the electromagnetic interference.

US Pat. No. 9,417,322

MEASUREMENT OF CHARGE BANK LEVEL IN A METALLURGICAL FURNACE

Hatch Ltd., Missssiauga ...

1. A method of monitoring a feed material layer in a metallurgical furnace, the metallurgical furnace being an electric furnace
and comprising a plurality of layers of material content, the method comprising:
providing at least one non-contact sensor positioned above the feed material layer contained in the furnace while the furnace
is in use, wherein the at least one non-contact sensor comprises at least one transmitter, and wherein the at least one transmitter
is configured to emit an electromagnetic signal towards the plurality of layers;

providing a protective housing to protect each non-contact sensor;
thermally shielding each sensor by providing a thermal radiation shield between each non-contact sensor and the feed material
layer;

flushing each protective housing with cooling gas;
sensing a sensed distance between an upper surface of the feed material layer and a reference position using the at least
one non-contact sensor;

providing a process controller communicably linked to the at least one non-contact sensor to generate a control signal based
on the sensed distance; and

outputting the control signal
wherein the non-contact sensor is electromagnetically insulated from electromagnetic interference present in the metallurgical
furnace;

wherein the non-contact sensor and characteristics of the electromagnetic signal are selected to penetrate the electromagnetic
interference; and

wherein the protective housing comprises a removable cassette containing refractory cloth to provide thermal shielding.

US Pat. No. 9,273,368

PROCESS FOR DIRECT REDUCTION OF IRON OXIDE

Hatch Ltd., Mississauga,...

1. A process for effecting direct reduction of iron oxide in a shaft furnace having a pre-reduction zone near its uppermost
portion, a metallization zone below the pre-reduction zone, an intermediate zone which separates the pre-reduction zone from
the metallization zone and which includes a restriction to inhibit rich fuel gas from passing from the pre-reduction zone
to the metallization zone, and a cooling zone below the metallization zone at the lowest portion of the shaft furnace, the
process comprising feeding an iron oxide burden to the shaft furnace, passing the iron oxide burden successively downwardly
through the pre-reduction zone, the intermediate zone, the metallization zone, and the cooling zone of the shaft furnace while
passing rich fuel gas produced by external partial combustion with a sub-stoichiometric volume of air upwardly through the
pre-reduction zone in counter-current flow so as to partially reduce the iron oxide burden, and passing reducing gas downwardly
through the metallization zone in co-current flow so as to substantially complete the reduction of the iron oxide burden to
metallic iron, the reducing gas having first been preheated in a gas heater and then subjected to partial combustion with
oxygen to further increase its temperature, and removing metallic iron from the cooling zone.

US Pat. No. 9,377,254

COOLING OF CHILL MOLDS USING BAFFLES

Hatch Ltd., Mississauga,...

16. A method of cooling a molten material, comprising:
pouring the molten material in a plurality of chill molds, each of the chill molds having a bottom panel and at least one
sidewall rising up from the bottom panel defining together a vessel for holding the molten material therein to form a casting;

aligning the chill molds generally in a row on a plurality of supports, each support having a base that holds the support
generally upright on a floor surface and a frame positioned above the base adapted to receive and hold the chill mold so that
the bottom panel is elevated relative to the base;

directing a generally horizontal flow of cooling air underneath the chill molds with at least one fan; and
diverting the flow of cooling air upwardly so as to impinge on the bottom panels of at least some of the chill molds by using
a plurality of baffles arranged underneath the chill molds, each of the baffles having an air flow guiding surface that partially
faces the at least one fan and partially faces a bottom panel.

US Pat. No. 9,103,592

BURNER WITH VELOCITY ADJUSTMENT FOR FLASH SMELTER

Hatch Ltd., Ontario (CA)...

1. A burner for a flash smelting furnace having a reaction shaft, comprising:
a burner block that integrates with the roof of the furnace, the block having a nozzle opening therethrough to communicate
with the reaction shaft of the furnace;

a wind box to supply combustion gas to the reaction shaft through the nozzle opening at a controllable velocity, the wind
box being mounted over the nozzle;

an injector having a sleeve for delivering pulverous feed material to the furnace and having a central lance within the sleeve
to supply compressed air for dispersing the pulverous feed material in the reaction shaft, the injector mounting within the
wind box so as to extend through the nozzle opening in the block, defining therewith an annular channel through which combustion
gas from the wind box is supplied into the reaction shaft, the annular channel having a cross-sectional area transverse to
the axis of the injector and the nozzle opening; and

an injector surrounding structure extending from the wind box through the nozzle opening in the block;
wherein one of the surrounding structure and the injector is movable relative to the other by control means exterior of the
wind box so as to adjust the cross-sectional area of the annular channel and thereby control a velocity of the combustion
gas supplied into the reaction shaft.

US Pat. No. 9,347,708

FURNACE WITH REFRACTORY BRICKS THAT DEFINE COOLING CHANNELS FOR GASEOUS MEDIA

Hatch Ltd., Mississauga,...

1. A furnace suitable for metallurgical processes, comprising:
a hearth, at least one refractory side wall, and an outer shell plate adjacent to and supporting said side wall;
said side wall including exterior bricks having external faces adjacent to said shell plate, at least some of which exterior
bricks having profiled external faces to define gaseous media cooling channels that extend along the exterior of said side
wall, between said side wall and said shell plate,

wherein said channels are aligned with joints between successive courses of said profiled exterior bricks; and
cooling plates located within said gaseous media cooling channels and extending into said joints between successive courses
of said profiled exterior brick.

US Pat. No. 9,322,076

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR TEMPERATURE CONTROL IN A REACTOR VESSEL

HATCH LTD., Mississauga,...

6. An apparatus for controlling a temperature within a reactor vessel, the apparatus comprising:
(a) a preheating vessel comprising:
a first inlet adapted to receive at least a portion of a feed material;
an outlet adapted to discharge the feed material to the reactor vessel;
a second inlet adapted to receive a first heating medium;
a heating section in which feed material entering said preheating vessel through said first inlet is heated by contact with
the first heating medium, wherein said first inlet is located relative to said heating section such that feed material entering
said preheating vessel through said first inlet is heated by contact with the first heating medium;

a collection section downstream of said heating section, wherein feed material heated in said heating section is collected
in said collection section, and wherein said outlet is adjacent to said collection section; and

a third inlet adapted to receive at least a portion of the feed material, wherein said third inlet is located relative to
said heating section such that feed material entering said preheating vessel through said third inlet at least partially bypasses
said heating section;

(b) a preheating control valve located upstream of said preheating vessel, wherein said preheating control valve comprises
an inlet adapted to receive at least a portion of the feed material and an outlet in flow communication with said third inlet
of said preheating vessel, the preheating control valve being operable to adjust the relative proportions of feed material
entering said preheating vessel through said first inlet and said third inlet;

(c) a temperature sensing device adapted to measure a temperature within the reactor vessel and generate a corresponding reactor
temperature signal;

(d) a reactor heating control system adapted to supply a controlled amount of a second heating medium to the reactor vessel
to thereby increase the temperature within the reactor vessel;

(e) a reactor cooling control system adapted to supply a controlled amount of a cooling medium to the reactor vessel to thereby
decrease the temperature within the reactor vessel; and

(f) a controller programmed to: receive said reactor temperature signal; and determine whether the temperature within the
reactor vessel is to be increased or decreased, wherein:

said controller is programmed to control the operation of said preheating control valve in response to said reactor temperature
signal so as to increase or decrease the temperature at which the feed material is discharge;

said controller is programmed to control the operation of said reactor heating control system to supply the second heating
medium to the reactor vessel in an amount sufficient to increase the temperature within the reactor vessel; and

said controller is programmed to control the operation of said reactor cooling control system to supply the cooling medium
to the reactor vessel in an amount sufficient to decrease the temperature within the reactor vessel.

US Pat. No. 9,863,707

FURNACE WITH REFRACTORY BRICKS THAT DEFINE COOLING CHANNELS FOR GASEOUS MEDIA

Hatch Ltd., Mississauga,...

1. A furnace suitable for high temperature processes, comprising:
a crucible, defining at least a hearth and a wall, the crucible having an inner refractory lining, and an outer support structure
adjacent to and supporting at least a portion of said refractory lining;

said refractory lining having at least a portion with an external face adjacent to said support structure, at least a part
of said refractory lining having gaseous media cooling channels, and cooling plates within the cooling channels that provide
thermal contact with the gaseous media, said cooling plates extending into said refractory lining.

US Pat. No. 10,167,423

GRANULATED SLAG PRODUCTS AND PROCESSES FOR THEIR PRODUCTION

HATCH LTD., Mississauga,...

1. A process for preparing solid slag granules from a molten slag composition, comprising:(a) providing the molten slag composition;
(b) converting the molten slag composition into the solid slag granules in a dispersion apparatus; and
(c) sorting the solid slag granules by shape in a separator to produce a plurality of fractions having different sphericities, wherein at least one of the fractions produced by said sorting consists of said solid slag granules having an average sphericity of greater than 0.6, wherein at least one of the fractions produced by said sorting consists of said solid slag granules having an average sphericity of less than 0.6, and wherein a ratio of said solid slag granules having an average sphericity of greater than 0.6 to said solid slag granules having an average sphericity of less than 0.6 is controllable by adjustment of one or more of the following parameters:
(a) the temperature of the molten slag composition; and
(b) an angle between a gas stream and a falling stream of said molten slag composition, where the dispersion apparatus comprises an atomization apparatus.

US Pat. No. 9,657,939

FLUIDIC CONTROL BURNER FOR PULVEROUS FEED

Hatch Ltd., Mississauga,...

1. A burner for use on a flash smelting furnace having a roof and a reaction shaft, the burner comprising:
a burner structure that integrates with the roof of the furnace, having a nozzle that defines an opening therethrough to communicate
with the reaction shaft of the furnace;

a gas supply channel to supply reaction gas to the reaction shaft through the nozzle;
a feed supply for delivering pulverous material;
an injector having a sleeve for delivering the pulverous material into the furnace, the injector extending through the nozzle,
defining therewith an annular channel through which the reaction gas flows into the reaction shaft, with the reaction gas
flow having at least one boundary layer within the annular channel;

a fluidic control system having at least one port to direct a stream of fluidic control regulating fluid at an angle to the
direction of flow of the reaction gas through the annular channel;

wherein the stream of fluidic control regulating fluid is used to manipulate the at least one boundary layer and thereby adjust
the cross-sectional area of the reaction gas flow within the annular channel so as to alter the exit velocity of the reaction
gas flow into the reaction shaft.

US Pat. No. 9,850,138

PONDS FOR COOLING AND/OR SALT RECOVERY

HATCH LTD., Mississauga ...

1. A pond for cooling an aqueous solution, comprising:
(a) a plurality of channels arranged side-by-side, each of the channels being defined by a plurality of sides;
(b) an inlet provided in a side of one of said channels for receiving said aqueous solution;
(c) an outlet provided in a side of another one of said channels for discharging said aqueous solution from the pond;
(d) at least one dike, wherein each said dike separates an adjacent pair of said channels from one another and defines one
of the sides in each of the channels which it separates, said adjacent pair of channels comprising an upstream channel and
a downstream channel; and

(e) at least one gap, wherein each said gap is formed in one of said dikes to permit the aqueous solution to flow between
the upstream channel and the downstream channel, the gap having a length which is about 10 to about 40 percent of the length
of the sides of the channels;

wherein at least some of the channels have a generally rectangular shape with a pair of longer sides and a pair of shorter
sides, and wherein the dikes define at least one of the longer sides of each said channel;

wherein the inlet is defined by an inlet opening and a pair of outwardly diverging walls which provide the inlet with a fan
shape; and

wherein each of the outwardly diverging walls of the inlet extends outwardly from the inlet opening to one of the longer sides
of the channel in which the inlet is provided.

US Pat. No. 9,827,547

MULTI-COMPARTMENT REACTOR AND METHOD FOR CONTROLLING RETENTION TIME IN A MULTI-COMPARTMENT REACTOR

HATCH LTD., Mississauga,...

1. A method for controlling retention time of an aqueous reaction mixture in a reactor, the method comprising:
(a) providing said reactor, wherein the reactor comprises a plurality of compartments including a first compartment and a
last compartment, and wherein each adjacent pair of said compartments is separated by a divider having at least one opening
for flow of the reaction mixture, wherein the at least one opening in each divider is located below a liquid level of the
reaction mixture in the compartments which are separated by the divider;

(b) providing a level sensor in one of the compartments, wherein the level sensor is configured to generate level information
regarding the liquid level in said compartment:

(c) providing a control valve to control the liquid level in the last compartment:
(d) providing a controller which is configured to receive the level information from the level sensor, and to control operation
of the control valve:

(e) passing the aqueous reaction mixture through the reactor at a first flow rate, wherein the reaction mixture flows through
the reactor from the first compartment to the last compartment, wherein most or all of the reaction mixture flows between
each adjacent pair of said compartments by passing through the at least one opening in the divider separating the adjacent
compartments;

(f) generating the level information with the level sensor, and transmitting the level information to the controller; and
(g) controlling operation of the control valve with the controller to vary a rate at which the product mixture is withdrawn
from the last compartment so as to simultaneously adjust the liquid levels in all the compartments and thereby change the
retention time.

US Pat. No. 9,791,416

FURNACE STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY MONITORING SYSTEMS AND METHODS

Hatch Ltd., Mississauga ...

1. An acoustic emission monitoring system for monitoring structural integrity of a furnace having a furnace shell, the system
comprising:
a controller; and
a plurality of acoustic emission sensors mounted to the furnace shell and in communication with the controller to provide
electric signals corresponding to one or more acoustic emissions generated in the furnace to the controller, the plurality
of acoustic emission sensors comprising at least three acoustic emission sensors, wherein at least two acoustic emission sensors
are vertically offset from each other and at least two acoustic emission sensors are laterally offset from each other, and
wherein the vertical offset is smaller than the lateral offset, and wherein an electric signal is registered as an acoustic
emission event if detected by a predetermined number of acoustic emission sensors,

wherein the controller is configured to determine an operating threshold value during steady-state operation of the furnace
and determine one or more failure conditions based on the operating threshold value and one or more acoustic emission events,

wherein the controller includes a location module for estimating a location of origin of the one or more failure conditions,
and

wherein the controller is configured to analyze a moment tensor determined by the controller based on one or more electric
signals pertaining to a particular acoustic emission event in order to identify a cracking mode associated with the particular
acoustic emission event.

US Pat. No. 9,870,593

SYSTEM, METHOD AND CONTROLLER FOR MANAGING AND CONTROLLING A MICRO-GRID

HATCH LTD., Mississauge ...

22. A system of controlling a micro-grid network, the system comprising:
a plurality of distributed energy resources including at least one dispatchable energy resource and at least one intermittent
energy resource, wherein at least one distributed energy resource is an energy storage element and at least one of the intermittent
energy resources is responsive to environmental conditions to generate power;

a plurality of loads coupled to the plurality of distributed energy resources;
a controller coupled to the plurality of distributed energy resources and the plurality of loads, the controller comprising
a processor and a memory coupled to the processor, the controller further comprising a steady state control module, a dynamic
control module and an adder coupled to the steady state control module and the dynamic control module,
wherein:
the controller is configured to receive at least one operational constraint corresponding to each distributed energy resource;
the memory is configured to record the at least one operational constraint corresponding to each distributed energy resource;
the processor is configured to receive one or more system wide signals representative of a predicted change to the network,
wherein the predicted change comprises an environmental condition prediction;

the steady state control module is configured to periodically generate, in a predetermined frequency, a component control
signal for each distributed energy resource in a first set of distributed energy resources, including the energy storage element,
based on the environmental condition prediction and the at least one operational constraint corresponding to the respective
distributed energy resource, wherein the component control signal defines a steady state set-point for each distributed energy
resource of the first set of the distributed energy resources;

the processor is further configured to receive one or more network disturbance signals representative of a sudden change within
the network;

the dynamic control module is configured to select from the plurality of distributed energy resources, a second set of distributed
energy resources having respective at least one operational constraints suitable to be engaged to address the sudden change
within the network, the second set of distributed energy resources having at least the energy storage element and at least
one other type of distributed energy resource in common with the first set of distributed energy resources;

the dynamic control module being further configured to dynamically generate a dynamic control signal for each distributed
energy resource in the second set of distributed energy resources, based on the one or more network disturbance signals and
the at least one operational constraint corresponding to the respective distributed energy resource to address the sudden
change within the network, the dynamic control signal defining a set-point perturbation to the respective steady state set-points
of each distributed energy resources in the second set of distributed energy resources;

the adder being configured to combine the steady state set-point of each distributed energy resources in the second set of
distributed energy resources generated by the steady state control module with the respective set-point perturbation of each
distributed energy resources in the second set of distributed energy resources generated by the dynamic control module to
generate an overall control signal; and

the controller being further configured to maintain a voltage and a frequency of the network within a predetermined range
with the overall control signal.

US Pat. No. 10,100,930

SLEEVE SEAL FOR ELECTRIC FURNACE ELECTRODES

HATCH LTD., Mississauga ...

1. A seal assembly for sealing a substantially annular opening between a cylindrical surface and a fixed surface for use at temperatures not typically suitable for elastic materials, comprising:(a) a sealing member having a secured edge arranged to be secured to the fixed surface and a movable edge arranged to engage the cylindrical surface, the sealing member being flexible and allowing displacement of the moveable edge parallel to and perpendicular to a vertical axis of the cylindrical surface; and
(b) a spring member located inside the movable edge of the sealing member, the spring member arranged to be in tension tangent to the cylindrical surface and force the moveable edge of the sealing member away from the secured edge and into sealing engagement with the cylindrical surface.