Early short circuit detection system in electrolysis cells

Early short circuit detection system in electrolysis cells.

The electrolysis process demands a large amount of energy due to the high currents used. The efficiency of the process corresponds to the relationship established between the metal effectively deposited and the one that should be deposited, according to the amount of electrical current applied.

The efficiency of the electrowinning process depends on the applied current density.

This makes it necessary to avoid:

  • Unwanted electrochemical reactions
  • Eddy currents between cells
  • Corrosion of deposited metals
  • Short circuits, which increase temperature, cause damage and reduce the quality of the product

ECN Automation offers the HotSpot Monitor solution which uses thermographic vision technology and analytic algorithms to determine the temperature of each cell and abnormal / critical heating points that occur in this process. HotSpots Monitor works by using cameras on the plant structure to continuously monitor the temperatures in the electrolysis cells.

This provides an effective solution in detecting temperature outside the allowed range that may cause an eventual short circuit, benefiting the efficient consumption of the energy required in the process, as well as safety in the plant.

System Architecture

System benefits:

  • Continuous temperature monitoring applicable to plants of any size, it automatically integrates the image of several cameras into a single image
  • Generation of temperature alarms in real time
  • Real-time visualization through tablets
  • Automatic storage of images with radiometric information
  • Integration of alarms with plant control systems
  • Embedded processing architectures
  • Viewing historical images for short circuit analysis


The system can be integrated through Modbus / TCP, with different communication protocols.

Modbus TCP/IP Ethernet/IP

Profibus DP

Special functions

HotSpots Book:

Database that stores temperature, energy consumption, date and time and thermographic images at the instant of detection. The information is displayed in a graphical, intuitive and interactive interface which provides tools to create reports quickly and easily with a single click.

Critical HotSpots Panel:

Interface that graphically displays the criticality levels according to the temperature and energy consumption of each hot spot, which allows the creation of different types of alarm according to the level detected.

Cell component replacement alert systems:

Change alert of the cell’s interbus bars, through measuring their wear, based on its latest operating cycle’s hotspot history.