E.ON Energy

Helping transform the grocery market

E.ON Energy is a leading power generating Company. In addition to conventional fuels the company is involved in renewables and wood pellet fuels. At its bulk terminal in Liverpool’s Bootle Docks it receives wood pellets in bulk freight ships and needs to offload them in the shortest time.

They have installed a bulk hopper 9m x 9m to achieve this result. The hopper loads three freight trains every day. The wood pellets, being organic, have to be kept dry to avoid problems of spontaneous combustion caused by dampness due to rainwater.

E.ON decided that the hopper had to be covered when not being filled and looked for a suitable method to cover the mouth of the hopper. The problem was that, at a height of 18m above the ground in the docks which are exposed to the prevailing west winds, the wind loads are considerable. CopriSystems were approached as a company specialising in mobile structures and asked to come up with a solution.

CopriSystems were able to design a bespoke product based on standard concepts and years of experience. The structure consisted of roof trusses mounted on wheels joined in a longitudinal frame to give rigidity. Each wheel had an anti lift bracket running in a track mounted to the top frame of the hopper and the entire roof was driven by means of a 3 phase electric motor on each side driving a rack and pinion system. The entire roof was covered with a heavy duty PVC coated polyester fabric secured at frequent intervals. Design wind speed was 42.3m/sec (93mph) to conform with British and Euro Standard BSEN 1991-1-4.