Sustained energy performance on compressed air systems for expanding gold mines
The energy provider in South Africa, Eskom, faces an increasing electricity demand. The need to ensure sufficient supply gave rise to Demand Side Management (DSM) projects scheme. The DSM focus has shifted to the mining sector in South Africa. The large electricity use of the mining sector ensured the need for Energy Services Companies (ESCo’s). The ESCo is contracted to ensure energy savings of DSM projects implemented within the multiple sectors such as mining industry. The mining sector business model has the constant pressure to increase gold production. This pressure to expand has led to rapid expansion plans to increase the gold output for the relevant company. The expansion process and production increase in turn increases the electricity consumption. Compressed air use is a large contributing factor to the monthly electricity use as it is widely used within the mine sector. The implementation of a DSM project on the compressed air ring of an expanding gold mine was the focus of the study. This case study focused on an expanding gold mine within South Africa. The DSM lifecycle was followed to initially determine the DSM saving potential. The possible control strategies were investigated with simulation models and savings calculations. The viable option was to be implemented with a preliminary control philosophy. Results were in turn compared with the initial investigations and control philosophy. The deviations as experienced with implementation were addressed and a potential sustainable control philosophy for an expanding gold mine was constructed. The results indicated, verified Eskom peak clip electricity savings of 2.165 MW of the 2.4 MW target. The energy efficiency component for these performance assessment months was 1.944 MW of the targeted 1.5 MW. The sustainability of the system was proven with production increase on an expanding gold mine.
- Engineering