Control of an underground rock winder system to reduce electricity costs on RSA gold mines
Vosloo, Jan Corné
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This dissertation discusses and presents the necessary steps to identify, simulate and control an underground rock winder system. This is done to reduce the electricity bill on a mine without influencing production. These elements were developed for the gold mining industry in South Africa, as it consumes a big part of the South African electricity supply. The backbone of this research was based on the time-of-use electricity pricing structure, and the Eskom Demand Side Management (DSM) program. An Energy Savings Company (ESCO) usually performs such an energy analysis on mining appliances, and this thesis can guide the ESCO in completing the project with success. The tools developed were Real-time Energy Management System (REMS) Winder and REMS Winder Simulator. These integrated tools aim to predict and control load management on rock winders. This system was successfully implemented on Kopanang gold mine in South Africa. The average load shift obtained in the first month after project completion (June 2006) was 3.5MW, which resulted in a monthly savings of R38,OOO. A pilot study was further conducted on three other major rock winder systems in the Western-Deep area. From this study it was found that a maximum evening load shift of 9.5MW and a saving of R1.3 million could be realised. This research showed that with the necessary historical data and accurate simulations, a load shifting project can be successfully implemented on a mine's rock winder system. This new system can be implemented on both platinum and gold mines.
- Engineering