Energy savings through the automatic control of underground compressed air demand
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The sole electricity supplier in South Africa, Eskom, currently has an electricity supply crisis. The supplier requires additional available electricity urgently, particularly during the evening peak period between 18:00 and 20:00. This electricity shortage is due to a steady increase in the demand for electricity, which exceeded the increase in supply capacity, and the inefficient utilisation of electricity. In order to address this problem, Eskom introduced a Demand Side Management (DSM) programme. The aim of DSM projects is to reduce the load of consumers without negatively affecting consumers. Demand Side Management is beneficial for both Eskom and the client. The client benefits from a lower electricity bill and new equipment, while Eskom benefits from a reduced power demand. Various DSM strategies are implemented in different sectors, such as mining and residential. These projects are managed by Energy Service Companies (ESCo). The ESCo is responsible for the identifying, implementing, and maintaining the DSM project. Any identified DSM project is presented to Eskom, which agrees to fund the project depending on the proposed power saving. The mining industry, which has been selected as a candidate for DSM projects, as it is a major consumer of energy with numerous DSM opportunities, is examined in this dissertation. Because compressors are major consumers of electricity on the mines, significant DSM opportunities exist on compressed air systems. The purpose of this research project is to investigate and implement sustainable DSM projects on the compressed air systems of the mining industry. The focus is on automatically controlling the underground demand for compressed air. Reducing the demand for compressed air will result in lower power consumption by the compressors.
- Engineering