The simulation, verification and application of an underground pumping system
Van der Bijl, Johannes
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The purpose of this research project was to modify an existing software programme, QUICKControl (which was originally designed for ventilation and cooling applications in the building industry), to be applicable to mine water pumping systems. The ultimate objective was to then use this modified programme to enable energy management and control of these systems. The existing component models in this software program, i.e. pumps, valves, flow converges and diverges, were modified for the purpose of this study, and a new model of a thermal storage darn was incorporated into the software. The predictions made by the simulation software were verified with the actual measured data from the system's operation. Measured data such as dam levels, water flow rates and active pumps were used for verification purposes. After completion of the verification study, various energy investigations were conducted to study the potential of Demand Side Management on the system's operation. The total pumped volume of water from the underground workings to the surface dam were verified within a 1% error compared against the actual measured data. The various dam levels were verified with errors ranging from 0.19% to 8.08%. Total energy usage of the system was verified with an error less than 5% compared to the measured energy usage of the system. The energy studies revealed the potential of shifting a load of approximately 70000kWh (out of the peak tariff periods) from the daily operation, with a maximum demand shift of 14MW over 5 hours. The study showed that it was possible to accurately simulate the operation of the pumping systems. This simulation was then used to predict the operation of the system when specific control strategies were implemented. Results showed that these new strategies would improve plant operation as well as save the mine significant energy costs.
- Engineering