SIMULATING OPERATIONAL IMPROVEMENTS ON MINE COMPRESSED AIR SYSTEMS

Brandon Friedenstein, Charl Cilliers, Johann Van Rensburg

Abstract


Compressed air systems are one of the most significant energy users on mines, with a contribution of about 20 per cent to the total electrical energy consumption on a mine. Research has shown that these compressed air networks are systemically inefficient. Improving the efficiency of these systems would result in a significant reduction in energy costs. A simulation methodology was developed and investigations were conducted into compressed air systems. A compressed air system was subsequently modelled, and a proposed means of improvement was simulated, analysed, and quantified. A South African gold mine was used as a case study. The results showed that, by reducing air usage at refuge bays, an average power reduction of 0.9 megawatts could be achieved. The improvement in efficiency could potentially lead to R6.3 million in annual energy cost savings. The study shows how simulations can help to improve efficiency and profitability in the mining industry.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7166/29-3-2049

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Copyright (c) 2018 Brandon Friedenstein, Charl Cilliers, Johann Van Rensburg


ISSN 2224-7890 (on-line) ; ISSN 1012-277X (print)


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