The cost-effectiveness of comprehensive system control on a mine compressed air network
Van der Linde, Stephanus Nicolaas
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Compressed air leakage accounts for up to 42% of electrical energy loss on a typical mine compressed air system. By using underground control valves it is possible to reduce the amount of air leakage. Underground valve control was successfully implemented in a South African mine. The project implementation and achieved results are documented in this study. The implementation of underground control valves initially requires a large capital investment. In this study the electrical and financial savings realised by underground valve control and surface valve control were calculated. The payback periods for each control strategy were determined and compared. It was determined that underground valve control can realise up to 40% higher electrical savings than surface control. Depending on the size of the mine and due to the large initial investment, the payback period for an underground valve control system can be up to six times longer than that of a surface control system.
- Engineering