Cost and time effective DSM on mine compressed air systems
Joubert, Hercules Phillipus Roedolf
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Implementing demand side management (DSM) is expensive and often time consuming. Eskom grants subsidies for DSM projects based on the proposed savings. The subsidy granted is not always adequate to fund all the required control equipment to achieve the desired saving. This study focuses on alternative cost– and time–effective methods to implement DSM on gold mines, specifically on the compressed–air systems where the infrastructure is inadequate, worn out or outdated. The compressors generating compressed air for mining are one of the largest electricity consumer at gold mines. By optimising the energy consumption of these compressed–air systems, the largest potential demand reduction can be achieved. This will lighten the demand load on the already overloaded national power grid. Compressed air at gold mines is mainly used for production purposes, thus the majority of savings on these systems need to be achieved during non–production hours. Fixing air leaks, optimising compressor control, meticulous planning of implementation locations and controlling air usage are all methods that were investigated to achieve alternative cost– and time–effective methods to implement DSM on mine compressed–air systems. The methods were implemented by an Energy Services Company (ESCo) at four different mines. The results achieved from these case studies are documented and discussed in this study.
- ETD@PUK