An integrated energy efficiency strategy for deep mine ventilation and refrigeration
Schutte, Abraham Jacobus
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South Africa’s electricity supply is under pressure. Mining is one of South Africa’s largest electricity consumers with electricity-intensive services such as compressed air, cooling, ventilation, etc. More than 40% of mine electricity consumption is used for cooling and ventilation. There is a need to reduce the operational cost on a mine as electricity prices are set to increase at least 2% above South Africa’s inflation target. The mine-cooling and ventilation system was investigated for energy cost-saving. No clear energy and cost-saving strategy for the entire mine-cooling and ventilation system was found. Projects are implemented ad hoc and scattered throughout the system. A strategy is needed to help realise the total saving available on the entire mine-cooling and ventilation system. An implementation strategy for load-management and energy-saving projects on a mine-cooling and ventilation system was developed. A peak clip project on the surface BAC was developed and added to the strategy. The resultant strategy attains all savings throughout the entire mine-cooling and ventilation system. A peak clip project on the surface BAC of a typical mine results in an annual saving of R1.4 million. Implementing this new project on other mines could save R11 million annually. Implementing the sequenced combination of cooperative projects on a typical mine results in a saving of R30 million. That is a saving of 38% on the ventilation and cooling cost and 16% on the total mine electricity bill.
- Engineering