A simple demand-side management solution for a typical compressed-air system at a South African gold mine

Leon Liebenberg, Douglas Velleman, Walter Booysen

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Abstract

Once designed, mine compressed-air systems tend to operate at peak levels throughout the life of the mine, despite there being significant periods when this air quantity is not required. This is mainly due to lack of appropriate compressor controls. Consequently, such compressed-air systems are inefficient and wasteful. A compressed-air system at a South African gold mine was retrofitted with an automatic compressor control system featuring compressor cascading and pressure bandwidth control. The goal was to implement a simple demandside management (DSM) strategy to afford meaningful electrical energy savings. The automatic control strategy realised a saving of 1.25 MW (on a baseline of 7.22 MW) during Eskom's evening peak demand window. This represents a reduction of 17.3% in electrical power consumption during the evening peak period, and savings of nearly R2.9 million per year.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages20-29
Number of pages10
Volume23
No2
Specialist publicationJournal of Energy in Southern Africa
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Compressedair systems
  • Demand-side management
  • Gold mines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Energy(all)

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