A versatile energy management system for large integrated cooling systems

Gideon Edgar Du Plessis, Leon Liebenberg, Edward Henry Mathews, Johan Nicolaas Du Plessis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Large, energy intensive cooling systems are found on deep level mines to supply chilled service water and cool ventilation air to the mine. The need exists for a simple, real-time energy management tool for large, integrated cooling systems. A versatile energy management system was developed for the large cooling systems of deep mines as a typical example of a generic systems-based energy management tool. The system connects to the SCADA systems of mines and features a hierarchical control function. Set points of various subsystems are optimised in real-time by means of an integrated, systems approach. Real-time monitoring and automatic reporting functions support integrated energy management. In this paper, the development and viability of the system as a practical and versatile energy management platform are presented. In situ experimental results from implementation on four large cooling systems of different designs, sizes and requirements are considered to investigate the potential for such energy management tools. An average electrical energy saving of 33.3% is realised for all the sites without adversely affecting mine cooling requirements. The potential for application to other large cooling systems is also shown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-325
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Energy management system
  • Large cooling system
  • Mine cooling
  • Real-time control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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