SUNConferences, 29th Annual Conference of SAIIE

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SIMULATING OPERATIONAL IMPROVEMENTS ON MINE COMPRESSED AIR SYSTEMS
Brandon Friedenstein, Charl Cilliers, Johann Van Rensburg

Last modified: 2018-10-17

Abstract


Compressed air systems are one of the most significant energy users on mines with an approximate contribution of 20% to the total electrical energy consumption on a mine. Research has shown that these compressed air networks are systemically inefficient. Hence, improving the efficiency of these systems would result in a significant reduction in energy costs.

For this paper, a simulation methodology was developed and investigations were conducted into compressed air systems. A compressed air system was subsequently modelled and a proposed means of improvement was simulated, analysed and quantified.

A South African gold mine was used as a case study. the results showed that by reducing air usage at refuge bays, an average power reduction of 0.9 megawatt could be achieved. The improvement in efficiency could potentially lead to R 6.3 – million in annual energy cost savings. The study shows how simulations can help to improve efficiency and profitability of the mining industry.