Improved performance monitoring of mine cooling systems
By AM Holman, GP Heyns and R Pelzer, North-West University
Electricity+Control, November 2014 (pages 4 – 6)
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Mine cooling system components are an integral part of a mine’s ventilation system. A mine’s reliance on these capital intensive components for optimum mine ventilation is set to increase as mines deepen.
Mine cooling accounts for up to a quarter of the total electricity used on gold mines in South Africa. The percentage of energy used by mine cooling systems is set to increase owing to the rigorous mine cooling demands of deeper mining activities.
In mine ventilation, the mine cooling system is an integral part of the mine water reticulation system. A typical mine cooling system consists of hot water storage dams, pre-cooling towers, pre-cooling dams, Chillers and associated condenser cooling towers, Bulk Air Coolers (BACs) and cold water storage dams.
In mine ventilation and mine cooling systems, the performance of a Chiller is typically defined by its Coefficient of Performance (COP), which is defined as the ratio of the Chiller’s cooling output and the electrical input.
The mine used for the case study utilises four Chillers. Investigations were carried out to assess the impact maintenance procedures have on the performance of mine cooling systems.
- The mining industry accounts for 14 % of electricity being sold by Eskom.
- Mine cooling system components are an integral part of a mine’s ventilation system.
- Mine cooling accounts for up to a quarter of the total electricity used on gold mines in South Africa.