Integrated energy efficiency strategy for deep mine ventilation and refrigeration
Dr AJ Schutte and Prof M Kleingeld, Centre for Research and Continuing Engineering Development (CRCED), North-West University (Pretoria campus) and consultants to TEMM International and HVAC International
Published in: Electricity+Control, March 2015 (pages 36 – 43)
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South Africa’s electricity supply is under pressure owing to a lack of supply to meet demand . Mining is one of South Africa’s largest electricity consumers with its electricity-intensive services such as compressed air, cooling, ventilation and others .
There is therefore a need to reduce the operational cost on a mine as the electricity prices are set to increase at least 2 % above South Africa’s inflation target .
Deep level gold and platinum mines in South Africa require extensive cooling and ventilation to create acceptable conditions for both people and equipment. Therefore, more than 40 % of mine electricity consumption is used for cooling and ventilation .
The most common electricity management projects are Load Management (LM) and Energy Saving (ES). LM projects alter the electricity load profile according to the Eskom Time Of Use (TOU). Alternatively, ES projects reduce the amount of energy used by the system. Both these types of projects realise a monetary saving.
Mining projects simulation
Mine cooling and ventilation systems differ. Therefore, in order to compare a project’s results with other project results, a typical mine was simulated for purposes of this study.
The simplified typical mine has the following ventilation and cooling sub-sections:
• Surface service-water refrigeration
• Underground service-water refrigeration
• Surface air refrigeration
• Underground air refrigeration
• Ventilation fans (booster and main)
• A water distribution network
- Mining is one of South Africa’s largest electricity consumers.
- Deep level gold and platinum mines in South Africa require extensive cooling and ventilation.
- Cooling and ventilation consume 40 % of a mine’s electricity.