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Title: An improved energy management methodology for the mining industry.
Authors: Levesque, Michelle
Keywords: energy management;energy audits;mining industry;energy reporting;energy benchmarking;auxiliary mine ventilation;dissemination of best practice energy management;signal processing;electricity disaggregation
Issue Date: 10-Sep-2015
Abstract: The focus for this work was the development of an improved energy management methodology tailored for the mining sector. Motivation for this research was driven by perception of slow progress in adoption of energy management practices to improve energy performance within the mining sector. Energy audits conducted for an underground mine, a mineral processing facility, and a pyrometallurgical process were reviewed and recommendations for improved data gathering, reporting and interpretation were identified. An obstacle for conducting energy audits in mines without extensive sub-metering is a lack of disaggregated data indicating end use. Thus a novel method was developed using signal processing techniques to disaggregate the end-use electricity consumption, exemplified through isolation of a mine hoist signal from the main electricity meter data. Further refinements to the method may lead to its widespread adoption, which may lower energy auditing costs via a reduced number of meters and infrastructure, as well as lower data storage requirements. Mine ventilation systems correspond to the largest energy demand center for underground mines. Thus a detailed analysis ensued with the development of a techno-economic model that could be used to assess various fan and duct options. Furthermore, the need for a standardized methodology for determination of duct friction factors from ventilation surveys was proposed, which included a method to verify the validity of the resulting value from asperity height measurements. A method was also suggested for determination of leakage and duct friction factor values from ventilation survey data. Dissemination of best practice is a strategy that could be employed to improve energy performance throughout the mining sector, thus a Best Practice database was developed to iv improve communication and provide a standardized reporting framework for sharing of energy conservation initiatives. Demonstration of continuous improvement is an underpinning element of the ISO 50001 energy management standard but as mines extract ore from deeper levels energy use increases. Thus ensued the development of a benchmarking metric, with the use of appropriate support variables that included mine depth, production, and climate data, that demonstrated the benefit of implemented energy conservation measures for an underground mine. The development of an ultimate energy management methodology for all stages of mineral processing from ‘Mine to Bullion’ is beyond the scope of this work. However, this research has resulted in several recommendations for improvement and identified areas for further improvements.
Appears in Collections:Doctoral Theses
Natural Resources Engineering - Doctoral theses

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