The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region
Issue link: http://asiaminer.epubxp.com/i/786114
VDMA 71 2017 • VDMA MINING SUPPLEMENT Last year, announced its plan to acquire Belectric Solar and Battery Holding GmbH, a world leader in system design and engi- neering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for large-scale solar, storage and hybrid systems since 2002. The acquisition was expected to close in early 2017. Belectric has designed and implemented hybrid energy solutions since 2009. Those systems include a combination of photovoltaic power plants, diesel gensets and other energy storage options. In the development of the hybrid systems for mining applica- tions, Belectric is relying on the vast experiences of Innogy's sister company RWE a world leading consultant for continuous mining and in-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC) systems. Supplying electricity to remote mine sites often re- quires a significant capital investment and operating expenses relat- ed to both fuel costs as well as operation and maintenance (O&M) costs for diesel gensets. Hybrid energy systems, which combine different electricity sup- ply sources, offer a cost-effective energy supply solution for mining operations, especially if the mine is located in an extremely sunny location. Once installed, the cost for solar power does not fluctuate. Moreover, the O&M costs of the solar and storage systems are in general much lower than the diesel system. The hybrid system is managed by a plant controller, which guar- antees a stable and reliable electricity supply regardless of the source of energy used at any given moment. Inexpensive solar energy is consumed at first priority while the remaining energy is supplied by the higher-cost diesel system. The system dynamics can further be enhanced by adding a battery storage system. Solar inverters provide reactive power day and night, supporting voltage stability for the mine's power grid. This can be a significant additional benefit for weak power grids where voltage fluctuations may lead to unexpected downtime. The hybrid system design targets the lowest possible cost of en- ergy as the main objective while considering technical, operational and commercial constraints. The system is scalable and modular and it's relatively simple and cost-effective to install. Partly containerized, it could be easily relocated together with all other infrastructure at the mine site. Belectric conducted a case study recently on a mine site in Southern Africa. The mine site operated eight diesel generators with a total capacity of 24 megawatts (MW) and consumes 134 gigawatts per hour (GWh) each year at an expected average cost of $0.31/kWh over the mine life. A hybrid system at this mine site would reduce the costs related to diesel energy by 24% with a total energy cost savings of approximately $56 million over the mine life. "As was demonstrated in multiple hybrid energy projects and case studies in the mining sector conducted by Belectric, hybrid en- ergy systems can be a significant enabler for the obvious need of mining companies to reduce their operational costs and to limit their fuel price exposure," said Gal Bogin, Belectric's chief sales officer. "The current maturity of the solar and hybrid technologies together with Belectric's design and implementation experience mean this is the right time for mining companies to benefit from cheap and reliable solar energy." Navigation Technology for Mars and the Mines The German Aerospace Center has developed a navigation technol- ogy for future Mars missions, which is capable of navigating without GPS satellites. This innovative technology has been further refined by DMT. Navigation with the DMT Pilot 3-D works similar to the human eye; an inertial measuring cell determines the actual position of the device while two cameras observe the motion relative to the envi- ronmental setting — these are the "eyes" of the system. A high-per- formance processor uses this data to calculate the position and ori- entation in real-time. As the system operates independent of light or horizon line-of-sight, it is ideal for precise navigation in closed environments without GPS access such as underground mines. It had the ability to assess the surrounding area underground and pro- vides digital images for 3-D documentation. In addition to system technology development and manufacturing, DMT also coordinates worldwide distribution. They will present the technology at the 2017 Innovations: Renewable Energy Reduces Mining Costs The hybrid system delivers the most cost-effective source of power. The containerized hybrid energy system (inset) stores energy and man- ages power supply sources.