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Different Types of Mine Electrical Systems
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Friday, December 21, 2018

Electricity is vital for almost every process in mines, from drilling to hauling and processing, everything requires electrical power. Recognizing the stringent requirements for surface and underground mining, manufactures now built electrical equipment that complies with safety regulations. This ensures safe electrical operations in mines.

In this post, we’ll share different types of electrical systems that are mostly used in mines.

Mine Power Centers

With mine power centers or load centers, a voltage of high input is transformed into low voltage output. Power centers should be reliable and durable to meet the safety criteria for use in mines. Some features of mine power centers are:
  • Input is usually in range of 5 kilovolts to 25 kilovolts.
  • Output usually ranges from 480-1000 volts.
  • Generally come with overcurrent protection, metering, monitoring and disconnection plug. 
Motor Control Centers

Motor control centers are used in mines for energizing and controlling drive motors for high power equipment like pumps, fans and conveyors. Some features that are commonly found in motor control centers are:
  • Soft-starts
  • PLC controlled VFDs (Variable Frequency Drives)
  • ATL (Across-the-line) arrangements 
Switchgear

High voltage circuits always present a risk of electrocution in surface mines, surface substations and underground mines. These circuits are isolated and protected with the help of a switchgear. Switchgears are designed and build to assure safety of high voltage systems.

Longwall Controls

Longwall controls provide an extremely productive way of recovering minerals from deep underground mines. Motors of large horse power with complex arrangements are used with longwall controls and these motors are mostly housed in specially designed explosion proof enclosures.

Substations

In surface and underground mines, generator or utility supplied electricity is transformed into the required voltage with the help of substations. Some features of substations include:
  • Portable design
  • Heavy duty and durable for transporting to various areas
  • Permanent substations are designed with stand-alone individual components
  • Switches, insulators, breakers, arrestors and other components are fixed in a substation 
Distribution Boxes

In mines, distribution boxes protect the low voltage electrical circuits that extend to different pieces of equipment. These applications are sometimes placed in explosion proof enclosures. Distribution boxes are configured to provide convenient arrangement to the user.

Capacitor Banks

When the power factor of distribution systems is improved, the power costs significantly reduce. In mines, power factor is improved with the help of capacitor banks.

Capacitor banks also improve the efficiency of the motors. Some common features of capacitor banks are:
  • Switched and fixed capacitors are combined
  • Fixed to operate continuously
  • Enclosed for underground, indoor or outdoor applications 
Reliable electrical systems are essential for safe operation in mines. If you’re looking for quality mining products, get in touch with Elgin Power Solutions. Long recognized for high quality and superior service, we design and manufacture electrical products for surface and underground mining.



 
 

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