Feeding safe and reliable power to mining plants can be a challenging task. Loads such as mine hoists, mining shovels, crushers, pumps, smelters, grinding mills, fans, conveyor belts etc are sensitive to fluctuations in the feeding voltage, thereby depending on secure, high quality power supply. At the same time, availability and reliability demands are high (production outages very costly). In terms of profitability the FACTS technology also contributes to a valuable increase in utilization of existing equipment. By investing in an SVC, an Iron or mine in Sweden enabled a double-digit increase in production.
Mining complexes are often forced to operate in environments characterized by one or several of the following factors:
- Remote areas where power supplies are weak or inadequate
- Rough, inaccessible terrain, more or less unsuited for OH feeder line construction
- Extreme climatic condition
The picture is further complicated by modern industrial drives, harming the power quality of feeding grids, unless proper mitigating measures are taken. As mines get larger as well as more remote and complex, the need for voltage support becomes critical.
FACTS solutions have been proven in the field for more than 40 years and are particularly suitable in mining, with applications requiring rapid dynamic response, ability for frequent variations in output, and/or smoothly adjustable output all contributing to an efficient mine process.
With SVC (Static Var Compensator), stability and power quality are maintained in grids dominated by heavy and complex loads such as mining complexes. The SVC will improve network stability and reliability, resulting in more efficient and cost effective mining processes, such as a much improved overall power factor of the plant, saving money on the power bill, as well as increased ore yield and higher refined product output through increased utilization of equipment. It also simplifies plant expansion, since more power can be transmitted over existing lines.
Series compensation is a well-established technology that is primarily used to reduce transfer reactance, in for example long radial lines going to mining complexes. The result is a significant increase in the transient and voltage stability in transmission systems. Series compensation is self-regulating in the sense that its reactive power output follows the variations in transmission line current, a fact that makes the series compensation concept extremely straightforward and cost effective.