Alternating current electric motors in crushers, pumps and other intermittent process-plant loads are quite inefficient. When the load falls off, the motors continue to consume a lot of power that appears as heat, noise and vibration. This wastes power, adds unnecessary costs, and is environmentally undesirable.
AMC has been helping Motorwise Australia to identify the benefits of a new smart technology that can provide substantial power savings, particularly with older machinery. Motorwise has a range of smart AC motor controllers that constantly monitor the power drawn and adjust the supply voltage accordingly. This not only saves power, but can extend the life of motors and reduce the need for periodic replacement.
A typical small gold mine might have 150 AC motors. By looking at the power rating and duty cycle of each motor it is possible to determine which ones would benefit from a Motorwise controller. The controllers include a soft start facility and, in the event of a problem, they simply default to normal motor operation, so that the controller performance cannot cause plant downtime.
The patented technology has been developed in the USA where it is used by oil companies on pump jacks, by coal preparation plants and on hydraulic metal presses. In these applications the power savings can be 15% to 20%, a substantial saving, particularly if the power is locally generated and therefore expensive. Mining companies looking for incremental cost savings may find the Motorwise technology attractive.
For further information contact Roger Johnson, Motorwise Australia’s General Manager, via www.motorwiseaustralia.com.au or Peter McCarthy at AMC.