Authors: Wilson, R; Bluhm, S; van den Berg, L

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Wilson, R, Bluhm, S & van den Berg, L 2012, 'Energy management of refrigeration systems within deep mines in South Africa', in Y Potvin (ed.), Deep Mining 2012: Proceedings of the Sixth International Seminar on Deep and High Stress Mining, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 453-462,

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In both gold and platinum mines, deep South African operations use extremely large refrigeration capacities with high power consumption to cool their workings. With the increasing costs of power and global carbon concerns, there have been many effective and innovative energy management programmes installed in these systems over the past five years. These have included extensive control of ventilation systems and also the control of the refrigeration systems. Much work has been done on enhancing refrigeration machine efficiency with improved heat exchangers and compressor design. The returns gained through intelligent system operation and cyclical process controls have been particularly impressive. These systems generally include storing cooling at certain times of the day and releasing the stored cooling capacity at other strategic periods. The thermal storage concepts include: The thermal storage systems are charged-up during the cold periods of the day when the plants operate at high efficiencies. Subsequent discharging of the cooling storage takes place during hot periods of the day with low refrigeration machine load. Thus, these control systems achieve an improved operational efficiency as well as load shifting out of peak tariff periods. This paper describes a selection of these systems and their performance.

Branch, A., Wilson, R. and Gundersen, R. (2010) Refrigeration systems energy management, in Proceedings Mine Ventilation Society of SA Conference, 13–14 May, Johannesburg, pp. 47–58.
Odendaal, J.W.S and Bluhm, S.J. (2011) Load management and energy saving in refrigeration systems on deep mines in South Africa, in Proceedings 23rd IRR International Congress of Refrigeration, 21–26 August, Prague, paper # 750.

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