Harnessing the Energy-Generating Potential of Underground Mine Winders

May 16, 2024 10:00 AM ET
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Energy storage solution, built on PowerFlex® Drives, at the RUC mining site in Australia.

For mining companies, enhancing sustainability can mean undertaking net-new projects. But more often, it means rethinking existing processes.

Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK), RUC Mining, and Energy Power Systems Australia (EPSA) have introduced an innovative regenerative energy storage solution for mine hoists which operate much like industrial elevators that lower equipment into a mine shaft and lift minerals out.

It takes little energy to lower a mine hoist. However, raising it up requires a lot of energy. RUC Mining used Rockwell regenerative drives to develop a solution that collects energy as the mine hoist lowers and then reuses that energy to power the trip back up. The hoists run solely on their own stored energy.

Sustainability benefits

Over 24 months, sustainability savings are predicted to be:

  • Approximately 1,427 kilolitres of diesel
  • A reduction of 3.85 tonnes of CO2 output
  • A 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from power generation

“In addition to these strong sustainability benefits, the regenerative energy storage solution also reduces daily operating costs, reduces plant operating hours and maintenance requirements, and provides an additional level of redundancy to the power system that was not available in passive components such as load banks,” said Greg Bell, RUC electrical manager.

Learn more about the world’s first regenerative energy storage solution for underground mine winders—allowing these machines to run totally on their own stored energy.