Open-pit mines use electrically driven mining equipment, such as drag lines and shovels, and the availability of power has permitted the use of electrically driven pumps. There are still many gasoline-driven or diesel-driven units, but the convenience of electric power, particularly for automatically controlled units, has increased the trend to electric drive. The availability of reliable high-voltage cable has made portable high-voltage equipment safe and economical. Pumps in open-pit service are seldom provided with sophisticated control or drive mechanisms. The primary requirements are reliability, portability, and wear resistance.

In locations where rainfall may be heavy and there is danger of power failure, a combination of electric drive and engine drive is used. The engine can be direct-coupled to the pump through a motor with a double-extended shaft or with a clutch between the engine and the motor. Automatic control is simple and reliable.

Although some steam-driven pumps still exist in underground service, their number is rapidly decreasing. Electric motor drive is the simplest for automatic control. Variablespeed units, however, are seldom used in underground service because the ratio of static head to total dynamic head is quite high. Thus the frictional loss is not a large percentage of the total head loss and not much advantage is gained by variable speed. The solution is usually a multiple-pump installation. This must be designed with care because it is possible to raise the frictional head to a point where an additional pump produces little additional capacity. Multiple discharge lines are the answer and are frequently used for safety reasons. In normal service, all discharge lines are used in parallel, although conservative design allows each line to handle the required capacity.

As with all pumping installations, a complete set of system-head curves must be prepared to analyze the power requirements under all conditions.

Motor enclosures are important in underground service. Because of the high humidity, special insulation (epoxy encapsulated, and so on) should be specified. Dripproof enclosures are the minimum requirement, with weather-protected Type I the preferred construction. Heaters should also be provided. Screens should be installed to prevent the entrance of rats. Winding temperature detectors, bearing thermostats, and ground-fault detectors are recommended in mine service and should be incorporated in the pump-control and alarm circuits.

Although the starting torque of a centrifugal pump is low, the available torque may have to be checked in some cases. A normal-torque motor should be suitable for pumps in the range of 500 to 3000 (10 to 60) specific speed. High-specific-speed pumps, however, have the highest power at shutoff, and it will be necessary to examine the starting arrangements for such pumps.

Starting a pump against a long empty pipeline may present overload problems, and repeated starts may be necessary. In such cases, the number of permissible starts per hour should be checked. Winding temperature detectors are important in such applications.

Although reduced-voltage starters may be required in some instances, most modern mines have electrical facilities designed for across-the-line starting. This is preferable because the starting equipment is cheaper. Before deciding on a reduced-voltage starter, the effect of the starting load on the transformer and line impedance should be checked. It may be that the voltage drop will eliminate the requirement for reduced-voltage starters. On the other hand, the effect on the primary side should be checked so the voltage drop is not so large as to drop out other equipment.

Synchronous-motor drives are seldom used unless they are large (generally at least 1000 hp) (750 kW) and then only if they are in relatively continuous service. Under such conditions, they can be operated under "leading current" conditions for power factor correction. Smaller installations frequently provide capacitors at the pump installation to provide the necessary correction for a particular installation.

Surge protection from lightning should not be overlooked. Some locations are particularly susceptible to lightning damage, especially to long surface lines. Lightning arresters should be provided at the surface, and surge arresters should be mounted at the motor location.

Survival Treasure

Survival Treasure

This is a collection of 3 guides all about survival. Within this collection you find the following titles: Outdoor Survival Skills, Survival Basics and The Wilderness Survival Guide.

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