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Optimal control of operation efficiency of belt conveyor systems


  • Zhang, Shirong
  • Xia, Xiaohua


The improvement of the energy efficiency of belt conveyor systems can be achieved at equipment or operation levels. Switching control and variable speed control are proposed in literature to improve energy efficiency of belt conveyors. The current implementations mostly focus on lower level control loops or an individual belt conveyor without operational considerations at the system level. In this paper, an optimal switching control and a variable speed drive (VSD) based optimal control are proposed to improve the energy efficiency of belt conveyor systems at the operational level, where time-of-use (TOU) tariff, ramp rate of belt speed and other system constraints are considered. A coal conveying system in a coal-fired power plant is taken as a case study, where great saving of energy cost is achieved by the two optimal control strategies. Moreover, considerable energy saving resulting from VSD based optimal control is also proved by the case study.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Shirong & Xia, Xiaohua, 2010. "Optimal control of operation efficiency of belt conveyor systems," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 87(6), pages 1929-1937, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:87:y:2010:i:6:p:1929-1937

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. de Almeida, AnĂ­bal T & Fonseca, Paula & Bertoldi, Paolo, 2003. "Energy-efficient motor systems in the industrial and in the services sectors in the European Union: characterisation, potentials, barriers and policies," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 673-690.
    2. Middelberg, Arno & Zhang, Jiangfeng & Xia, Xiaohua, 2009. "An optimal control model for load shifting - With application in the energy management of a colliery," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 86(7-8), pages 1266-1273, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Numbi, B.P. & Malinga, S.J., 2017. "Optimal energy cost and economic analysis of a residential grid-interactive solar PV system- case of eThekwini municipality in South Africa," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 186(P1), pages 28-45.
    2. repec:eee:appene:v:198:y:2017:i:c:p:65-76 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Wanjiru, Evan M. & Xia, Xiaohua, 2015. "Energy-water optimization model incorporating rooftop water harvesting for lawn irrigation," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 521-531.
    4. Tebello Mathaba & Xiaohua Xia, 2015. "A Parametric Energy Model for Energy Management of Long Belt Conveyors," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(12), pages 1-19, December.
    5. Du Plessis, Gideon Edgar & Liebenberg, Leon & Mathews, Edward Henry, 2013. "The use of variable speed drives for cost-effective energy savings in South African mine cooling systems," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 16-27.
    6. Numbi, B.P. & Xia, X., 2015. "Systems optimization model for energy management of a parallel HPGR crushing process," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 133-147.
    7. Numbi, B.P. & Zhang, J. & Xia, X., 2014. "Optimal energy management for a jaw crushing process in deep mines," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 337-348.
    8. repec:gam:jeners:v:8:y:2015:i:12:p:13590-13608:d:59719 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Zhang, Shirong & Xia, Xiaohua, 2011. "Modeling and energy efficiency optimization of belt conveyors," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(9), pages 3061-3071.
    10. van Staden, Adam Jacobus & Zhang, Jiangfeng & Xia, Xiaohua, 2011. "A model predictive control strategy for load shifting in a water pumping scheme with maximum demand charges," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 4785-4794.
    11. Xia, Xiaohua & Zhang, Jiangfeng, 2013. "Mathematical description for the measurement and verification of energy efficiency improvement," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 247-256.
    12. Numbi, B.P. & Xia, X., 2016. "Optimal energy control of a crushing process based on vertical shaft impactor," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 1653-1661.
    13. Muller, C.J. & Craig, I.K., 2016. "Energy reduction for a dual circuit cooling water system using advanced regulatory control," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 287-295.
    14. Chatterjee, Arnab & Zhang, Lijun & Xia, Xiaohua, 2015. "Optimization of mine ventilation fan speeds according to ventilation on demand and time of use tariff," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 65-73.


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