A new approach to ensure successful implementation of sustainable demand side management (DSM) in South African mines

10 May 2010

Demand side management (DSM) is seen as a short-term solution to the imminent problem of electricity supply shortages in South Africa. DSM aims to reduce peak loads with immediate results in a short time. The mining sector in South Africa is a large energy user with pumping one of the largest consuming systems. Therefore, DSM potential (load shift) should be investigated on these pumping systems. For sustainable load shift, a system is required that simulates, optimises and controls the actual on-site situation. As no such equipment that performs all these processes could be found for deep South African mines, it was developed by HVAC International (Pty) Ltd. It is called the Real-time Energy Management System (REMS). With this system, maximum results can be obtained on a sustainable basis. In this study, four similar DSM projects were investigated. These are described as case studies at gold mines in the Free State Province. For each of these studies a different new innovation was implemented. The innovations described include the adaptation of REMS to handle multi-level intricate pump systems, mines without any instrumentation and control infrastructure, as well as Three Chamber Piped Feeder Systems (3CPFSs)