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Optimal control of operation efficiency of belt conveyor systems

By Shirong Zhang and Xiaohua Xia

Abstract

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.Belt conveyor system Operation efficiency Optimal switching control Time-of-use tariff Variable speed drive based optimal control

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