Application of Variable Speed Drives for Improved Grinding Energy Efficiency
The research program is aimed at developing operating systems that enable grinding mill speeds to be controlled in responses to variations in ore properties. Although there are studies that show speed control can improve productivity and significantly reduce energy requirements, mines presently used fixed speed systems for their ball and tower mills. With development of new variable speed drive systems that can retrofitted to the fixed speed systems, there is an opportunity for mines to introduce the technology for their operation. Present models are inadequate for quantifying the improvements that can be realized and the only means of developing better models that accurately predict full scale benefits is via plant studies and trails that can be used to calibrate and validate the models. Such research will support the development of the operating strategies and control systems for mines that incorporate the variable speed drives.