May 17, 2020

What to Expect with On-Site Electric Power Systems

Nick Kelsch
on-site electric power systems
2 min
Know what you need before looking for on-site generators
When mining companies are looking to purchase energy efficient and cost-effective onsite power generator, before they can receive an accurate a price es...

When mining companies are looking to purchase energy efficient and cost-effective onsite power generator, before they can receive an accurate a price estimate, they first have to know what power range they need and what traditional fuels, such as heavy fuel oil, diesel and natural gas, or sustainable fuels such as coal seam gas and biogas, they plan to use.

In addition, they have to consider the application, power need, fuel costs, infrastructure, service requirements, scope of equipment supply, transportation, logistics, and so on, according to Nick Kelsch, gas application consultant, Caterpillar.

All of these factors impact the power solution, and they also affect the cost. Every installation is unique in some respect, and it’s impossible to provide an accurate price without working through the details, Kelsch says.

Since the project scope and costs can still vary dramatically from site to site and country to country, installed costs can be significantly lower in lesser regulated countries due to differences in standards, emission requirements and labor costs, he adds.

The generator prices listed are for the usual onsite systems and are based on these four factors: 1.) Mechanical costs – engine generator, outdoor enclosure, fuel tanks or gas train, exhaust/silencer, radiator, air filters and mechanical contractor installation; 2.) Electrical costs  ̶ switchgear or transfer switch, communications, cable and conduit, batteries, breakers and electrical contractor installation; 3.) Commissioning  ̶  onsite liquid fuel fills, coolant, oil, technician service, project management and basic operator training; and 4.) Freight shipment of everything to a U.S. location.

  • Diesel Emergency Power System = $590 per ekW;
  • Natural Gas Emergency Power System = $720 per kW.

A 1,000 kW combined heat and power (CHP) system with the same assumptions as above plus heat recovery for hot water production can be estimated:

  • Natural Gas CHP System = $852 per ekW.

An installed and commissioned 1,000 kW, industrial-grade uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system can be estimated:

  • Battery UPS System = $470 per ekW.
  • Flywheel UPS System = $540 per ekW;

Operating costs for a 1,000 kW rental power system are as follows:

  • Diesel Rental Power Cost (100h with fuel at $4/gallon) = $0.52 per kWh;
  • Natural Gas Rental Power Monthly Rate (100h with fuel at $5/MMBtu) = $0.67 per kWh;
  • Diesel Rental Power Cost (600h with fuel at $4/gallon) = $0.36 per kWh;
  • Natural Gas Rental Power Monthly Rate (600h with fuel $5/MMBtu) = $0.23 per kWh.

Sometimes government regulation dictates priorities for power systems. Other times the cost of a potential power outage far outweighs the capital and maintenance costs, according to Kelsch. For a renewable biogas energy project, benefits are defined in terms of profit and reduced social costs such as reduced carbon and odor emissions. 

Share article

Jul 17, 2021

Coal India Secures First-Of-Its-Kind Digital Deal

2 min
Coal India Limited has secured a new deal with Accenture Solutions to consult on enhancing mining performance and production through a digital endeavour

Coal India Limited (CIL) has appointed Accenture Solutions to digitally transform seven of its open-cast mines as the company strives to improve performance and increase coal production. Accenture is due to lay down digitalisation groundwork until March 2022.

The deal aims to increase coal production by 100 million tonnes (MT) by the end of FY’23. Once the minimum quantity has been surpassed, an agreed sum will be paid to the consultant for every additional sum of coal produced. This success fee will only be paid on the procurement of the minimum assured quantity. 

The move will see heavy earth moving machinery (HEMM) fitted with digital sensors to monitor performance efficiency at all levels. Additionally, modern data analytic techniques aim to increase mine productivity and project monitoring through functional system management and effective observation. 

An Exciting Venture For Global Mining

CIL, which aims to provide energy security in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner, hopes the move will help transform the entire business of mining operations and ensure higher volumes of coal are acquired at a lower cost. 

“This is a first of its kind initiative by the company utilising digitalisation to ramp up coal output,” CIL has said. 

A Digital Step Towards Enhanced Performance

Digitalisation is expected to take place at open-cast mines in Kusmunda, Gevra, Dipka of Southern Eastern Coalfields (SECL), Migahi, Jayant, Dudhichua, and Khadia of Northern Coalfields (NCL). Nearly 32% (188 MT) of CIL’s 596 MT output in FY’21 was accounted for by the seven selected mines. However, this new deal is set to see a large increase following the subsequent digital changes due to be made.  

“Learning from the outcome and success of this model, we may replicate it in our other large mines,” says CIL, optimistic about the future following the modernisation of their mining. 

It is expected that the move will help address roadblocks and guarantee corrective measures are put into place, ensuring the company is able to move forward with its aim of increasing output whilst remaining sustainable and eco-friendly.

Share article