Underground Mine Electrical Distribution

When it comes to underground mining, one of the most intriguing aspects of the procedure has to be the ability for miners and mining companies to be able to push the electrical power they need to work their machines from the surface all the way throughout the underground mines consistently and safely.

The way underground mines get their required electricity spread throughout their mines is due to the process of underground power distribution systems. These systems carry the power throughout the mine, making them one of the most important and integral parts of any mining operation because without a properly working distribution system you have no power, and with no power there is no mining.

While underground mine electrical distribution systems share a lot of similarities to non-mining power systems (such as the ones that keep your home filled with electricity) they are unique in some very profound ways.

These systems operate in very harsh conditions which causes them to suffer pressures and strains that no other electrical systems face.

The key factors and functions that make up an underground mine electrical distribution system are as follows:

Reliability: These systems must be able to perform at their peak under extraordinary circumstances.

Maintainable: These systems must be easy to maintain, and quick to troubleshoot.

Portable: These distribution systems must be able to be transported around the mining site so that they are able to provide power to any distribution node on site.

 

The Key Parts of a Distribution System

Underground mine electrical distribution systems are comprised of three main sections:

Substation

Located on the surface of the mine site, this protects the underground system and transitions the high voltages coming in into the correct voltage underground.

Switchhouse

This is basically the on/off switch of the system and provides additional controls and protections for the system.

Power Center

This is the heart and soul of the distribution system. This helps push the electricity out towards the machinery that it is powering.

This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at https://beckersmcusa.com/. For nearly a half a century, Becker Mining has been at the forefront of industry safety. Becker/SMC is the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical control systems. Most of the major innovations, design features and specialized electrical components have been developed by Becker/SMC.