Largest mining motor in the world on Joy AFC for Xstrata Coal in Australia

ATB Morley says the 11 kV motor it recently supplied to Xstrata Coal “is the very first of its kind; historically most large electrical motors supplied for underground coal mining have been manufactured suitable for a maximum voltage of 3,300 V. [This] motor weighing in at 10 t currently stands as the largest underground mining motor in the world.”

ATB Morley is a designer, manufacturer and exporter of high voltage electric motors for the global coal mining industry. This unique motor was designed specifically for operation at Xstrata Coal’s Blakefield South mine in New South Wales, Australia. The mine is a new longwall operation that replaces production from the Beltana mine. Blakefield South is to be fully operational soon.

Motors such as this are managed by Peter Henderson, Principal Electrical Engineer at Xstrata Coal. Results from performance testing on the motor have confirmed that moving from a 3,300 V to 11,000 V has been a successful and beneficial decision for Xstrata. Morley says “the increase in supply voltage reduces motor currents at these higher than normal power levels, leading to reduced cabling and voltage transformation issues.

“The motor also reduces the likelihood of the motor causing issues with the electrical supply in other parts of the mine, particularly during starting. The new Joy AFC was tested over a two-month period toward the end of 2009. This included stalling the output of the Voith TTT coupling to establish the maximum power of the motor.” Henderson commented: “This truly is the world’s most powerful AFC.”