RUC Mining perfects integration of battery energy storage with regenerative winder drives

RUC Mining says it has introduced the first Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) integrated with regenerative winder drives. “The future is here, and we are proud to be the pioneers of the first shaft winding system to operate solely on a battery system. By removing the reliance on traditional generator backup, we’re contributing to a greener future while ensuring uninterrupted operations.”

The company has not named the client or location but says the project was achieved through working closely with strategic partners Rockwell Automation and Cat® engines, generators and power solutions focused dealer Energy Power Systems Australia (EPSA).

In more detail, RUC Mining is the system integrator and provider of hoist engineering on the project, providing a RUCShaw 512 single-drum winder. Rockwell Automation deployed its Active-Front-End (AFE) Powerflex 755 TR regenerative variable speed drive and EPSA a PGS 1260 Battery Energy Storage System.

Greg Bell, RUC Mining Electrical Manager told IM: “During the conceptual electrical planning for our shaft and hoisting systems, we create a load profile to ascertain the necessary power supply. This load profile illustrates the variations in load resulting from hoisting operations, both during ascent and descent. Historically, dealing with these load fluctuations necessitated the establishment of a substantial localised power station and supply feeder infrastructure. Additionally, expensive dynamic braking components were required to dissipate the regenerated energy, typically wasted as heat, during the downward travel.”

Recognising an opportunity to reduce our power demands for sinking operations, RUC’s engineering team turned its attention to harnessing the power generated by the hoists during their operation. It was this opportunity that led it to explore battery energy storage technology.

Bell adds: “In our exploration of current technology capabilities with EPSA, we uncovered further advantages that could be integrated into RUC’s power systems. Working closely with Rockwell Automation on our hoist systems, we collaborated to select a suitable winder drive system package that could be seamlessly integrated with the BESS inverters. This represented the final technical decision needed to progress the project from the conceptual stage to its execution.”

With the system now fully operational, the BESS serves several critical functions, including:

  • Peak Shaving: The hoist system presents a consistent load to the grid or power plant, with the BESS handling the peaks and troughs of regular operation locally.
  • Power Loss Ride-Through: In the event of a brownout or complete mains power failure, the BESS switches modes to supply the hoist, ensuring uninterrupted operations, similar to a large UPS (uninterruptible power supply).
  • Power Factor Correction: The BESS continuously monitors the power quality of the hoist system bus and provides power factor correction as needed, reducing parasitic reactive power losses, especially when dealing with large loads distant from the power source.
  • Standby Power: To guarantee emergency egress power for shaft operations, the BESS replaces traditional diesel generating plants. The selected technology (Cat® PGS 1260) offers added redundancy through its parallel inverter and battery stack architecture.

RUC Mining concludes: “This project has been technically demanding, requiring extensive collaboration across various disciplines. It serves as a testament to the team’s unwavering dedication to innovation and sustainability.”