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Automatic Energy Optimization saves AEL Intelligent Blasting 500 kWh per hour

More reliability whilst saving millions

The AEL Intelligent Blasting 720 Mtpd nitric acid plant in Johannesburg, South Africa supplies other AEL divisions serving mining operations with chemicals and explosives, nationally and internationally. The nitric acid plant has improved its reliability by upgrading the process water cooling system, and reduced energy consumption by 500 kWh hourly, in the process.

For many years, motors and pumps in the process cooling water (PCW) system operated direct-on-line. With the upgrade, AEL Intelligent Blasting aimed to improve efficiency and reliability by introducing AC drive motor control. They chose VLT® AQUA Drive FC 202 and VLT® HVAC Drive FC 102 drives from Danfoss, based on their ability to ensure stable operation despite unreliable mains power supply. These drives offer Automatic Energy Optimization and kinetic back-up features to support highly efficient and reliable plant operation.

“The drives were selected based on the kinetic back-up feature, which is

valuable to us because of our unstable electricity supply and a lot of small voltage dips causing our facilities to trip out. With this feature we can keep the plant online without any issues, therefore saving millions .”

Johan Engelbrecht, AEL Nitrates MV Electrical Engineer

During the upgrade, there was no disruption of operations as pre- installation of all equipment was performed with wires run to and from the MCC. The final connections were made during a planned shutdown for a catalyst change out.


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