Case Study: How do you create energy efficiency in a coal mine?
Coal Mining is an unlikely industry to find energy efficiency, however Rexel Energy's auditing team uncovered areas where efficiency can be improved in the long term.
Energy efficiency has become a top priority for many commercial companies. Reducing energy outage has the potential to significantly cut energy costs and create less of an impact on the environment. Coal mining is globally known to output huge amounts of energy, however with smarter facility management even their carbon footprint can be reduced.
Reachable energy goals for coal
Rexel Energy Solutions is purveyor of energy efficiency and provides products and services for a wide variety of professional sectors. Their in-house team are available to perform detailed reviews of key high energy areas and provide recommendation and an investment schedule to reduce energy consumption.
Recently the Rexel team performed an audit on a coal mine, the client was seeking to significantly reduce energy costs. The coal industry consumes substantial amounts of energy, primarily diesel fuel and electricity. It is an unlikely place to find energy efficiency, as burning coal is globally known to contribute largely to the carbon footprint. In Australia, electricity generation mainly relies on coal and is the largest single contributor to carbon dioxide emissions, at 37.2% of inventory emissions. Nevertheless, in the coal industry there are aspects where energy efficiency can be factored in.
The audit took 3 Rexel team members two day shifts and one night to complete, with fully supervised access to all areas and approximately 2800 light fittings reviewed. It was a truly collaborative effort on site from Rexel and the client to determine where best energy efficiency could be achieved.
Efficiency driven results
The proposed energy savings were based on a $2million investment, and the payback period less than 2 years based on energy and maintenance savings. From the chart below, you can see a saving of over 50% across all available areas of energy in the facility.
The main area the audit targeted was replacing existing light fittings, with traditional light fittings rationalised to 40% less LED fittings. This would result in leaving less product to carry in inventory for maintenance, with an 80% reduction of maintenance hours that are normally required for bulb replacement. Additionally, this would increase safety within the coal mine for employees, as less time would be spent working from heights to replace bulbs, eliminating the risk of falling.
Ensuring workplace safety is one of the most important factors FM’s face in their roles. Energy solutions, such as the services Rexel provide, have the potential to increase both energy efficiency and create a safer environment for employees, which could be a worthwhile investment for workplaces to action.