Trackforce the future DC Traction unit for underground mining DC shuttleshuttle, hauling and loading mining vehicles
Ingenieria y Desarrollo Tecnologico S a
Mauricio Bulnes Bulnes Carrasco
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Ingeniería y desarrollo tecnológico is a chilean company oriented to the development of technical solutions in the area of power electronics applications. Nowadays the company has more than 17 years of experience in the manufacturing of rectifier systems harmonic filters capacitor banks induction furnaces and integrated electrical rooms for the mining and energy markets. This orientation is possible through the constant search of new innovative solutions to improve the design and efficiency of processes by incorporating advantages that differentiate from our competitors. This aim is developed by the R&D and engineering departments. IDT actually have over 30 electrical engineers from Chilean universities. Most of them are very enthusiastic and young engineers and also there are electrical engineers with more than 30 years of experience in the mining industry. IDT has developed several research projects supported by the Chilean government (2 CORFO FONTEC projects and 1 FONDEF project) In this scenario, IDT has 5 granted patents and 5 pending patents in the field of power electronics equipment s. The selected patent for go to the market is our USA granted patent N# 7274865 general purpose 100% solid state drive for direct current rotary machines . The patent is related to the field of DC series motor connection controllers for trains cranes elevators and electrical mining vehicles. The fantasy name is trackforce (register brand). The concept of our company for go to the market is: ¨Trackforce: the future DC traction unit for underground mining DC shuttle hauling and loading mining vehicles ¨. However it is important to mention that Trackforce has several applications in DC traction such as metro DC Locomotives cranes winches and tramways. This way using Trackforce drive a huge amount of DC series motors old drive controlled by variable resistors can be revisited and improved in efficiency and control quality. Global mining industry copper particularly is migrating from open pit to underground due to the fact that the best ore bodies normally located in the surface are already being depleted and less rich deposits have being started to be exploited in deeper levels. So underground mining appears as the only alternative for the operational continuity of the open pit copper mines. This is because the open pit operations are limited by the radio of extraction. Is for this limit that the mining companies have begun to evaluate underground mining methods to apply in open pit mines. One of these method of underground extraction is the Block Caving-The most efficient and frequently used in mining industries such coal. This method consists in undermining from below the mine the ore falls on specially designed electrical vehicles for underground mining known as locomotives shuttle loading and hauling Vehicles. These vehicles do not need to spin inside the mine and just work back and forth in short distances to feed conveyors and crushers. To make these movements in an efficient and efficacy way trucks take the input power to its motors by traction dc drives to provide controlled torque to the wheels. In relation to the incoming power there are several attempts to find the best solution to run these shuttle cars: battery-powered diesel-powered cable reel electric powered concluding that the best solutions are DC motors battery powered or cable powered vehicles. Is this context our USA patent 7274865 has a direct applications to DC motors shuttle vehicles or locomotives. As it is shown in the complete presentation Trackforce shows a very attractive solution for electric vehicles designed with DC motors. In this scenario it is also a very good technical solution to revisit old DC motors drives (locomotives cranes tramways inclines elevators electric vehicles metros) because of its characteristics: soft control of current and torque no use of electromechanical contactors regeneration of braking energy back to the electric network simple and robust design. As a research project oriented to electric traction I.D.T.developed several years ago the project Equipo electrónicamente controlado de alta eficiencia para accionamientos eléctricos de tracción (proyect CORFO FONTEC 201-2944 USA patent 7274865). This project was focused to a four quadrant electronic control of a DC series motor using IGBT technology. A 250 kW 700 V prototype was successfully tested at the workshops of Metro of Santiago. The next step should be to develop a commercial strategy and business plan to go to market.