Journal of Energy in Southern Africa
On-line version ISSN 2413-3051
Investigations into demand side reductions have been encouraged by the South African electricity utility, Eskom, in sectors with high electricity consumption, such as the cement industry. The South African cement industry is responsible for 5% of the electrical consumption for the mining and industrial sector. It has also been estimated that by 2020 this sector will be ranked fifth for energy savings potential. This paper investigates the potential of a load-shifting (altering energy use method) scheme to reduce evening peak loads and save electrical costs on a raw mill at a South African cement plant. A spread sheet-simulation was performed, which showed that six hours of load-shifting could be achieved, without adversely affecting production. This was corroborated by a pilot study where the load was successfully shifted for six hours over a week-long period. The specific raw mill would achieve a reduction in yearly electrical costs of 2% when employing this load-shifting strategy. The results, however, showed that cost-saving opportunities are highly dependent on the reliability of the mills and on the change in production demand. Therefore, load-shifting schemes have to be flexible on a daily basis to shift load whenever possible.
Keywords : load-shift; demand-side management; cement plant; raw mill.