New technology to assist with cable-theft detection in mines

Posted on :Saturday , 2nd December 2017

 New designs of electronic protection and control relays as well as cable-theft detection, in diverse industries, including ventilation and cooling applications in mining and quarrying have been introduced by Mining system solutions supplier Becker Mining South Africa’s Proloc and ProBeck. The relays can also be used in the electrification, municipal, water and wastewater, chemicals, petrochemicals and general engineering sectors.

 
Becker Mining SA electrical senior GM Frikkie Quirk in a statement said, “Becker’s low-voltage relays, with advanced technologies for dependable protection of electric motors used on pumps, fans, conveyors and compressors, can also be used as highly effective standalone cable protection systems to guard against cable theft,” 
The new relay systems are capable  and programmed to detect cable theft by identifying a change in the electrical impedance of a cable connected to a motor or pump up to 1 100 V.
 
“In the event of cable tampering, the unit sends an SMS to security, or activates an emergency alarm or siren. This system is capable of supervisory control and data acquisition visualisation and is able to communicate relevant information to a control room through an existing programmable logic controller.”
 
Quirk further notes that the Becker cable-theft detection system, with real time and date, is able to log up to 1 400 events, providing critical information, including when the alarm was activated and how long it took for someone to respond.
However, he notes that the system needs to be reset at the location of the alarm to confirm response by security. When the reset facility is activated, the unit logs the date and time of the response.
 
This protection system, which requires 220 V or 110 V to function, can also be used as a standalone unit to monitor cable without power through the use of a battery backup facility for SMS communication, which provides powerbackup for up to eight hours.
Proloc and ProBeck electronic relays for motors (which are available in 380 V, 400 V, 525 V, 950 V and 1 100 V, and up to 3.3 kV and 6.6 kV) offer thermal overload protection, earth insulation lockout, frozen or vacuum contact failure and earth leakage protection. Other use-selectable features include short-circuit, frequency and power-factor measurement, as well as minimum load, and over voltage and under voltage protection.
Becker protection relays are also used to control pumps and motors based on water levels, valve position, temperature sensors, time of day and moisture content of the soil.
 
These devices, Quirk explains, can also detect a dry run in boreholes, tanks and dams, and can be programmed to automatically restart pumps after a specified time or set level.
 
“An important advantage of this system is a door-mounted infrared link that enables a laptop, with Proloc software, to manage all settings and downloads, without having to open the panel door and expose personnel to dangerous live equipment.”
 
This safety feature, Quirk notes, is a critical requirement of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, although no special licences are necessary for the software.
 
Becker Mining South Africa offers a technical advisory and support service through- out the country to ensure total reliability of equipment.
 

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