On-line control strategies to minimize peak loads on mine conveyor networks using surge units with variable discharging capability

Jon C. Yingling, Zhonghui Luo, Joseph Sottile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Control of peak loads on gathering belts in mine conveyor systems can result in substantial reductions in power consumption as well as savings in capital and maintenance costs for the conveyor equipment. This paper first extends an existing control approach involving dynamic adjustment of feeder discharge rates to the case where the differences in transit times between section feeders and the gathering belts where the flows converge are small. It is shown that multiple units should be considered simultaneously when determining control actions, and a dynamic programming approach is given for determining the optimal control policy in such a situation. Subsequently, the application of this approach is considered for longwall mines where flow from the longwall is not controlled, but the discharge rates of continuous miner section feeders are adjusted in real time to prevent belt overloading while minimizing any production constraint on the continuous miner units. This application requires special treatment for the highly variable material flow pattern produced by longwalls. The practical utility of these approaches is evaluated through detailed simulation studies. These studies are used to estimate the magnitude of savings in energy, capital, and maintenance costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-99
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industry Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
IEEE Industry Applications Society for presentation at the 1994 Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, October 2-7. This research has been supported by the Department of Interior's Mineral Institute Program administered by the Bureau of Mines through the Generic Mineral Technology Center for Mine Systems Design and Ground Control under Grant G1105151, Grant G1115151, Grant GI 175151, or Grant G1125251. Manuscript released for publication June 25, 1996.


  • Bulk materials handling
  • Control systems
  • Conveyor networks
  • Dynamic programming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'On-line control strategies to minimize peak loads on mine conveyor networks using surge units with variable discharging capability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this