Mining presents a number of very significant challenges in respect to electrical connection and supply. It is a particularly high-risk environment with workers in close proximity to live, high voltage equipment and in enclosed spaces with the potential for highly combustible gases in the atmosphere. As such safety standards are non-negotiable and equipment needs to be specified and supplied to the highest safety standards.
Electrical connectivity is also mission critical, with limited opportunity to take equipment off-line for maintenance; damp and high humidity environments create particularly challenging conditions for operation; and space limitations, with restricted or awkward access for maintenance, need small footprints and minimal maintenance requirements.
Equipment for mining projects often has to be specifically adapted to meet specialist needs, and investment and operating cost is a key consideration for mining companies. Flexibility is also important and equipment that is interchangeable with the ability to be moved to new locations as the mine expands, is an added bonus.
Lucy Electric’s robust, flexible and high-quality equipment is ideally suited to mining applications. Our expert teams and deep engineering expertise mean we can ensure equipment is specified and tailored to meet your needs and local infrastructure requirements.
Our solutions are based around our Sabre and Aegis Plus ring main units which provide a high quality and very robust basis for our solutions. All live parts and switching functions are insulated with SF6 gas in a leak-free, hermetically sealed stainless-steel tank, and deliver the highest levels of safety, reliability and prolonged maintenance-free operation, even in the most extreme conditions.
Featuring advanced vacuum switching technology, the units are available in extensible and non-extensible formats up to 24Kv and are compact, flexible and easy to operate and install.
Our Aegis Plus range includes a number of additional safety features such as electrical and mechanical interlocking, as well as AFL/AFLR internal arc ratings. Aegis Plus units are also automation-ready with integrated Gemini 3 Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) enabling instant smart grid functionality.
We can also provide single-source substation and reusable containerised substation solutions, which can be moved as needed, based on either the Sabre or Aegis Plus range.
Our engineers have extensive experience in mining contracts. Recent projects include:
- Zest WEG: switchgear for mobile substation, introducing ARC Sensors and Earth Continuity Monitoring (ECM) for safety. Further features include power measurement meters and also MV cable couplers.
- Sabre fully motorised RMUs fitted with Battery Tripping Units, ECM and special cable boxes for cable couplers.
- In conjunction with consultant and contractor, manufactured containerised sub- stations for mining applications. This enables the customer to relocate the sub-station after 5-10 years when exploration moves.
We work closely with our customers to identify the right solutions with safety and flexibility built in. Where a bespoke design is required to meet all of the complex requirements of a project, we use our in-depth engineering and project management expertise to tailor solutions to meet both budgetary requirements and local conditions and regulatory restrictions.
Our team are flexible, and we have the capacity to respond quickly and deliver to short timescales. We work closely with contractors during the lifetime of a project to ensure it stays on track and can also offer installation and commissioning of the equipment if needed.
Even with the most thorough planning, unforeseen issues can occur during any major project. Understanding that timescales and budget management are critical in these projects, Lucy Electric takes a partnership approach, maintaining ongoing dialogue with the contractor until the issue is resolved quickly and effectively.
Once the project is complete our local teams offer excellent aftersales service giving our customers long-term peace of mind.
What do our customers think?
Bernard Mitton, Engineering Team Leader, Zest WEG:
We needed a robust mobile switchgear solution at the right price, and we have been very satisfied with the solution that Lucy Electric has provided.
We required a bespoke solution that could operate at two voltages, and as part of Lucy Electric’s partnership design philosophy, we worked together to develop and test the unit at its manufacturing facility in South Africa.
Mining is a high-risk environment, so safety is absolutely crucial. That’s why the design incorporates a ‘stand-off’ 10 metre umbilical cord for remote operation, and arc venting from the bottom of the unit, for maximum safety.
The emphasis on safety and the robustness, mobility and efficiency of the unit, combined with the assistance and support provided by Lucy Electric, means we have a great solution, confident that it can be tailored for future project requirements.