On April 7, the 1# and 2# heat exchange stations in Harwusu open-pit mine of Zhunneng Group were empty with nobody in sight. In the control room for the heating system, two technicians adjusted the heating equipment remotely and checked the operation status of the equipment through the video monitoring system.
Since the heating service began in 2020, the 1# and 2# heat exchange stations operated by the Harwusu heating team under the production service center of Zhunneng Group have been running automatically. The two stations have been running in a safe and stable manner throughout the heating supply season. While realizing intelligent integrated and unattended control, the automation effectively lowers operating costs and delivers improved performance.
To enable the unattended operation, Zhunneng Group revamped the boiler control room into the remote control center for the heat exchange stations. The control center was equipped with Industrial Personal Computer, a network switch and software for related systems. In the meantime, all operation data and signals were switched into the control center via optical fiber, enabling automatic control of equipment in the heat exchange stations and remote monitoring of steam and water temperature, pressure, water flow, operation status and water level in the tanks.
The operating system in the control center alerts any abnormal temperature or pressure or other malfunctions so that maintenance personnel can fix them in a timely manner and avoid damage to the equipment. The maintenance of on-site controlling devices and the setup of operation parameters can also be realized remotely.
In the future, Zhunneng Group will overhaul the control systems of the electric steam boiler, air source heat unit and water distribution plant in the mining area to realize remote automated control and operation. Amid its “going smart” initiative, Zhunneng Group will also automate supporting facilities including the sewage treatment plant, reservoir, water stations and pressure stations.