Electrical Trends In the 70's and 80's

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 69, No. 773, 1976

George F. Bassett, Consulting Engineer, Bassett Associates, Montreal, Quebec

More will be expected from the mine or metallurgical plant electrical system in the late 70's and 80's in terms of energy conservation, reliability and fire prevention. Increased electrical loads required by larger arc furnaces, higher-horsepower motors for mine hoists and pollution control fans, and greater use of electrical heating will have to be supplied. Computers and sophisticated instruments will be used more extensively and have less tolerance for electrical fluctuations. More extensive control and monitoring systems will be required to increase production and minimize operating and maintenance costs. Changing energy costs will prompt design engineers to investigate in-plant generation, particularly where sites are remote from existing utilities lines or steam from turbines may be used in the process. Some utilities are requiring industries to increase their power factor to above 90%; others are requiring stricter control of voltage flicker from arc furnaces and harmonics from rectifiers. There is a trend to AC with solid-state controls instead of DC for large cranes.
Keywords: Electrical trends, Energy, Control systems, Lighting, Motors, Solid-state equipment, Power supplies, Cables, Safety.