AC Drive System with Active Front End (AFE) for Mining Excavators

CIM MineSpace 2001
Bernard Ebacher, Frank Wickert,
Abstract Today's large electric mining shovels are significant users of power and represent peak loads of more than 3.5 MW to a mine's distribution system. The power swings during normal operation can influence the line voltage at the Point of Common Coupling (PCC). The static converters for the shovel's motions also create voltage and current harmonics which are fed back into the mine's power grid. In addition, shovels themselves are affected by the power quality of the mine's distribution system.
This paper introduces the use of active IGBT rectifiers, also called Active Front Ends (AFE), as alternative to conventional, line commutated SCR thyristor rectifiers. The AFEs convert the AC line input into a controlled DC-link voltage. This DC voltage is then used as input to IGBT inverters, which power the AC motors of the shovel's Hoist, Propel, Crowd, and Swing motions.
The introduction of AFEs creates the following operational improvements: i) reduction of the Harmonic Current Distortion THDi from more than 40% to less than 4%; ii) full regenerative operation; iii) the potential for line voltage stabilization at the PCC; iv) high tolerance for line voltage fluctuations; v) improved dynamic performance, and, as result vi) higher availability and productivity of the shovel.
Keywords: Shovel, Active Front End, IGBT, Interactive Maintenance, Excavator, AC drive, Dragline, Lifecycle Support
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