There has been increased interest in the generator sets of Himoinsa Southern Africa, a subsidiary of Spain-based power solutions provider Himoinsa. This is a good sign from the mines, as it indicates that they are prioritising their safety requirements, claims Himoinsa Southern Africa services head Chris Davison.
“We offer quick, continuous and uninterrupted power for mines – we have the solutions for them from day one of construction.”
Himoinsa Southern Africa provides alternative power solutions for all aspects of a mine, thereby providing increased safety for those working underground, as well as power for continuous production, he states.
Mines are focusing more on using backup power to move workers safely out of a mine when there is a power failure, particularly in deep-level underground mines where employees work several kilometres underground, maintains Davison.
A mine in the Free State has one 5 MW, 6.6 kV generator and one 4 MW, 6.6 kV generator to provide emergency power for mine shaft ventilation, the pumps and winders. The generators comprise a fully synchronised rapid black start diesel package, which enables the generator to start up almost immediately.
Meanwhile, a copper mine in Namibia had two HTW-1260 T5 generator sets installed in January for critical water pump operations.
Further, Himoinsa’s offering of remote power solutions enables mines, which are not yet connected to power grids, to pursue early production. Greenfield and brownfield operations have to wait for ten months to two years to build infrastructure for overhead cables, highlights Davison.
He emphasises that Himoinsa can rapidly deploy early power using small- to midsize generator sets in the construction phase of a smaller scale mine, replacing them later with larger units to power the processing plant once construction is completed.
The company also offers lease-to-own options that can lower the total cost of ownership, in addition to rental options. If a mine has ordered bespoke generators, Himoinsa will provide the operation with rental units until the purchased generators are ready and then phase out the rental units, Davison explains.
“In this manner, mines are ensured of backup power as soon as possible,” he adds.
While diesel generators are still among the most popular generators, Himoinsa Southern Africa has noted an increasing interest over the past eight months in hybrid generators that use diesel and batteries to store power.
“The battery technology helps if there is a dip in power or if the power is very unstable,” Davison points out.
He explains that a diesel generator will not start if the dip in power is not large enough, but that battery power will compensate for smaller dips in powers. “If the power does go off for a lengthy time, the generator will start with the batteries, keeping the system stable.”
All Himoinsa generator sets come with remote monitoring, auto back synchronisation and auto start. The Himoinsa fleet manager, known as C2Cloud, monitors generator sets in real time and continuously monitors the performance of the generators.
The information can be accessed 24/7, and can create comma-separated values, a type of data field. The C2Cloud creates anti-theft alerts to warn of machine or fuel theft, and schedules refuelling.
Himoinsa Southern Africa is fully supported by its international original- equipment manufacturer (OEM) warranty, along with support from its OEM partners for the products used in the generators, says Davison. All Himoinsa Southern Africa technicians and engineers are trained at Himoinsa, in Spain, to provide support and after-sales services for clients in the Southern Africa region.
“We also offer full-service maintenance plans, which are extendable, for clients. Our service, warranty and maintenance upkeeps are all part of the Himoinsa package for clients using our rental or lease options,” Davison points out.
Himoinsa Southern Africa generator sets range from 3 kVA to 3 500 kVA, and come in a variety of sizes. The industrial range of generators for mines have anti- vibration supports, soundproofing and external connection points, with easy maintenance access for all serviceable fluids and consumables, all focused around safety for the maintenance technicians.
The heavy-range generator sets are approved by the International Organisation for Standardisation and Container Safety Convention. They are available in 20 ft and 40 ft packages, and are coated with anti-corrosion and climate and fade resistant paint. The soundproof generators also have maintenance-free batteries for those using batteries.
Himoinsa Southern Africa is putting “a lot of energy and focus” into supplying remote energy solutions – a key driver for the company, Davison states. “The rewards are showing, as clients prefer our approach and what we can offer them.”