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Lighting system runs off conveyor belt energy

KRS Design, a Wollongong based electronics design and manufacturing company, has developed the Energy Harvester Lighting and Control System, or Energy Harvester for short.
The system has been designed to be used in conjunction with existing conveyor roller systems in coal preparation plants (both above and underground), ship loading operations and a number of other applications where conveyors are used to transport products over a long distance.
It harnesses the kinetic energy from conveyor belt rollers (or idler rolls) and uses this energy to power lighting, control and diagnostic devices. It would be suitable for large-scale mining operations, as well as materials and manufacturing plants where there is a large conveyor run that doesn’t have a 240VAC power supply.
The system can provide up 100m of lighting, sensors and communications hub (cluster) without a need for an external electrical supply. It can be installed on existing systems using plug-and-play cables and devices.
The generator is coupled to an idler roll on the conveyor system with the roller chosen being the one that is located at the bottom of the conveyor in the return path of the belt.
The electrical power can be used for sensors, internet, cameras and other specialised applications without the need to run an electrical supply along the length of the conveyor, which can be many kilometres long on some installations.
The power generated is also used to power an LED lighting system along the conveyor which can light up the customer’s product on the conveyor as well as the walkway alongside the conveyor, which enhances safety and productivity along the conveyor system.
Each Energy Harvester system draws approximately 150W from the conveyor infrastructure, which is 150W per 100m. In the case of a conveyor system run that stretches for kilometres, where numerous Energy Harvesters can be installed, it has been designed to not overload the power limitations of the existing conveyor system, as typically these systems tend to be using up to 200-500 Kilowatt motors.
On top of all this, there is purpose-built software to monitor and control the Energy Harvester. All aspects of the conveyor line within 100m of the system control box can be checked, viewed and monitored remotely.
There are currently three demonstration systems installed out in the field. The first system is installed in a Coal Preparation Plant located in Lithgow. This system has been running for 15 months without any failures or problems. The second and third systems are installed at two separate underground coal mines. They have been running six months and three months respectively and have had no performance issues.

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