Rising electricity costs in South Africa have resulted in a need for optimized compressed-air networks in the mining environment. As a result, the financial benefit of air receivers needs to be reconsidered along with the economic dispatch strategy. This study investigates the use of an evolutionary algorithm in the mining industry to determine the potential financial benefit for various-sized air receivers, as well as their dispatch strategy. A genetic algorithm was selected due to the improved solution reliability and accuracy compared to other optimization techniques. This study indicates that a genetic algorithm can be used to determine the optimal dispatch of compressed air in the deep-level mining industry. Further, this study indicates that air receivers are financially viable in the mining industry and can be used to reduce operating costs, improving profitability.
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2022) 39:2083–2093, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-022-00640-x