Feeder Type Optimisation for the Plain Flow Discharge Process of an Underground Hopper by Discrete Element Modelling

Jan Nečas 1  ,  
Jakub Hlosta 1  ,  
David Žurovec 1  ,  
Martin Žídek 1  ,  
Jiří Rozbroj 1  ,  
VSB-Technical University of Ostrava, ENET Centre, Czech Republic
Adv. Sci. Technol. Res. J. 2017; 11(3):246–252
Publish date: 2017-09-03
This paper describes optimisation of a conveyor from an underground hopper intended for a coal transfer station. The original solution was designed with a chain conveyor encountered operational problems that have limited its continuous operation. The Discrete Element Modeling (DEM) was chosen to optimise the transport. DEM simulations allow device design modifications directly in the 3D CAD model, and then the simulation makes it possible to evaluate whether the adjustment was successful. By simulating the initial state of coal extraction using a chain conveyor, trouble spots were identified that caused operational failures. The main problem has been the increased resistance during removal of material from the underground hopper. Revealed resistances against material movement were not considered in the original design at all. In the next step, structural modifications of problematic nodes were made. For example, the following changes have been made: reduction of storage space or installation of passive elements into the interior of the underground hopper. These modifications made were not effective enough, so the type of the conveyor was changed from a drag chain conveyor to a belt conveyor. The simulation of the material extraction using a belt conveyor showed a significant reduction in resistance parameters while maintaining the required transport performance.
Jiří Rozbroj   
VSB-Technical University of Ostrava, ENET Centre, 17. listopadu 15/2172, 708 33 Ostrava-Poruba, Czech Republic