Vale is investing in the expansion of Vargem Grande Itabirítico Mining Installation Treatment, which will enable to increase production of around 11 million tons per year. In order to support all this growth, the mining company is expanding its supply structure of electricity, by constructing 13 new substations and a command center, responsible for distributing the energy for the different mining sectors.
Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management, was hired to perform such service, and outsourced the job of installing the physical part for NetService. It was responsible for drafting the executive project for launching optical cables to interconnect the panel automation system of each mine substation, including the assembling steps of the backstage, fiber fusion, cable certification and identification and as built system (end project revision).
Each substation being deployed contains an electricity center, which is its control panel. There, online information about all events that are within the power supply is gathered, allowing controllers to monitor everything that takes place in the substations. “Our project was to create interconnecting routes of the panels of the automation system of each substation, from an optimization study on the path that facilitates the deployment and saves cables,” explains the Project Estimator, Roberto Azevedo. The solution was to install networks in a ring form so that all panels could be interconnected with the same location as the input and output point, traveling the shortest distance and hence reducing the volume of material to be spent.
Another crucial point of the project was the work of identifying all the installed solution, with panel information from the start and end of each cable, its length and level of infrastructure through which it goes. “There are five levels of infrastructure, each with identification. That’s the sign of the client, in case it requires for maintenance, it knows exactly where to find each cable,” says Roberto Azevedo. “In terms of complexity of implementing this is an average project, but it becomes large due to the size and the amount of people involved,” he adds.