Green operations of belt conveyors by means of speed control

Daijie He, Yusong Pang, Gabri Lodewijks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)
82 Downloads (Pure)


Belt conveyors can be partially loaded due to the variation of bulk material flow loaded onto the conveyor. Speed control attempts to reduce the belt conveyor energy consumption and to enable the green operations of belt conveyors. Current research of speed control rarely takes the conveyor dynamics into account so that speed control lacks applicability. Based on our previous research, this paper will provide an improved three-step method to determine the minimum speed adjustment time. This method can be summarized as Estimation-Calculation-Optimization and ECO in short. The ECO method takes both the potential risks and the conveyor dynamics into account. It is expected to keep belt conveyors in good dynamic behaviors in transient operations. After discussing the ECO method, this research takes a long inclined belt conveyor of an import dry bulk terminal as case study. Based on the suggested acceleration time, a speed controller is built and computational simulations are carried out to evaluate the energy savings and the conveyor dynamics. Experimental results prove that the application of the ECO method ensures the healthy dynamic performance of belt conveyors under speed control in transient operations. Annually, the average electricity consumption of the single conveyor can be reduced by over 10% with around 90 tons reduction of emission. The direct economic benefit can reach up to more than €10,000 in terms of the electricity utilization per year.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-341
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • Belt conveyor
  • Energy savings
  • speed control
  • ECO method
  • Dynamic perfotmance
  • Green operations


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