More mines are using light-emitting diode (LED) luminaires to reduce the maintenance costs associated with lighting, South Africa-based solutions, design and manufacturing company LED Lighting SA tells Engineering News.
“Replacing old lighting systems, such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and incandescent light bulbs, with LED systems offers companies massive savings. These savings are achieved because LEDs are replaced only once every 50 000 hours, depending on the operating environment, instead of every 1 000 hours for incandescent bulbs and every 6 000 hours for fluorescent tubes or globes,” says LED Lighting CEO and founder Pierre van Helden.
LED Lighting SA offers the mining sector an Ingress Protection (IP) 67 light line, which was developed three years ago. It is ideally suited to underground mining applications, as the materials from which it is manufactured can withstand the harsh working environments of mines and its performance meets the requirements of the IP67 rating. The light line consists of an extruded high-grade aluminium heat sink, which houses Osram medium-current LEDs on a printed circuit board, encapsulated by a polychlorinated biphenyl compound.
“It is this specific, nonflammable polyurethane compound that is used to create the required protection against dust and water while still providing the transparency and correct thermal expansion coefficient,” explains Van Helden.
The light line uses 14 W, as opposed to the 60 W or 100 W used by incandescent globes. It also requires a low voltage and can operate at 12 V, 24 V or 48 V. A 15 m section of the light line operates off a 24 V power supply, while a 30 m section uses a 48 V power supply.
“Each 900 mm light source produces about 1 000 lumens in a downwards direction onto the tunnel floor, which is far superior to CFL alternatives,” notes Van Helden.