It takes energy to create energy. According to Finance Week, Eskom consumes approximately 120 million tons of coal a year for electricity generation. With such a high demand for electricity, energy companies constantly seek new methods of streamlining generation processes and reducing costs. For one major energy plant, GO® Switch leverless limit switches from TopWorx have helped achieve that goal.

The Process
Custom blends of coal are loaded into tripper cars, each equipped with multiple mechanical limit switches. Conveyor belts run into the tripper cars from the coal yard. The limit switches are tripped by targets on the tripper car rail, causing the coal to be dropped/spread into coal bunkers. From the coal bunkers, the coal is then pulverized and fed into the boilers to create steam. The superheated steam turns turbines which generate electricity.

The Problem
The dirty, harsh environment is not conducive to the proper functioning of mechanical switches. Massive amounts of coal dust and hydraulic oil cake up on the switches, which causes the mechanical lever arms to “stick.” This creates an uneven spread of coal with small hills and deep valleys in the coal bunkers. An uneven spread leads to inefficient burning, more waste, and higher costs with possible environmental repercussions and
safety hazards.

The plant’s old mechanical switches and targets were replaced with 10 series GO Switches and AMS4 target magnets. GO Switch being a sealed, severe-service switch, provides reliable positioning for the tripper cars in an extremely dirty, corrosive, and abusive application. Long-lasting and ultra reliable, GO Switches are the perfect choice to keep the flow of coal smooth and allow for efficient supply for decades to come. The Maintenance
Supervisor at the power plant predicts an annual savings of around 15-20% in the cost of energy production due to the installation of 10 series GO Switches and AMS4 target magnets.

About TopWorx
TopWorx is the global leader in valve control and position sensing for the process industries. Our solutions help plants, platforms, and pipelines improve productivity and increase safety in the harshest environments and toughest applications.

For more information about TopWorx contact Switches International at 011-462-4253 or  /

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