As electricity prices continue to rise, the increasing need for energy management requires better understanding of models for energy-consuming applications, such as conveyor belts. Conveyor belts are used in a wide range of industries, including power generation, mining and mineral processing. Conveyor technological advances are leading to increasingly long conveyor belts being commissioned. Thus, the energy consumption of each individual belt conveyor unit is becoming increasingly significant. This paper proposes a generic energy model for belt conveyors with long troughed belts. The model has a two-parameter power equation, and it uses a partial differential equation to capture the variable amount of material mass per unit length throughout the belt length. Verification results show that the power consumption calculations of the newly proposed simpler model are consistent with those of a known non-linear model with an error of less than 4%. The online parameter identification set-up of the model is proposed. Simulations indicate that the parameters can be identified successfully from data with up to 15% measurement noise. Results show that the proposed model gives better predictions of the power consumed and material delivered by a long conveyor belt than the steady-state models in the current literature.
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