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Accelovant Deploys Fiber-Optic Sensors to Improve Efficiencies at Kansanshi Copper Mine

Sensors installed in “smokestack scrubbers” dramatically reduce plant downtime, enabling processing at higher capacities and facilitating automated control.

NORTH VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / April 13, 2023 / Accelovant, an innovative developer of fiber-optic sensing solutions for semiconductor, industrial, IoT, manufacturing, and power distribution markets, announced the deployment of its fiber-optic temperature sensors at Kansanshi Mining PLC, a First Quantum-owned company located in Zambia, and one of the world’s largest and most productive copper mining and smelting sites. The Accelovant sensors replaced older technology devices that were highly prone to failure under the extreme operating conditions within the wet electrostatic precipitators (ESP) utilized to scrub dangerous toxins and pollutants from gas streams generated in the copper smelting process.

“Accelovant specializes in high-temperature fiber-optic sensors which are also immune to electrical noise and interference,” said Michael Goldstein, chief executive officer for Accelovant. “Our patented Kristonium material has created a new class of fiber-optic temperature sensors that offer long service life at temperatures exceeding 450 degrees Celsius. In systems like the ESPs at the Kansanshi mines, the sensors replaced electrical devices that could not survive the harsh high voltage and electrical noise environment.”

To operate at peak efficiency, the plant must maintain precise temperature levels between 325 and 340 degrees Celsius through the use of in-stream sensors. This is a challenge in the harsh operating environment surrounding the wet ESPs (high voltage, electrical noise, and high temperature).

Pieter Oosthuizen, control instrumentation superintendent at the Kansanshi plant, noted that the ESP units operate with a typical 45 kilovolt charge. “In this kind of environment, there is tremendous electromagnetic noise and induced currents in anything that is conductive or that utilizes electronics. We tried many different sensor types, but in all cases the electronics would burn out and fail due to the stray electromagnetic fields – until we installed the Accelovant sensors.”


Read more: Bloomberg

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