Modelling Dynamic Behaviour of Storage Bins for Material Handling in Dynamic Simulations
Paper in proceedings, 2012
Material handling is an essential part of the aggregate and mining industries. Mixing and blending of granular material can affect the grading and particle size distribution of the material leaving the system. Segregation and variability can cause problems in the downstream process while insufficient capacity will disturb upstream processes.
Process plants utilize surge bins for handling recycle streams of material and act as a buffer for the process. The flow through the surge bin is usually controlled by a simple PID controller or PID controller in combinations with a plant-wide controller. Even though the surge bins play an important role of smoothening out the plant and creating a steady operating condition are they seldom included in plant simulations. This can lead to a number of problems in the form of decreased plant capacity, plant lockdown, and even operation units malfunctioning.
The main objective of this study is to investigate the dynamic behavior in surge bins and develop a model more suitable for representing this behavior, which can occur during operation, for dynamic simulations. The proposed model adopts vertical layers which allow for flows between segments depending on the level of neighboring segments. This enables both the representing of segregation within the system and gives an indication on the effects from different inlet- and outlet placements. The proposed model was developed in Matlab/Simulink and validated against an actual bin with the total capacity of 700 m3 in platinum ore application. With the new bin model significantly higher fidelity and more accurate dynamic simulation results were achieved.