Improving Conveyor Belt Tracking and Reducing Airborne Dust on a Re-design of a PRB Coal-Fired Power Plant Conveyor Transfer System
By Phil Wowak and Aaron Gibbs
Article Published in World Coal – June 2012
One of the big challenges to the safe conveying of coal, especially sub-bituminous coal such as that from the Powder River Basin (PRB), is dealing with the fuel’s high concentration of fine dust. The presence of this dust, combined with PRB coal’s high moisture content (20- 30% ), raises the risk of spontaneous combustion. Properly designed, maintained and operated conveyer belt systems play a major role in the safe handling of PRB coal.
Particular attention must be paid to cleaning because the buildup of dust on and along conveyors and transfer points poses safety problems. However, even fanatical cleaning is no substitute for a well-designed and operated coal conveying system. There are three major areas of concern to minimize dusting and spillage on a typical conveyor:
• Load zone transfer points.
• Discharge point belt cleaners.
• Belt tracking.