SEL Relays Protect K+S Potash Mine in Canada | Automation.com

SEL Relays Protect K+S Potash Mine in Canada

June 20, 2014 – K+S Potash Canada General Partnership (K+S Potash Canada) selected SEL relays and communications products to protect and control a new potash mine now under construction in Saskatchewan, Canada. The new $3.7 billion Legacy Project is the first solution potash mine to be built in Saskatchewan in nearly 40 years.

Commissioning of the Legacy Project potash mine, near Moose Jaw, is targeted for 2016 with a total of 36 production caverns. Canada is the largest producer of potash, a mixture of potassium chloride and sodium chloride that is used to improve water retention in soil and increase the yields, nutrient value, taste, color, texture, and disease resistance in food crops around the world.

SEL equipment is not new to the world of potash mining. The company has been providing protection and control solutions to this industry in Canada since 2005, helping to ensure the safe, reliable delivery of electric power in the industry. After almost ten years of success in Saskatchewan potash mines, the Legacy Project is taking SEL equipment one step further by introducing IEC 61850 communication for complete electrical distribution system control, monitoring, and integration.

Today, SEL equipment is installed in nine of the ten major potash mines across Saskatchewan. With SEL relays and fault indicators providing protection in some of the harshest mining applications, such as the mobile underground substations called sleds, the choice to apply SEL products exclusively was easy for the designers of the K+S Legacy Project.

In 2013, as part of a different project, Mark Payton, senior specialist for SEL Engineering Services, visited a mine in Saskatchewan. That project included upgrading many of the mine’s sleds with SEL relays.

“Each sled had a breaker, a transformer, and two SEL-751A Feeder Protection Relays—one primary and one secondary,” Payton said. “There are two types of sleds: miner sleds power the mining equipment, and drive sleds power pumps, fans, lighting, and everything else in the mine.”

SEL relays are designed to trip a circuit breaker when a fault is detected or when too much electricity could damage the system or create an unsafe environment. The need for relays to act quickly, within a few thousandths of a second, is especially difficult in these environments, and also of the utmost importance in order to keep people safe in mines.

Mining operations worldwide use SEL to engineer, construct, monitor, meter, protect, and control their power systems for maximum safety, reliability, and cost efficiency.

SEL is an employee-owned company serving the power industry worldwide for more than thirty years through the design, manufacture, supply, and support of products and services for power system protection, monitoring, control, automation, and metering. SEL offers unmatched local technical support, a worldwide, ten-year product warranty, and a commitment to making electric power safer, more reliable, and more economical.

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