Smart energy powers China's green development

(Xinhua) 09:41, September 08, 2023

Staff members work at the command center of Malan coal mine of Shanxi Coking Coal Xishan Coal Electricity Group Co., Ltd. in Gujiao City, north China's Shanxi Province, Sept. 4, 2023. (Xinhua/Wang Xuetao)

TAIYUAN, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Zhao Lijun, a 45-year-old veteran coal worker in north China's Shanxi Province, has seen his work environment upended in the past three years or so with the advent of intelligent mining based on 5G technology.

Tasked with monitoring and maintaining an emulsion pump station at the Xinyuan coal mine of the Lu'an Chemical Group Co., Ltd., Zhao used to manage everything manually. For example, determining whether to replace an overheated pump relied on his assessment of motor and pump surface temperatures by using his palms.

Thanks to 5G technology, all pump station parameters are now displayed on a large screen, facilitating automatic switching between an overheated pump and its replacement. In the event of equipment malfunctions, he can use a 5G explosion-proof mobile phone to engage in video calls with the manufacturer for assistance.

As China is committed to achieving its dual carbon goals, the smart energy sector has created significant market opportunities, offering a promising outlook for the country's energy industry. This steadfast approach aligns with the theme of the ongoing 2023 Taiyuan Energy Low Carbon Development Forum -- "Smart energy for green and win-win future" -- held in the city of Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi Province.

According to data released by the National Energy Administration, as of April 2023, China had built a total of 1,043 intelligent coal mining platforms and 1,277 intelligent coal boring platforms, with the coal-rich province of Shanxi leading the way.

In the Malan coal mine of Shanxi Coking Coal Xishan Coal Electricity Group Co., Ltd., robots are seen patrolling the main slope, shaft-bottom substation, and the pump house hundreds of meters underground, and transmitting real-time data to the company's control center.

Robots deliver outstanding performance in terms of fault monitoring and accurate early warning, said Han Peiyi, head of the intelligent information management group of the Malan coal mine.

Intelligent energy is also reshaping electricity consumption patterns, fostering a shift in Chinese society towards more energy-efficient habits and practices.

In the past, the traditional power supply system gave rise to problems such as uneven load of power consumption and waste of clean power, while smart energy systems such as the virtual power plant can integrate and optimize the fragmented load resources to improve power efficiency.

With the arrival of the evening peak of electricity load, the virtual power plant in Hefei, the capital of east China's Anhui Province, sent an instruction to 25 EV (Electric vehicles) battery swapping stations. Within just a minute, the grid reduced the load by 13,000 kilowatts, an amount of electricity that can meet the power demand of more than 2,000 households.

The average power of 25 battery swapping stations would be lowered after receiving the instruction. As a result, the charging time of each battery would extend by about 5 minutes, which is not a big deal for individual drivers, according to a staff member of a car company in Hefei.

Home to one of China's first eight pilot projects of the electricity spot market, Shanxi has built an operational virtual power plant with an adjustable load capacity of 30,000 kilowatts. It can release 120,000 kWh of electricity per day at times of strained power supply to meet the needs of electricity usage of more than 17,000 households.

A screen displays the images delivered by a robot patrolling the main slope at Malan coal mine of Shanxi Coking Coal Xishan Coal Electricity Group Co., Ltd. in Gujiao City, north China's Shanxi Province, Sept. 4, 2023. (Xinhua/Wang Xuetao)

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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