Novel 20-MW downhill conveyor system using three-level converters

José Rodríguez, Jorge Pontt, Gerardo Alzamora, Norbert Becker, Ottomar Einenkel, Alejandro Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a very new drive system used to transport ore from the mine down to the concentrator plant in the copper mine "Los Pelambres". Eight 2500-kW motors are driven by three-level inverters with gate-turn-off thyristors (GTOs). A three-level active front end is used at the input side of each inverter. A GTO chopper is used to provide controlled electrical braking in case of line loss. The paper presents the requirements and alternatives for the drive system and the control strategies for the converters and the belt. A novel application of the selective harmonic elimination method is used to reduce the input current harmonics. Special attention is dedicated to the interaction with the electrical network. The most relevant features of the system are: 1) fuseless operation; 2) adjustable power factor; 3) reduced input current harmonics; 4) smooth transition between motoring and regenerating modes; and 5) 15 MW of regenerated power with more than six months of successful operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1093-1100
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002


  • Active front end
  • Conveyor drives
  • High-power drives
  • Three-level inverters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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