NIR Moisture measurement and control in Coal mining applications

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Moisttech NIR Sensors for continuous Moisture Measurement in Coal

Moisture measurement and control is a crucial aspect in coal and minerals processing plants. In the past an array of different technologies have been used with limited success. Technologies such as microwave and gamma  were used for many years but installation, calibration and the general up keep of these technologies, including safety issues in regard to radiation sources left users with a sour taste about on line moisture measurement. 

The CCS3000 from Moisttech is an application specific on line Coal Moisture analyser. Introduced to the market in 2004 it is now in its 3rd generation. This system uses a non contact and non hazardous technology which is an optimised NIR absorption technology using a very sophisticated hardware and embedded firmware system specifically designed for these coal applications.

Designed for the harshest of mining environments

The robust design of the CCS3000 allows for it to be used in harsh environments even implementing the system as coal is coming from the mine. In the case of underground coal  it is mined wet, so ground water and other extraneous moisture influences the handling characteristics. Moisture coming from the mined coal can cause issues with washing, crushing and general handling of the material so it is important to monitor that to feed forward to the plant. 

100% Monitoring in real time

By integrating MoistTech’s CCS3000 into the process, users can monitor 100% of their product quality, instantly and consistently. Measuring moisture throughout processing prevents out of specification product being loaded on to rail cars, trucks or ships. Keeping the moisture at the optimum limit allows producers to keep the moisture at the upper level of the limit which helps to improve yield, as typically coal is sold by weight with a moisture specification.

Coal moisture analysis before burning is a critical parameter

Additionally, monitoring coal moisture will improve performance and heat rate, as well as control emissions and water consumption. The Moisttech CCS3000 is used in many power stations, steel plants and other coal fired processes to monitor and control feed rates into the boilers, so the combustion process is optimised.

Sensors can be networked throughout the process

MoistTech recommends installing sensors in several locations throughout the process. These analysis points can be networked together using Ethernet connecting each gauge to a central system running the Moisttech software platform. The gauge also has the capability to interface with SCADA and PLC control systems either via analogue 4-20mA or various digital protocols including Profibus, Profinet, Devicenet, Ethernet IP and Mobus.

Multiple Applications for a versatile CCS3000 NIR Gauge

  • The CCS3000 can be used for many different applications:
  • Coal moisture from underground mining
  • Coal moisture before washing to avoid jamming
  • Coal moisture after crushing
  • Coal moisture as it enters the Coking plant in steel making
  • Coke moisture after the coke ovens in steel making
  • Crushed Coal moisture in Sinter Mix
  • Coal moisture during extraction & mining
  • Coal moisture for incoming boiler feed for combustion efficiency

Optical hardware and firmware designed for the mining industry – A game changer !

Unlike other instrumentation of this type, some of the unique features of the CCS3000 is that it has an intelligent software-based core with features and benefits not seen previously in analysers of this type. The optical system is from one of Moisttech’s owners and the designer of the system who began his career in NIR analysis in the 1970’s. For dark products such as coal and minerals traditionally NIR would not have been applicable but with the CCS3000 optical design coupled with a very powerful embedded firmware system, the CCS3000 has proven to the industry it is a game changer. The CCS3000 can even monitor the product even with small gaps in product flow and is unaffected by ambient light without impacting the accuracy. The model 3000 is also ideal for installations on belt, drag chain and screw conveyors.

Simple installation and pre calibration for a quick start up.

Installing and commissioning an on line moisture sensor is always of concern when procuring a system. However Moisttech have really made it simple. Firstly the gauge comes pre fitted with the mounting brackets, You simply mount the gauge using a 32mm diameter pipe suspended over the conveyor. As the sensor weight is only 10kg the mounting frame can be fabricated very easily on site. All CCS3000 gauges come pre-calibrated so this eliminates the need to waste time on site calibrating the gauge against a primary method, this is already done for you. The gauge can be started up either by the client themselves with Moisttech guidance, or using a remote connection Moisttech engineers and connect to the gauge and configure it remotely. This has been especially helpful during the pandemic. Engineers are all available to travel to site if needed but we are seeing this requirement less and less. Training on the user friendly system can also be provided remotely or on site and the software system can be mastered in 1-2 hours of training. Moisttech also run regular training seminars.

Innovation, simplicity and accuracy

Moisttech has been a leading innovator of moisture measurement technology for the mining industry since its inception in 2004. The company was founded on the principle that continuous monitoring is key to preventing costly safety and operational issues, so they have designed their equipment with this goal in mind from beginning to end. From 100% real-time monitoring using optical hardware and firmware specifically designed for coal mines, simple installation and pre calibration which eliminates any need for manual programming or training, all of these features combine to make moisttech’s NIR sensors an excellent choice if you are looking into continuous moisture measurements in your own mine environment. Interested? Contact us today !


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