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South African coal mine switches to Atlas Copco LED light towers

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Coal,

A coal mine in Mpumalanga, South Africa, has increased its operational efficiency and environmental credentials after adopting LED light towers from Atlas Copco Portable Energy. 

South African coal mine switches to Atlas Copco LED light towers

Tracpart Mining Supplies, an authorised trading partner of Atlas Copco in South Africa, has supplied four state-of-the-art HiLight V5+ LED light towers mounted on custom-built double-axle trailers to the end customer for use in above ground lighting applications. As a result of adopting LED technology, the coal mine has increased its above ground light tower coverage by 25% compared to the metal halide lamps previously used. In addition, the mine has realised average light tower fuel consumption savings of 60% and a reduction in associated CO2 emissions of up to 70%.

When Tracpart was approached by the coal mine to supply light towers, the company immediately turned to Atlas Copco.

“We supply Atlas Copco dewatering pumps and portable generators and are familiar with the proven quality of the brand,” explained De Wet van Wyk, co-founder of Tracpart together with brother, Jaco, in 2009. “Our strong focus on coal mining positions us as a specialist solutions supplier to this sector,” continued De Wet.


“As more and more mines in the region are reaching maximum depths and consequently moving to surface mining, we have expanded our scope of supply from underground machines, equipment and services to meet the growing demand for surface mining solutions. As part of our service offering we conduct regular customer site visits and during one such visit to a coal mine, the customer advised that they urgently needed four light towers. Having used only metal halide light towers previously, the coal mine requested replacement of the same but when the many advantages of LED technology came to light, the mine did not hesitate in making the switch.”

From an environmental point of view, the built-in spillage-free frame of the HiLight V5+ traps oil leakage and prevents ground contamination. The HardHat polyethylene canopy, a standard feature on the light tower, is extremely durable and provides maximum protection of internal parts against corrosion and harsh conditions.

With safety a top priority at any mine, all equipment must comply to strict mine specifications and light towers are no exception. Mine specifications demand that light towers are mounted on braked, double-axle four-wheeled trailers to provide extra stability and safety. “Our V5+ light towers are supplied standard on single axle two-wheeled trailers which meant that a number of modifications were required,” said Zandra van der Westhuizen from Atlas Copco Portable Energy. The four trailer-mounted light towers were supplied to Tracpart complete with reflective tape and a fire extinguisher.

TracPart is responsible for all service and maintenance on the light towers. “We visit the mine every fortnight to monitor the condition of the light towers,” said De Wet, adding that as part of their service to the mine they have undertaken to do the first 250 hrs service free of charge. Atlas Copco provided product and operator training, which Tracpart passed on to the customer during the handover of the light towers.

According to De Wet, this application was a good test of the light towers’ abilities and confirms that the units exceeded all expectations. “Our customer reports extreme satisfaction with the light towers and are particularly impressed with the effective lighting and economy delivered by the units.”

Atlas Copco’s heavy-duty LED light towers offer robust, reliable, efficient, economical and safe lighting solutions. “They tick all the boxes when it comes to meeting Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) requirements, low operating expenses and environmental responsibility,” explained Atlas Copco Portable Energy Business Line Manager, David Stanford. The special optic lenses in the LED lamps are designed specifically for mining and construction applications. “Depending on the model, a single LED light tower can illuminate a 5 000 m2 area with an average brightness of 20 lux while consuming less than 0.7 litres of fuel per hour. As the emitted light from LEDs is close to natural light sources it delivers the correct tone of light. The fully directional optic lens maximises practical light coverage while minimising ‘dark spots’ improving visibility on the job site for enhanced worker safety and comfort.” David adds that LEDs have an impressive 30 000 hour lamp life expectancy.

Highlighting another time-saving feature of the HiLight V5+, Zandra van der Westhuizen indicated that the manual vertical mast can be rotated quickly and easily to light a different area while fully extended to its maximum height of 7.5 m. “Furthermore, when supported by the extension legs, the light tower can operate in wind speeds of up to 80 km/hr,” Zandra added.

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