The improvement of the energy efficiency of belt conveyor systems can be achieved at equipment and
operation levels. Specifically, variable speed control, an equipment level intervention, is recommended to improve operation efficiency of belt conveyors. However, the current implementations mostly focus on lower level control loops without operational considerations at the system level. This paper intends
to take a model based optimization approach to improve the efficiency of belt conveyors at the operational level. An analytical energy model, originating from ISO 5048, is firstly proposed, which lumps all the parameters into four coefficients. Subsequently, both an off-line and an on-line parameter estimation scheme are applied to identify the new energy model, respectively. Simulation results are presented for
the estimates of the four coefficients. Finally, optimization is done to achieve the best operation efficiency of belt conveyors under various constraints. Six optimization problems of a typical belt conveyor system are formulated, respectively, with solutions in simulation for a case study.