As electricity prices continue to rise, the increasing need for energy management
requires better understanding of models for energy-consuming applications, such as conveyor belts.
Conveyor belts are used in a wide range of industries, including power generation, mining and
mineral processing. Conveyor technological advances are leading to increasingly long conveyor
belts being commissioned. Thus, the energy consumption of each individual belt conveyor unit is
becoming increasingly significant. This paper proposes a generic energy model for belt conveyors
with long troughed belts. The model has a two-parameter power equation, and it uses a partial
differential equation to capture the variable amount of material mass per unit length throughout
the belt length. Verification results show that the power consumption calculations of the newly
proposed simpler model are consistent with those of a known non-linear model with an error of less
than 4%. The online parameter identification set-up of the model is proposed. Simulations indicate
that the parameters can be identified successfully from data with up to 15% measurement noise.
Results show that the proposed model gives better predictions of the power consumed and material
delivered by a long conveyor belt than the steady-state models in the current literature.