Intermediate Drives

"Intermediate drives" is the label given to drives located other than near the head or tail pulleys.

In order to minimize belt rating requirments and belt costs, intermediate drives are used to lower belt tensions at critical locations. However, locating drives on the carry side of the conveyor is much more difficult and often requires a small transfer chute in order to wrap the belt around drive pulleys. Also control algorithms required to balance power between drive in an appropriate manner is more complex especially for starting and stopping.

Intermediate drives have been used in underground coal mines since the mid 1980's. They are also quite common in constuction tunnel development. In long surface overlands, intermediate drives are used to help negotiate tight horizontal curves.