Cost Saving Strategies in Mine Ventilation

CIM Montreal 2015
Euler De Souza (Queens University)
Energy associated with ventilating an underground operation comprises a significant portion of a mine operation's base energy demand and is consequently responsible for a large percentage of the total operating costs. Ventilation systems may account to 25% to 40% of the total energy costs and 40% to 50% of the energy consumption of a mine operation.

Appliances used to ventilate underground mines and the total fan power installed in a single mine operation can easily exceed 10,000 kW. Investigations of a number of mine ventilation systems have indicated to be, in general, very energy inefficient. The author has found that a large number of systems operate at efficiencies below 65%.

This paper presents how engineering design principles can be applied to improve the performance and efficiency of ventilation systems, resulting in substantial reductions in power consumption, operating cost and greenhouse gas emissions.

Case studies are presented to demonstrate that, by retrofitting current ventilation systems using proper engineering concepts of fluid physics and fluid flow, systems will operate at efficiencies well above common operating efficiencies, resulting in a drastic reduction in a mine's overall costs and base electrical and energy loads.
Keywords: power consumption, operating costs, ventilation efficiency, power costs, ventilation energy, ventilation economics, mine ventilation
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