System drivers in the performance of auxiliary ventilation systems

Abstract The mechanization of mining operations in underground coal mines has led to faster cutting rates of coalfaces with increased levels of emission of gaseous and particulate contaminants in the workings. Consequently, the fresh air streams from the main ventilation systems reaching distant workings are often insufficient, ineffective or inadequate and have to be supplemented by auxiliary ventilation systems to create and maintain the required working environments underground. The efficiencies of auxiliary ventilation systems are largely affected by drivers of the system such as the type and capacity of the fan; the type, length, diameter and condition of the ventilation ducting and the distance from the discharge end of the intake ducting to the face. Traditionally, single point measurements of methane gas concentrations using either flame safety lamps or hand-held measuring instruments have been used to assess how safe underground coal workings were. Unfortunately, such occasional measurements of methane gas concentrations do not give an accurate picture of the real gas concentration in the working as they are often taken from the easily accessible locations in working. Continuous monitoring of the methane gas concentration in development headings enables a better assessment of the environmental conditions prevailing there. All variations in the methane concentrations are more easily captured on a continuous monitoring basis than by instantaneous single point measurements. The approach adopted in this work was to continuously monitor the concentration of methane very close to the face and about 60 m outbye in development headings, observe the types of auxiliary ventilation equipment and their sizes being used in the working as well as noting the lengths from the discharge ends of the forcing and exhaust ductings to the face. In this paper, empirical methods are used to calculate the mean efficiencies of the auxiliary ventilation systems in selected development headings in coal mines in North America. This enables the assessment of the effectiveness of the auxiliary ventilation systems and the identification of the system drivers in them. The results show that the efficiencies of the forcing systems ranged from 17.02% to 96.81% while the efficiencies of the overall systems varied from 6.04% to 54.16%. The distance from the discharge end of the intake ducting to the face appeared to be the strongest driver in the performance of the auxiliary ventilation systems studied. It was also noted that when the discharge end of the intake ducting to the face does not exceed 7 m, there were faster purging rates of methane at the face and the efficiencies of the overall auxiliary ventilation system were greater than 50%. These findings are very important in underground coal mining in North America as they will assist to avert calamities, such as the Westray coal mine disaster in 1992 which resulted from the explosion of methane gas, by identifying which components of the ventilation system need special attention to create safe working conditions underground.
Keywords: Mechanization, Auxiliary ventilation systems, Underground mining, System drivers, Monitoring.
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Summary: This paper describes the use of dynamic scheduling and discrete event control to provide coordinated control of multiple automated vehicles. This work has been carried out within ongoing research into multi-robot coordination developed around the underground mining scenario. Demonstrations using scaled laboratory models of underground mines illustrate the potential for this technology for full-scale implementation for mine-wide automation.
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): J. King, R. Gosine, B. Delaney, T. Norvell, S. O'Young
Issue: 1069
Volume: 96
Year: 2003
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Summary: Aging effect on the wear resistance of alumina particulate-reinforced 6061 aluminum matrix composites with a block-on-ring wear tester has been investigated. Specimens with various Al2O3 volume fractions of 0%, 10% and 20% were employed in this work. Experimental results indicated that over-aged monolithic 6061 Al had the best wear resistance, as compared with under-aged and peak-aged conditions. For the composite containing 10% Al2O3, over-aging and peak-aging resulted in similar wear...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): C.-K. Fang
Keywords: MMC, Wear, Aging.
Issue: 1069
Volume: 96
Year: 2003
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Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): U. Dillon, G. Blackwell
Issue: 1069
Volume: 96
Year: 2003
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Summary: The traditional metallurgical scale-up techniques for flotation plants are based on lumped flotation rate constants, dimensionless hydrodynamic numbers and the use of safety factors. Once the plant has been designed, the flotation principles that govern scale-up play almost no role in the optimization of the circuit to meet its metallurgical targets. This deficiency can potentially lead to a plant design incapable of meeting its targets, especially when circuits incorporate large flotation...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): B.K. Gorain, A.W. Stradling
Keywords: Flotation, Modelling, Plant design, Circuit optimization, Bubble surface area flux.
Issue: 1069
Volume: 96
Year: 2003
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Summary: The competitive pressure, the increasing energy costs and the environmental regulations impose substantial challenges to the definition of power plants serving industrial facilities. Primary mining and metallurgical facilities have even greater challenges because they are often located remotely, where the fuel supply can be a problem. The absence of a power grid imposes challenges on the reliability and quality of the electrical energy supply. In addition, the facilities usually require...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): D. Berkley
Keywords: Cogeneration, Remote location, Feasibility, Reliability, Energy supply, Turbines.
Issue: 1069
Volume: 96
Year: 2003
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