INCREASING PRODUCTION CAPACITY WITH VENTILATION ON DEMAND A NEW PARADIGM FOR VOD - ENABLING PRODUCTION

A detailed multi-faceted assessment of the Ventilation on Demand (VOD) systems, as installed in two deep mechanized Canadian hard rock mines, was undertaken to help generate a business case for the incremental or full introduction the required infrastructure technology.

The assessment study’s main components: equipment activity and ventilation simulations; the analysis of collected SCADA data and in-field measurement campaigns were combined to determine the potential value that VOD systems can generate.

The analyses have confirmed that VOD systems can create energy savings, but their magnitude is very dependant on how the spatial and temporal ventilation distribution adjustments are achieved through the whole mine.

However, another key finding is that VOD could improve the productive capacity of underground mines by not only allowing the air supply to better match actual demand but also for excess air volume to be directed towards additional activity. Consequently, the findings suggest the value proposition for VOD should now be orientated towards: Maximize production when productive capacity is available and minimize energy usage only when production is not possible.

To guide mines in how this may be achieved, this paper presents a technology/benefit matrix and a means of gauging the effectiveness of VOD systems combining both production and energy savings. Combined the matrix and measurement provide a means of planning and tracking the effectiveness of moving research and innovative technologies into daily operations.
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