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Air Flow Distribution Optimization in Mine Ventilation Network
AdvisorDanko, George L.
Mining and Metallurgical Engineering
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In spite of the high energy cost, there may exist over-ventilation and uneconomic airflow distribution design in underground mines. It is difficult to intuitively reduce ventilation energy cost while maintaining health and safety.This paper reviews the elements of ventilation optimization. The "best practices" should all be exercised first for optimization and meanwhile considering also their broader economic impact. The second step is to consider using booster fans instead of air regulators for air distribution control. The third step of ventilation optimization is to achieve the best match between the air flow in the ventilation network and the specified minimum air flow requirement for both safety and health for each air branch. The goal is to operate the ventilation network as close as possible to specified minimum air flow requirement in each branch at the mine and at lower operating cost. This goal can be achieved by the assistance of a ventilation model application algorithm. The algorithm systematically varies the adjustment parameters of the fans and air regulators until the best optimum solution for the objective functions is satisfied.Numerical examples show that the algorithm can be used to find the best, optimal solution for the mine ventilation network.