The energy used for ventilation and the temperature regulation represent a large part of a mine’s operating costs. IMAGINE provides a valuable energy efficiency tool that considerably improves (i.e. decreases) the energy consumption of a mine. Substantial savings are possible by controlling ventilation to places where workers and equipment are active, and by assigning fresh air on demand, according to the actual needs of zones within the mine.
As with all elements of the IMAGINE software, the interface is intuitive and user-friendly. The configuration is simple and allows ventilation technicians to be autonomous when making adjustments without requiring a programmer or IT technician.
HOW DOES IT WORK ?
IMAGINE works by automating fan startup and shutdown. Each fan is linked to a terminal that can detect the presence of tags on workers and vehicles in a specific ventilation zone (ventzone). When a worker or vehicle enters the ventzone, the ventilation system activates, increasing air flow to accommodate the needs of the equipment within the work environtment. The fans can also be linked to each other to create a startup sequence. Two (2) options are currently offered for the ventilation module.
OPTION A – ADVANCED VENTILATION
The advanced ventilation option is a ventilation module that supplies air proportionally as required, thereby achieving substantial savings in energy costs.
The operator performs a survey of the airflow generated by each fan at different power levels and adds this information to the system. The data on the air requirements of vehicles and workers must also be added. A vehicle’s air requirement will depend on its operating mode (diesel or electric) and the number of workers present. For example, a vehicle with a diesel motor requires greater air circulation than an electric vehicle. Using this information, IMAGINE calculates the speed at which the fans must work in a given zone and sends a command to modulate the speed accordingly.
This option includes fifteen (15) proportional ventilation zones. Additional proportional ventilation zones can be purchased separately.
The figures below show an example of proportional ventilation for an air requirement of 39.12 kcfm in which a fan is operating at 60% to provide 46.62 kcfm.
OPTION B – STANDARD VENTILATION
The standard ventilation module basically works in the same way as the proportional mode, the difference being that the fans cannot be programmed to function at a given percentage. When a fan starts, it works at full capacity.
This option includes fifteen (15) standard ventilation zones, two of which are proportional ventilation zones (for the surface fans).
ADVANTAGES OF VENTILATION VIA IMAGINE
• Ensures good air quality for miners;
• Reduces energy consumption (up to 40%);
• Simple and user-friendly interface;
• Maximum production in strategic locations;
• Ventilation sequence for different scenarios;
• Modulation of ventilation in work areas, as needed (option A);
• Lower maintenance requirements;
• Increase in fan life expectancy.