Evaluating the impact of auxiliary fan practices on localised subsurface ventilation
De Villiers, David J.
Mathews, Marc J.
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Mines are continually expanding in size and depth, leading to an increased reliance on localised subsurface ventilation systems. The use of underground auxiliary fans is a favoured method to increase and control airflow in working areas. However, the effectiveness of auxiliary fans in this regard is not clear. This paper evaluated the performance of these underground fan systems in four different South African deep-level gold mines. A total auxiliary fan system efficiency of 5% was found across six systems, with the average fan efficiency of 33 fans at 38%. The results showed that these fans deviate significantly from their design operating points. Therefore, there are significant shortcomings in current underground fan practices. Our detailed investigations led to the conclusion that the assemblage of underground auxiliary fan systems results in significant energy inefficiencies. Therefore, maintaining good underground fan practice such as optimal fan selection, ducting design and maintenance is crucial for the efficacy of a mine ventilation network
- Faculty of Engineering