Universities have been conceptualising Ventilation-on-Demand (VoD) for over a decade. While a number of mines have evolved and implemented similar systems, few actually reach the working face, and even fewer can check all of the boxes of a true Ventilation on Demand system.
Where a full VoD system requires a significant number of control features (control of regulators, for example, as well as precise modeling of the entire ventilation network to enable variable speed controllers) most mines are still having problems with the basics. Getting non-diluted gas values at the face via an Air Quality Monitoring system, and being able to sustainably track their personnel on foot and equipment via a Personnel, Equipment and Asset Tracking system are some of the first challenges to tackle before VoD is possible.
What to do? At Ramjack, we have noticed that as much as 90% of the power savings available to a mine by implementing a VoD system can be achieved by implementing a more simple Ventilation Management and Fan Control system. Here are some factors to explore if you are curious if the benefits of an on-demand Ventilation Management system are right for your site:
- You have many secondary fans and believe that energy-saving is available.
- You use personal gas monitors (monitors that are carried by the miner on their person) and you are ready for the next level.
- You do not believe that fixed gas sensors will add value, or you believe that demonstrating a positive ROI on this component alone will be difficult.
- You believe that fixed gas sensors at the face are too difficult and/or overkill.
- You have already invested in soft starters, or are contemplating investing in variable speed controllers for your secondary fans, and you are not convinced that this will add value.
- You’ve tried to extend your SCADA system to your secondary fans and have either had mixed results or the efforts failed.
- You have a hard time justifying the purchase of a stand-alone wireless communication system in addition to your existing leaky feeder without certain ROI.
- You have either had mixed results or have had a personnel and equipment tracking project fail because the system was not used (or it was too expensive to maintain relative to the value that it added).
- You believe in the vision of a full Ventilation on Demand (VoD) system but are looking for a less complicated and less expensive system.
- You do not want to connect or cannot connect your ventilation flow modeling software to your control system.
If any of the above points apply to your mine, a Ramjack Ventilation Management system can greatly streamline the way your site operates. Even if none of the points apply, a Ventilation Management system will deliver a positive ROI for almost any site.