Mining Ventilation Fans


Mining Ventilation Fans

Ventilation fans are put to a variety of uses in places where natural ventilation is not possible. Ventilation refers to the proper circulation of fresh and cool air in an indoor environment. If proper ventilation does not happen, it could result in the formation of a hazardous atmosphere that is unfit for habitation. The air we breathe needs to be clean at all times, free from any kind of toxic contaminant.

What are Mining Ventilation Fans?

Mining activities take place several feet under the ground. It is not possible to have a natural circulation of fresh air inside of mines. In order to ensure the safety of mine workers and protect them from inhaling hazardous substances, a proper mining ventilation system needs to be installed. Mining ventilation fans are required for this purpose. Depending on the depth and size of the mine, geographical location, nature of air present inside the mine, etc. the type of mining ventilation fans needed would be determined.

Noxious gases such as Carbon dioxide, Carbon monoxide, Sulfur dioxide, etc. are generally found in abundance in underground mines. These gases are released when equipment is used for the blasting of rocks and orebody. The equipment is usually run on diesel, and these gases are released as a result of the explosions.

\ Electricity is used to provide power to mining ventilation fans, which is the major contributor to the cost of using mining ventilation systems.

Types of Mining Ventilation Fans

Mining ventilation systems may be of two types.
  • Flow-through Ventilation: This is installed as the primary or main ventilation circuit inside a mine. A shaft is used, through which air is allowed to enter the mine. Alternatively, a ventilation raise or adit may be used for this purpose. Internal ventilation raises and ramps are used to distribute the air throughout the mine. The flow of air is controlled by the help of mining ventilation fans that are permanently mounted, and regulators.

  • Auxiliary Ventilation: This type of mining ventilation system makes use of temporary mounted mining ventilation fans. The air is taken from the flow-through system and is distributed to the mine working areas. Ducts are also sometimes installed to allow air to flow to otherwise inaccessible areas.

Mining Ventilation Fans Requirements

In order to maintain safe working conditions for mine workers, there are regulations set in place regarding the volume of ventilation that needs to be provided. The volume of air that is needed to effectively ventilate a mine is pre-determined by mining engineers. A local governing body also has a big say in the matter of ventilation requirements. The mandatory or prescribed volume of ventilation has to be adhered to, and is the minimum amount. Some mining companies go beyond the recommended installation of mining ventilation fans.

In certain regions, depending on the climate and temperature, underground mines are very cold places to work in. Especially during winter months, additional heating may be required. To provide a good working environment for miners, as well as to prevent freezing of equipment such as water pipes, heating systems need to be installed along with mining ventilation fans.

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