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Safety and health in mines research advisory board


Mine Environment

Improved Climatic Modelling of Mine Ventilation Networks

UK Coal Ltd and the University of Nottingham and Deutsche Montan Technologie GmbH (DMT) of Germany are partners in this ECSC supported project.

The current trends towards the adoption of retreat longwall mining methods and the associated rapid development of the access drivages have exacerbated the environmental conditions experienced within these workings. In particular, the increased working depth, levels of mechanisation and production have challenged the engineer to produce a satisfactory and cost effective solution to the adverse climatic conditions experienced within many deep mine workings.

To assist in the design and implementation of an integrated mine ventilation and climatic control strategy, the engineer needs to be able to predict the overall heat loads existing within alternative mine layouts and production configurations. The development of an effective mine network climate prediction and planning tool would aid the engineer to assess, quantify and cost the effectiveness of alternative climatic solution strategies, including ventilation, spot, linear and/or bulk cooling systems.

The role of UK Coal in this project is to develop an integrated ventilation and climatic network simulator to assist in the prediction of the potential heat loads that may be added to the ventilation air. The University of Nottingham research team are involved in the development and improvement of field validated computational models to simulate the climatic conditions across high production longwall coalfaces and rapid development drivages. These models, in collaboration with the UK Coal research team, will be incorporated within the integrated network climatic model. UK Coal will also facilitate routine measured underground ventilation and climate data that may be used to validate the computer prediction codes. The University and UK Coal research teams are also collaborating on the development of improved and validated models of machine and cut mineral heat loads and both central and spot cooling systems. These models will be incorporated within both the climate prediction codes for the working areas and integrated network. The codes will be further developed and validated to incorporate the simulation of the addition of both central and spot cooling systems.

During the first six months of the year, the psychrometric and thermodynamic procedures, together with the conveyed mineral module, were validated against data obtained from a UK intake conveyor road.  Work began on integrating the University climate models into the Mine-e-net suite, and an assessment was made of the existing longwall face model, FACE.  The data collection programme has continued throughout the year and data has been obtained from a number of UK sites.  During the latter part of the year, further validation of the climatic models has taken place, and a number of additional features have been incorporated into the drivage model to reflect the trends observed in the recorded data. An indirect cooler module has been constructed and the University roadway model, CLIMB, and the longwall face model FACE have been combined to represent a longwall district.

During 2002, the data collection and validation programme will continue. The interface procedures between Mine-e-net and the University roadway model CLIMB will be completed, and work will commence on integrating the University drivage model and the longwall district model into the Mine-e-net suite.

Integrated High Efficiency Ventilation and Cooling Systems

Through another ECSC supported project, the University of Nottingham has developed a computer based climatic prediction tool. The model predicts the psychrometric and thermodynamic conditions within single entry drivages, taking into account the effects of the strata and the machinery on the ventilation air. The interaction between the air travelling along the ventilation ducting and within the drivage is also considered; through a series of leakage and heat transfer calculations. The model also incorporates procedures for investigating the effects of applying localised cooling systems and the heat emitted from broken mineral travelling on conveyor belts. The model has been validated and correlated against climatic and operational data obtained from a number of representative UK deep coalmines.

Updated 2009-05-29