Ventilation on Demand - The Impact of Sensors, Installation, Control Strategies, Commissioning and Advanced Controls Performance

Author(s) K. Hortin, J. Lilley, M. Emond, P. Filiatreault, D. Montgomery, J. Janzen


The cost to supply ventilation may exceed 40% of the total mine energy cost for underground mines and is often higher for deeper mines. The goal of Ventilation-on-Demand (VOD) is to ensure that the required quantity and quality of air is supplied to underground mining crews and diesel equipment at the least energy expenditure (minimum cost). A VOD system may include control of surface fans (Supply & Exhaust), underground booster fans, auxiliary fans and automated regulators/dampers to regulate the flow of air with more control elements providing more value. Strategically located Air monitoring stations measure air quantity and quality and provide feed-back enabling control. The modular design involving controls, intelligent instrument and intelligent motor control centres coupled with a communication network allows the quick installation, commissioning and expansion of the system as the mine develops. The result is a very robust, flexible system while reducing maintenance costs and spare parts. This paper discusses the impact of sensors, installation and commissioning on advanced controls and provides solutions for in-field applications.