ABB has launched its SmartVentilation system for underground mines.
According to the company it is "a complete solution to the challenge of providing fresh air and venting toxic gases from subterranean mines".
The system differs from many on the market by only ventilating the areas of the mine that require it, minimising a site's energy usage, with ABB stating that this new ability to work 'on-demand' could cut a miner's power bills by up to 50 per cent.
SmartVentilation is divided into three different implementation levels: SmartBasic, SmartMid, and SmartPerfect.
The fans and their drives come in modular form and are controlled with ABB’s System 800xA industrial automation platform.
SmartBasic provides basic control and monitoring fans, louvers, and ventilation doors. Everything, such as air quality and airflow sensors, are monitored and controlled by System 800xA.
Level 2, SmartMid, provides full scale ventilation on demand. There is automatic control of all fans, louvers, and controllable ventilation doors to improve air quality by providing fresh air where necessary.
SmartPerfect creates mine ventilation optimisation using ABB’s SmartAir Optimiser, which utilises airflow sensor feedback to perform online optimisation of main ventilation fans.
This means true mine wide control and optimisation of air flows and air quality while minimising energy consumption in real-time.
These three levels give varying degrees of control over the operation of the mine's intake and exhaust fans, with operators provided the option of installing one implantation level and then later upgrading it as their operation develops.
This provides operators, engineers and mine managers with an easy way to supervise and control the ventilation system, either from a central location or using mobile devices.