Aggreko has released its latest modular bulk air coolers (BACs) for underground mines which are twice as big and three times more effective than the previous model.
As mines have deepened and the Earth has warmed over the past few decades, the need for more effective mine-cooling equipment has grown.
Aggreko has delivered more than 50 mine cooling projects globally, according to Aggreko Australia-Pacific managing director George Whyte.
“Aggreko’s mining services pioneered mine cooling as a rental service 20 years ago as a result of mines looking for alternatives to capital refrigeration plants,” Whyte said.
“Previously mining companies would need to use capital to install built-in cooling systems which were not scalable, modular or as effective.”
Aggreko’s new modular 40-foot (12.19-metre) mobile BAC10000s are scalable, portable and have three time the cooling capacity of the 20-foot model.
The BAC10000s are being rolled out across Australia, with the modular approach to installation allowing for faster deployment times.
Aggreko underground cooling sector manager Mitch Bevan said this approach suits some operations far better than others.
“The unit is more suited for larger installations and offers improved efficiency rather than using a large number of smaller BACs,” Bevan said.
“Capital refrigeration plants take a long time for mines to prepare for financially, as well as to install, whereas we can mobilise on relatively short notice.
“A rental option also provides a great deal of flexibility, which is often crucial for underground vent systems where it is difficult to predict the requirement year on year.”
The BAC10000s are designed in line with Aggreko’s vision for a greener future, as less concrete and coolant is used in the installation or operation.
“The units only require water and power, and while some mines use diesel-generated power, as time goes on that will shift to renewable energy,” Bevan said.
“Our company has made major commitments to greener energy to help miners achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. That is why we are constantly exploring and investing in new technologies.
“Currently, our water-cooled chillers use half as much power as air-cooled options, which is part of their appeal, and we are the only rental company to provide such modular and scalable products.”