Key outcomes:

  • Energy consumption reduced
  • Flow distribution improved

Proper ventilation is critical in the underground mines, as it not only provides fresh air but also extracts noxious gases. To maximise fan performance and efficient is essential to achieve a uniform flow field in the fan inlet. In this case study, Synergetics conducted design optimization of a large-scale mineshaft ventilation system. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling was undertaken to model the air flow within the ducting immediately upstream of a large scale centrifugal fan.

Comparison of duct flow within the right angle bend, without and with vanes.

Figure 1: Velocity distribution within the right angle bend, without (left) and with (right) turning vanes. Red corresponds to high air velocity and blue low. The vanes significantly reduce the low speed reircualtion bubble on the inside of the bend, and therefore result in a much more uniform velocity.

It was determined that the addition of optimised turning vanes to the ducts could dramatically improve the flow distribution and increase the fan efficiency, reducing energy consumption and operational costs, and allowing the lifespan of the existing fans to be extended.