Mining Publication: Investigation into the Practical Use of Belt Air at US Longwall Operations
The use of belt air as an intake source at longwall operations has greatly changed over the past decades. The practical considerations for the use of belt air are controlled by a variety of factors including airflow quantity and velocity, coal methane content, methane desorption rates, coal mining rate, belt length, stopping leakage, and the number of gateroad entries. At longwall operations, the advantages and disadvantages of belt air are different for gateroad development and longwall panel extraction. During gateroad development, the use of belt air to ventilate the working section will reduce the leakage from the intake to the belt compared to the belt air being ventilated outby the working sections because of lower pressure differentials. A greater quantity of airflow will reach the last open crosscut with belt on intake than outby, given the same amount of pressure and airflow available at the mouth of the section. This paper will investigate the current ventilation practices regarding the use of belt air during gateroad development and longwall panel extraction. Operating considerations regarding air quantities and pressures to deliver the required airflow will be investigated using ventilation network modeling.