Mining Publication: Studying Intake Airway Pressurization by Ventilation Modeling and Leakage Evaluation
Utilization of belt air in underground coal mines has been discussed extensively during the last decade. The Final Report of the Technical Study Panel on the Utilization of Belt Air and the Composition and Fire Retardant Properties of Belt Materials in Underground Coal Mining formed by the Miner Act of 2006 recommends research on leakage, use of booster fans, and escapeway safety. This paper discusses the role of ventilation modeling in evaluating primary escapeway pressurization in a three-entry development system to improve emergency escape in a coal mine using belt air. The intake entry of the NIOSH Bruceton Experimental Mine was pressurized using a 1.1 m (42 in) diameter, 37 kW (50 hp) fan. The work details air movement in the simulated three-entry system and the resulting leakage patterns. Three mine ventilation software packages were compared to analyze their performance in predicting the airflows and leakage conditions with different fan settings. NIOSH researchers found that the measurement results correlated well with the results of modeling.