Mining Publication: A Computer Software Program that Estimates Air Quantity Requirements in Large Opening Stone Mines
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed a computer program called the Air Quantity Estimator (AQE). The purpose of the program is to provide a starting point for estimating the air quantity needed to dilute diesel particulate matter (DPM) in an underground large opening mine, albeit taking into account various input assumptions. The AQE estimates the total air quantity needed to dilute DPM emissions that enter the main airstream of the mine to current statutory levels. It helps operators pinpoint vehicles that are high DPM contributors. In addition, it allows the user to make "what if" scenarios by varying the input parameters to achieve the most efficient and practical ventilation system. The AQE is a stand-alone software program that does not require any type of spreadsheet software. Engine data must be known or estimated with some accuracy and assumptions must be made in order to limit the variability of the program output. Program calculations and two case studies, for validation purposes, are included in this report. It should be noted that the program does not ensure adequate face ventilation and personal exposure compliance.