Smart-VOD tracks vehicles using RFID as they enter a ventilation zone and controls the associated secondary fan at speed based on various system rules, the most significant being the size of the vehicle's diesel engine.
Each fan is controlled by a Variable Speed Drive (VSD) or Smart-Starter, in turn controlled by a Smart-VOD Zone Unit.
Such an approach delivery benefits when implemented in a single ventilation zone and scales up to a whole-of-mine deployment.
Savings as a Service
Smart-VOD drives substantial energy savings, typically 50% - 60%, with 12-month savings across all Smart-VOD ventilation zones averaging 54.5%.
Smart-VOD can accelerate the clearance of blast gases, allowing an expedited return to mining after a blast. Bringing forward re-entry by 13 minutes each blast is equivalent to 1% more time for extraction, potentially delivering more tons per month.
Most underground mining vehicles in use today are powered by diesel motors. Forced air ventilation is required to remove the diesel exhaust and blast gases and to reduce the ambient temperature for underground operators.
Mines commonly have one or more primary fans located above ground that draw fresh air into the mine down the decline, combined with several secondary fans that force fresh air into the working face of blind headings.
The annual energy cost of each secondary fan is substantial, with the cost of operating each fan much more than the purchase price of the fan.
A typical 110kw fan run for a year typically uses energy costing $300,000 - $450,000, several times the cost of the fan.