ABB delivered a demand-controlled ventilation system for Boliden’s Kankberg mine in June 2015. The SmartVentilation ventilation-on-demand solution provides fresh air for the 500m-deep underground mine, which extracts gold, tellurium and other minerals for commercial electronics and industrial uses.
In addition, according to ABB, SmartVentilation helps ventilation equipment operate more efficiently. Since it was commissioned earlier this year at Kankberg, the solution has saved 54% of ventilation energy and 21% of air heating energy, when compared to operating without this technology, the company claimed.
The project extended the mine’s existing 800xA control system by adding SmartVentilation to provide all work areas with fresh air to ensure worker safety and comfort. It uses a library of functions customised for the Boliden site, including heating of the fresh air brought into the mine.
In the mining environment, where conditions can change quickly, reliable ventilation is critical to worker and equipment safety. The control system must be adaptable and expandable for current circumstances and future operations.
ABB stated that by using its SmartVentilation solution, Boliden can easily add, remove or relocate fans to where they are needed in the mine. The Mobilaris Mining Intelligence location system in the mine detects the presence of a mining vehicle or machinery in the ventilation area, then communicates with the 800xA control system, which, in turn, calculates the right amount of air needed and controls the fans to provide it.