Analyzing the health and cost benefits of utilizing electric engines versus diesel for equipment fleets in hot underground mines
Mining Engineering, 2018, Vol. 70, No. 8, pp. 16-16
Fox, Jon; Greth, August; Kocsis, Karoly Charles
It is the duty of the mine operator to ensure the mine environment is healthy and safe for the mine workers. For deep and hot underground mines, this requires maintaining adequate working temperatures by means of mitigating the heat load generated by strata, auto-compression, mining equipment, explosives, ground water and human metabolism. The heat load is best reduced by minimizing the amount of heat transferred to the mine air from these sources and through the use of efficient ventilation with effective cooling systems. The heat emitted by mining equipment and vehicles contributes a significant proportion to the combined heat load of an underground mine. This is especially a problem for diesel equipment due to the fact that besides heat, a large amount of water vapor is produced, which increases the humidity in the production workings. Diesel engines have proven advantageous in recent history due to their high power output and reliability. However, as mines continue to become more mechanized and deeper the climatic problems introduced by elevated heat generation will continue to rise. With that, the issue of heat generated by diesel equipment must be addressed.
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