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6.1 Introduction
Natural Ventilation: Airflow resulting from a pressure difference caused by natural means. This pressure difference is due to: Unequal densities of air in downcast and upcast shafts. Natural force which can create and maintain a substantial airflow is basically thermal energy due to the temperature differences. Small and shallow mines are sometimes ventilated by natural means.


Description of Natural Ventilation

It depends basically upon a thermal energy exchange (Chimney effect: warm air rises) In a mine, the difference in temperature inside and outside the mine and the difference in elevation from the surface to underground workings, may lead to warm air rising through workings. Sources of Heat in Mines

In a mine, ventilated only by natural ventilation, greater differences in elevation and/or temperature give greater heat energy transfer, greater pressure difference, and larger airflow. Mines in mountains or hilly terrain frequently have strong natural ventilation, as do mines that are deep and hot. Mines in cold climates have stronger natural ventilation than mines in warm ones. In naturally ventilated mines, amount of air flow depends not only on natural ventilation pressure (NVP) but also on resistance of the mine. In shallow mines, the NPV may be few pascals. But in deep and hot mines it increases considerably. In some hot and deep mines; - in South Africa the NVP reaches as high as 1200 Pa. - In Michigan Copper Mine: 4000 m3/min - In Ex USSR Kiruv Apetite Mine: 6000 m3/min The direction of airflow due to natural ventilation is seldom constant, particularly in mines shallower than 1500 ft. If the temperature difference causing airflow becomes zero, then there will be no air movement. If the surface temperature changes from being less than the mine temperature to above the mine temperature, then the direction of airflow will reverse.


Disadvantages of Natural Ventilation

Natural ventilation is usually poor, Fluctuates to a large extent, Is subject to reversal of direction In some cases, such as U/G mine fires, natural ventilation can not be controlled. It is for these reasons that natural ventilation is prohibited in U/G coal mines.


Causes for Natural Ventilation

The factors affecting natural ventilation are:

Temperature Moisture Content Barometric Pressure Addition of Gases Leakage Circulation of Refrigerated Air Spraying Steam Pipes

6.4.1. Temperature
Cold air is heavier comparing to warm air. The heavier air sinks down and the lighter air moves up thus creating an airflow. The heating of air is due to the addition of heat from the rocks, men, machinery, lights, spontanous heating, etc. Auto-compression in downcast (DC) shaft is also another source of heat. The reverse process, auto-expansion, takes place in the upcast shaft

(UC) which cools the air cancelling the effect of auto-compression in downcast shaft. Theoretically, if there is no difference between average densities of air in two-shaft, there will be no natural ventilation due to auto compression and auto-expansion. But in practice these two processes being non-isentropic and occuring at different average temperatures, they might have a slight effect on natural ventilation.

6.4.2. Moisture Content of Air

Moisture is lighter than air. Therefore, addition of moisture in the downcast shaft decreases the density of air. But addition of moisture also causes to evaporative cooling of the downcast air resulting increase in density. As a resultant effect of these two processes, in the downcast shaft, usually slight natural ventilation is produced.

6.4.3. Barometric Pressure

Air density is a function of barometric pressure. (d=P/RT). The differences in barometric pressures of downcast and upcast shafts produces natural ventilation, direction being from higher pressure to lower pressure. But since barometric pressure rarely varies from place to place within the mining area, the effect of barometric pressure on natural ventilation is negligible.

6.4.4. Addition of Gases

Especially methane emission in coal workings reduces the density of return air thus aiding natural ventilation. But also the desorption or release of methane causes to the cooling of mine air canceling the effect of addition of methane. Large addition of heavy gases such as carbon dioxide will have the opposite effect retarding the natural ventilation. Another type of gas addition is obtained from the exhaust of the compressed air machinery used underground. But it has very little effect on natural ventilation.

6.4.5. Leakage
Any leakage of denser downcast air from downcast to the upcast shaft at the upper levels of the mine causes an increase in the density of upcast shaft. Thus, reducing natural ventilation. The effect of this source on natural ventilation is directly proportional to the magnitude of leakage. Therefore, it is important to minimize leakage in naturally ventilated mines.

6.4.6. Other Factors

Circulation of regrigerated air and spraying of water for preserving shaft timber from rotting or minimizing fire hazard through the downcast shaft increases the density of air thus aiding to natural ventilation. Although it is a rare practice now, having steam pipe in the upcast shaft helps natural ventilation by decreasing the upcast air density.


Direction of Airflow

The colder column of air is the heavier one and will displace the warmer, lighter air column. The direction of airflow in the mine will be from the heavier column toward the lighter one. Direction of airflow depends on density which is a function of temperature. The surface temperature is the major contributing factor to the direction of natural ventilation especially when the collars of the shafts are at different elevations. If the surface air temperature is less than the temperature of the workings, the natural ventilation can continue if it initiates by some means. In such a case, downcast shaft will have a lower temperature and natural ventilation will go on once it has started. In very deep mines where the temperatures of the working is always greater than surface temperature, the above case may be observed.

Direction of Airflow

Assume the temperature at the bottom of shafts A and B are 26.5 C and 28.5 C respectively. In summer, the average temperature of the air column in shaft A and B is 30.75 C and 31.75 C respectively. But in shaft A, the total air column balancing that in shaft B also includes a column of surface air equal in length to the difference in heights of the two shafts. Therefore the effective average temperatures for shaft A is: (30.75+35)/2=32.875 C which is higher than that in shaft B. As a result of this difference air will flow down in shaft B and up in shaft A. However in winter because of the same considerations reversal airflow will be obtained. If the collars of the shafts are at the same elevation, the average temperatures in both shafts are the same. Therefore there is no natural ventilation. Airflow direction reversals can occur daily as well as seasonally. Natural ventilation is usually strongest in winter, weakest in summer.

Conclusion: Natural ventilation fluctuates, is unstable and is unreliable Try to design the use of natural ventilation to work with your mine fan as much as possible to reduce your power cost.


Methods to Calculate NVP

NVP from densities NVP from pressure and quantitiy NVP from pressure across a stopping in fan-drift NVP from fan running at two different speeds

6.6.1. NVP from Density

The pressure exerted by an air column is determined by the following equation:

P = D*d*g P: Pressure, Pa D: Depth of the shaft, m d: Density, kg/m3 g: Gravitational acceleration (9.81 m/sec2) Since the NVP is the difference in pressures at the bottom of the shafts, it can be calculated from the formula given below: NVP = D*dd*g D*du*g = D*g*(dd du) NVP: Natural Ventilation Pressure, Pa D: Depth of the shafts dd, du: Air densities in downcast and upcast shafts, kg/m3

In general to calculate air density the following equation is used, d = [(B-0.37e)103 / 287.1 T] kgm-3 B: Barometric readings, kPa e: Vapor pressure, kPa T: Temperature, K (=273.15+C) Assuming Bd = Bu = B and neglecting the effect of moisture

Td and Tu are the average temperatures in the downcast and upcast shafts.

Example 6.1 Calculate the NPV in a mine with the following data: Depth of mine = 300m Pit bottom barometric reading = 101.2 kPa Pit top barometric reading = 98.1 kPa Average temperature in DC shaft = 304 K Average temperature in AC shaft = 307 K

Solution 6.1 Using equation:

Example 6.2 Two vertical shafts with 6 m diameter and 300 m deep are connected at the bottom by a level 2x2.5m in cross-section and 800 m long. The average barometric pressure in the shafts is 101.325 kPa. Calculate the velocity of airflow in the level due to NVP. Temperature of DC shaft top, DC shaft bottom, UC shaft top and UC shaft bottom are 293, 296, 303, and 303.5 K respectively. For shafts k: 0.004 Ns2m-4 (kgm-3) For level k: 0.010 Ns2m-4 Neglect shock losses. Solution 6.2 First of all average temperatues of shafts are found.

X-sectional area of the level: 2 x 2.5=5 m2 Perimeter of the level = 2 (2+2.5) = 9 m X-sectional area of the shafts = 9 m2 Perimeter of the shafts = D = 6 The quantity of airflow = 5V (V: velocity) Total Resistance = RT = Rshafts + Rlevel Total Pressure = PT = Pshafts + Plevel (in series)

Since NVP is equal to total pressure (101.66) which is calculated above. 101.66 = 14.45 V2 V = (101.66/14.45)1/2 = 2.65 m/s

NVP can also be expressed as Motive Column which is known as head. The relationship between motive column and pressure is as follows:

6.6.2. NVP from Pressure and Quantity

It is possible to calculate NVP from pressure and quantity measurements with fan running and fan stopped.

By equating these equations:

NVP is calculated from the equation by measuring quantities and fan pressure.

6.6.3. NVP from Pressure Across a Stopping in Fan-Drift

NVP can also be found out by installing a door in the fan drift or in any part of the main circuit of ventilation and measuring the pressure difference which indicates NVP. In this method it is necessary to make the measurement as soon as the door is closed. Otherwise addition of heat from surroundings changes the conditions.

6.6.4. NVP from Fan Running at Two Different Speeds

Another method is measuring the fan pressure and quantity at two different speeds of the fan. Since the resistance of the mine at fan speed n1 and n2 does not change.

NVP can be found from the above equation:

Example 6.3 The drift pressures and quantities with the fan running at two different speeds are given. Calculate the NVP. Also find the equivalent orifice of the mine.

At speed n1 = 31.4 rad/s Fan-drift pressure = 650 Pa Fan-drift quantity = 84.8 m3/s At speed n2 = 34.5 rad/s Fan-drift pressure = 715 Pa Fan-drift quantity = 88.3 m3/s

Solution 6.3 Using equation: :


Characteristic Curves for Natural Ventilation

The characteristic of the natural ventilation is a curve which relates natural ventilation pressure to the airflow passing through mine. The theoretical characteristic of NVP is in the form of curves rising in winter and falling in summer. In practice the characteristic of NVP is usually drawn as a straight, horizontal line. As with the operating of a fan the airflow, Q, is equal to the absisa of the intersection point of mine and NVP characteristics as seen in the graph below. Characteristic of NVP

NVP can be either with or against the mechanical ventilation and can be plotted in two ways. In the first technique the fan pressure curve is shifted up (if NVP is with the fan) or down (if NVP is against the fan). In the second one the mine characteristic curve is shifted up or down depending on the direction of NVP.

Effect of NVP on Fan Pressure