Development of a scaled down laboratory test bed system for use in the optimisation of centrifugal fan driven air ventilation systems.
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This thesis describes work that has been carried out to develop a scaled down laboratory test bed for use in the optimisation of fan driven air ventilation systems found at the various Anglo Coal South African mines. The present system involved in the movement of air underground comprises a fixed speed centrifugal fan driven damper controlled system. National Power Contractors (NPC) together with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) proposed a variable speed automated controlled system, but the costs of installing Variable Speed Drives (VSD) and their impact on the energy consumption of a system prior to being installed are important. In addition deliverables required by the industrial partner NPC was to develop a calibrated simulation model where any fan system could be simulated showing potential energy savings. A test bed was therefore constructed to evaluate the power usage of a VSD while driving a simulated fan. The test bed comprised of two Field Oriented Controlled induction machines. A ventilation system at Anglo Coal’s Vlaklaagte colliery was proposed to be simulated by the test bed to develop the Measurement and Verification (M&V) methodology required to represent a business case, but since data from this fan system was not available two other fan systems were studied. One fan system was built at the UKZN whilst the other industrial fan system was at Anglo Coal’s Greenside colliery.