The article is divided into three main parts. The first part provides an overview of the existing literature on theoretical methods for calculating the optimal air distribution in mines according to the criteria of energy efficiency and providing all sections of mines with the required amount of air. It is shown that by the current moment there are many different formulations of the problem of searching the optimal air distribution, many different approaches and methods for optimizing air distribution have been developed. The case of a single (main) fan is most fully investigated, while for many fans a number of issues still remain unresolved. The second part is devoted to the review of existing methods and examples of the automated mine ventilation control systems implementation in Russia and abroad. Two of the most well-known concepts for the development of such systems are automated ventilation control systems (AVCS) in Russia and the CIS countries and Ventilation on demand (VOD) abroad. The main strategies of ventilation management in the framework of the AVCS and VOD concepts are described and also the key differences between them are shown. One of the key differences between AVCS and VOD today is the automatic determination of the operation parameters of fan units and ventilation doors using the optimal control algorithm, which is an integral part of the AVCS. The third part of the article describes the optimal control algorithm developed by the team of the Mining Institute of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences with the participation of the authors of the article. In this algorithm, the search for optimal air distribution is carried out by the system in a fully automated mode in real time using algorithms programmed into the microcontrollers of fans and ventilation doors. Minimization of energy consumption is achieved due to the most efficient selection of the fan speed and the rate of ventilation doors opening and also due to the air distribution shift control and the partial air recirculation systems introduction. It is noted that currently the available literature poorly covers the issue related to emergency operation modes ventilation systems of mines and also with the adaptation of automated control systems to different mining methods. According to the authors, further development of automated ventilation control systems should be carried out, in particular, in these two areas.
Series of calculations for the artificial freezing of the rock mass during construction of mineshafts for the conditions of a potash mine in development was carried out. Numerical solution was obtained through the finite element method using ANSYS software package. Numerical dependencies of frozen wall thickness on time in the ice growing stage and ice holding stage are obtained for two layers of the rock mass with different thermophysical properties. External and internal ice wall boundaries were calculated in two ways: by the actual freezing temperature of pore water and by the temperature of –8 °С, at which laboratory measurements of frozen rocks' strength were carried out. Normal operation mode of the freezing station, as well as the emergency mode, associated with the failure of one of the freezing columns, are considered. Dependence of a decrease in frozen wall thickness in the ice holding stage on the duration of the ice growing stage was studied. It was determined that in emergency operation mode of the freezing system, frozen wall thickness by the –8 °C isotherm can decrease by more than 1.5 m. In this case frozen wall thickness by the isotherm of actual freezing of water almost always maintains positive dynamics. It is shown that when analyzing frozen wall thickness using the isotherm of actual freezing of pore water, it is not possible to assess the danger of emergency situations associated with the failure of freezing columns.
The paper contains analysis of natural and technogenic factors influencing properties of mine atmosphere, defining level of mining safety and probability of emergencies. Main trends in development of energy-saving technologies providing comfortable microclimate conditions are highlighted. A complex of methods and mathematical models has been developed to carry out aerologic and thermophysical calculations. Main ways of improvement for existing calculation methods of stationary and non-stationary air distribution have been defined: use of ejection draught sources to organize recirculation ventilation; accounting of depression losses at working intersections; inertance impact of air streams and mined-out spaces for modeling transitory emergency scenarios. Based on the calculation algorithm of airflow rate distribution in the mine network, processing method has been developed for the results of air-depressive surveys under conditions of data shortage. Processes of dust transfer have been modeled in view of its coagulation and settlement, as well as interaction with water drops in case of wet dust prevention. A method to calculate intensity of water evaporation and condensation has been suggested, which allows to forecast time, duration and quantity of precipitation and its migration inside the mine during winter season. Solving the problem of heat exchange between mine airflow and timbering of the ventilation shaft in a conjugation formulation permits to estimate depression value of natural draught and conditions of convective balance between air streams. Normalization of microclimatic parameters for mine atmosphere is forecasted for the use of heat-exchange units either heating or cooling and dehumidifying ventilation air. Algorithms are presented that permit to minimize ventilation energy demands at the stages of mine design and exploitation.
Development of mineral deposits under complex geological and hydrogeological conditions is often associated with the need to utilize specific approaches to mine shaft construction. The most reliable and universally applicable method of shaft sinking is artificial rock freezing – creation of a frozen wall around the designed mine shaft. Protected by this artificial construction, further mining operations take place. Notably, mining operations are permitted only after a closed-loop frozen section of specified thickness is formed. Beside that, on-line monitoring over the state of frozen rock mass must be organized. The practice of mine construction under complex hydrogeological conditions by means of artificial freezing demonstrates that modern technologies of point-by-point and distributed temperature measurements in test wells do not detect actual frozen wall parameters. Neither do current theoretical models and calculation methods of rock mass thermal behavior under artificial freezing provide an adequate forecast of frozen wall characteristics, if the input data has poor accuracy. The study proposes a monitoring system, which combines test measurements and theoretical calculations of frozen wall parameters. This approach allows to compare experimentally obtained and theoretically calculated rock mass temperatures in test wells and to assess the difference. Basing on this temperature difference, parameters of the mathematical model get adjusted by stating an inverse Stefan problem, its regularization and subsequent numerical solution.