VentSim? Control Mine Ventilation on Demand System at Glencore's Nickel Rim South Mine in Sudbury, Ontario; Testing Procedures, System Maintenance and Results (July 2018)


Joffre Sanftenberg, Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations - A Glencore Company

A Ventilation on Demand (VOD) system has been installed, implemented, optimized and maintained at Glencore’s Nickel Rim South Mine (NRS) in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada for the past ten years. The system monitors and controls air quality and quantity through real-time, dynamic automation of primary fans, secondary fans, regulators, and air monitoring instrumentation. This is all managed via VOD software known as VentSim™ CONTROL (formally SmartEXEC) and enhanced by the Ekahau Tracking System. NRS’s philosophy regarding the VOD system has been to continually improve and maintain the system. This paper will outline the many successes and challenges throughout the life of the system, and focus on the development and implementation of testing procedures and system maintenance methods. The testing procedures that will be explored include tracking system testing and integration with the VOD software, custom controls for specific ventilation scenarios, and VOD system documentation. The maintenance methods that will be discussed includes machinery tracking tag audits, schedule maintenance, instrumentation maintenance, interactive ventilation procedures, VOD software configuration maintenance and logs, and seasonal changes to steady-state mine airflows. Overall, the results show consistent reductions in energy usage and peak demand usage, while controlling mine level air quantity and quality. More specifically, these testing procedures and maintenance methods allow VOD system to continue to operate at a high level.