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v = 20,75p"3~, c m / $ec v = 9 8 , 6 p ''9', c r n / s e c v = 263,4p

for H r < 6 m ; for H , - - i 2 and i 8 m ;

(2) (3)

TM,c m / s e c

for H, "= 2 4 m.


A comparison of (3) and (4) with equation (2) yielded the values of a coefficient expressing the influence of the bench height on the slope displacement velocity (KH) as a function of reduced charge (Fig. 4: i) Hy = 12 and 18 m, 2) Hy = 24 m. As the bench height increased from 12 to 18 m, the vibration intensity of the slopes remained practically unchanged; as the bench was increased to 24 m, the vibration intensity grew by 0.30% in the range of reduced explosive charge from 0.5 to 0.i kgl/3-m-1. For e < 0.5 kgl/3-m -I, an increase in the bench height did not affect significantly the slope displacement velocities. The series of tests has thus shown that to ensure seismic stability, the nonworking side of an open-pit mine at Madneuli should be built in benches of 18 m instead of twin 12-m ledges, as called for in the project of deposit development. The height of the stripping benches of 18 m was also optimal for this deposit in terms of the performance efficiency of the principal units of mining and transportation equipment.


In the past few years, several design and specialized research institutes have been working on ventilation systems for shafts and open-pit mines. These studies often overlook some of the dynamic features of the control objects (nonstationary parameters, a "natural" hierarchy of structures, potential resonance, aerodynamic vibrations in contours due to strong actions on medium frequencies, etc.). Fan control is based on procedures (by rotation not adequately justified by scientific analysis; the without an analysis and synthesis, and the resulting makes a general, review and a systematic analysis of frequency or angle of the impeller blades) methods of control are chosen arbitrarily designs are often flawed. This paper the various practical recommendations.

Initially, the concept of centralized mine ventilation control with a high-power generalpurpose or specialized computer was expected to be "up to all challenges." Attempts at practical solution of ventilation control problems, however, revealed the importance of hierarchical systems; the organization principles for such systems were developed in the late 1960s [i]. HIERARCHY IN VENTILATION CONTROL SYSTEMS A ventilation system of a mine that serves hundreds of workings, includes dozens of auxiliary fans, and ventilation facilities, as well as several main ventilation units. The ventilation regime at each point in time is defined as a simultaneous dynamic process involving all systems components. They are all connected by the general pressure in the ventilation network and by the reduced pressures at the various local points in the network. A change of conditions at any unit modifies, at a speed of pressure waves (approximately equal to the speed of sound), the conditions at all units; the change is proportional in amplitude to the coefficients of reciprocal influence of the components. The ventilation schemes of mines are constructed to accommodate mining operations and the occurrence pattern of the minerals excavated. By transformation, a ventilation scheme can be reduced for analysis to a system of elementary parallel connections; the totality of such Institute of Mining, Siberian Branch, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Novosibirsk. Translated from Fiziko-Tekhnicheskie Problemy Razrabotki, Poleznykh Iskopaemykh, No. 4, pp. 79-88, July-August, 1987. Original article submitted May 15, 1986.



9 1988 Plenum Publishing Corporation

, . . .

~aj,%, c,.
. . . . .


X a-;C
~_ 0


. . . . . .
n , ~,.,, J'


m c,.

c~,t*l, emn.%n ~ %

Fig. i. Pressure distribution in a network of parallel ventilation branches; P, q, Q, and c are regulator, perturbation, control action, and methane content in outflowing jets, respectively. connections constitutes a hierarchical structure with ventillation branches connected according through cosubordination and disconnected in weak links. Without describing the merits of hierarchical systems, we will consider some of the problems that arise in the formation of a hierarchical structure. The number of levels in a hierarchical system of automatic mine ventilation control [AMVC] can be chosen according to the topology of the ventilation network and the particular needs of the ventilation system. The first level of a hierarchical AMVC, for example, can be systems controlling the ventilation at the excavation face; the second level, a system regulating the ventilation of excavation segments of several faces; the third level, a system regulating the ventilation of the sides of a mine; the fourth level, the control of main fans; and the fifth level can be a computer controlling the ventilation in the mine. Toxic impurities are produced unevenly, mostly in breakage and development faces. The first level of a hierarchical AMVC should be constructed so that the ventilation of an object of the first level be assured with a required accuracy, at a minimal energy cost, and within a limited time. It is inefficient, for example, to regulate a working face ventilation by a redistribution air between the sides of a mine; an increase in the airflow would simultaneously increase the airflow in all the ventilation branches parallel to the one being intensified. In addition, ventilation may become uncontrollable because of a "saturation of the regulator"; since fans of a very high capacity would be required if large quantities of toxic impurities are released. Objects of the same level should contain ventilation branches ventilated by parallel jets of a comparable magnitude, i.e., the resistances and airflow rates in the branches should be similar. The regulation process is more efficient the faster it attenuates and the better the stabilized value of the parameter being regulated corresponds to a desired value. The reliability and cost efficiency of ventilation control at an AMVC level or in the entire system is enhanced if a local control system of a parallel ventilation jet is unaffected by what happens in reciprocal channels. In other words, an independent control is desirable so that no transient regimes appear in other branches except for the branch working out its specific perturbation. In order for control processes in parallel branches to be independent, a pressure has to be maintained between the common points of the parallel branches at a certain steady level [2]. The distribution of pressure generated by a fan with respect to a single ventilation branch can be written as follows (Fig. i):


+ u;.

Aura +



where H B is stabilized fan pressure for a given network and a fixed assignment in flow rate terms; ~H B, increment of fan pressure needed to compensate gradients in the network when controlling ventilation in the system; H c, pressure loss on the common segment of the mine network; H~, pressure loss on a segment of the network of the objects of the second level of ventilation control for a fixed assignment in terms of the airflow rate and the rated value of segment resistance; AHm, increment of pressure needed to compensate pressure gradients in






Fig. 2. Flowchart of methane content and pressure gradient stabilization system for the control system stages: w ~ , w ~ , W ~ p w ~ are transfer functions of the object in methane content, first level, second level in air flow rate and main fan in performance, respectively; W~,IF ~,n, ~ w" ~,, are transfer functions of regulators at levels I and II of the system and the main fan. the mine caused by the operation of the system of the first level; H~, pressure loss on a segment of the objects of the first level at a rated resistance of the parallel connection; and LHg, pressure gradient on objects of the first level caused by a change of the general resistance of a parallel connection when compensating for a perturbation in methane release in one of the parallel branches. Only the gradients gradient stabilization, variable of the system); magnitude and sign, for AHg are independent (primary) variables in a system of ventilation as they are caused by changes in the methane release (an independent all t~e other changes in pressure gradients are determined, in their the purpose of compensating AHg.

In order for the system to retain independence and stability of units despite substantial deviations, the equality Hg = Hg A H g = H, ~ AH~ --He-- (H~ ~ AH,,) = (2)

must be fulfilled. The compensating actions taking into consideration the hierarchical structure of AMVC, should be introduced first at the second level of the hierarchy (AHm) and then at the third level (&HB) taking into account the signs of equality (2). Figure 2 shows the structural diagram implementing condition (2) for one branch.

Systems for ventilation control at the first level (breakage faces, beds requiring special ventilation, etc.), if condition Hg = const is fulfilled, can be interpreted as closed tracking systems subject to just one perturbation, q(t), or the methane release. An algorithm of a ventilation control system corresponding to Fig. 2 must monitor and execute the following functions: I, II, and III (the levels of AMVC hierarchy); Cz and Cf, the given and actual methane content in the air of the control object; ,.i,1,"'" IIoh'~ |I'~ transfer functions of the regulator of the aerodynamic and gas-dynamic objects of the ventilation control system at its first level; q(t) is methane release (perturbation); |V~t the corrective unit of the second stage providing Hg = const; W ~ u is the corrective unit of the fan controlled by the condition Hg = const; lV~h I|'~i is a regulator and an object of the first level and of a branch of the second level of AMVC; Up, is regulator (FCC), which turns the blades of the impeller, |4~o., is an FCC object (fan--mine network); kii and kii I are the units of the driving correction according to stages; and glII, gII, Cz are the given flow rates for the fan in a branch of the second stage of AMVC and the given methane release in the outflowing jet of this branch, respectively.

The methane release in the zone of breakage and mine advance operations is typically uneven because of various factors. It can be described by a stationary random process. The sources of methane release are distributed in space, and g(t) as a perturbation cannot be measured directly but is characterized by the parameters of a random process. The cue action C z formed by the control device of AMVC seeks to optimize the ventilation process in the mine; it, too, can be stochastic, and the synthesis of the systems of the first level could by means be done of statistical optimization (Wierner's problem). The control systems of the second level m u s t track the value of the cue signal (airflow rate) and pressure stabilization in the zone of the objects of the first level. The pressure Hmeas can be stabilized by comparing it with the given value received from the unit of the cue correction KII; this unit is a computer evaluating the function H = kg211, where k is a constant coefficient equal to the rated aerodynamic resistance in the branch. The difference = Hmeas -- Hif , expressed in a technically convenient form (~II), is entered into the system of the second level to correct the aerodynamic resistance of the throttle window. The operation to the main fan is adjusted similarly, so as to satisfy equality (2). From the diagram of Fig. 2 it can be seen that the fact that systems of the "lower" levels are decoupled through pressure corrections does not affect the overall system stability, because the individual correction units are not included in the characteristic polynomials of closed subsystems. Control processes in a pressure-corrected AMVC proceed much faster than in systems controlled by parameter deviations; this happens because a perturbation ( propagates throughout the network of the workings with a speed close to the speed of sound and is suppressed by the system without modifying the regulated parameter. The system of automatic ventilation control based on pressure stabilization in the isolated stages has all the merits of hierarchical automatic control systems [ 3 ] . The transfer of all information to higher system levels becomes unnecessary. Thus, one can transfer to the control computer only that information on the contents of toxic impurities in the crucial parts of the network (the outgoing jets) and send from this computer the assignments for local automatic regulation systems to the underlying levels. The main goal of the ventilation system is to maintain the toxic impurities in the outgoing jets at an admissible level; it is achieved by local systems regardless of the operation of the general network. Maximum system reliability is thus ensured. Cost-effectiveness of automatic control is also improved, as regulation processes in local control units attenuate faster and do not occur in case of perturbations in interconnected channels. The system thus becomes self-adapting to perturbations, since forced regimes are maintained only in jets experiencing primary perturbations at any given point in time. Local operation quality criteria (such as the accuracy of maintenance of a desired quality of the atmosphere in a mine section can be combined reasonably with a global control system criteria [such as maintaining the desired quality of mine atmosphere at a minimum cost (electricity consumption,

ANALYSIS OF FAN REGULATION METHODS The total ventilation capacity is proportional to the third power of the desired flow rate corrected for the maintenance error of pressure levels. The ventilation units account for a substantial portion of the total electricity consumption of a mine. Thus, the operation costs of three installations in the Raspadskaya mine of the Yuzhkuzbassugol' Production Association with VOD-40 fans totalled an average of 180,000-240,000 rubles per year in electricity; when the installations operate at top loads, these figures can be as high as 350,000450,000 rubles. The importance of maintaining the rated fan output is obvious from these numbers. The optimum accuracy level of regulation should be achieved by effective technical and algorithmic procedures rather than by an overly complex control systems, which make the system less reliable. The regulation systems of the principal fans can regulate either impeller rotation frequency or operate through aerodynamic control by turning the blades or flaps of the impeller blades. These methods are not equal in the accuracy of automatic regulation they provide. Considering the dynamics of ventilation systems and the energy intensiveness of the main fans, a static systems minimizing regulation errors both in a steady state and in transient operation are the preferred solution for mine ventilation.


The limiting potentials of fan operation control systems of the error theory, for example, by error coefficients. An error of a regulation written [4] as system in terms of a control

can be estlm~ted

by the methods is

action and its time derivatives

e (l) = C,,g (t) + C,g' (t) + C:g" (t) + . . . + C,,g" (t),

where C0, Cz, C2 . . . . . C n are error coefficients and g(t), action and its first, second, etc., time derivatives. g'(t) . . . . . gn(t)

are the control

For a given control action the system will have a lower regulation error for the smallest error coefficients. For an asiatic system of the first order, error coefficients up to the second one are, for example.

CO. O, C1 . .



2 ~" expressed

(4) through

where < is the gear ratio of an open system; and u and B are coefficients the parameters of the transfer function of the open d system. For an astatic system of the first order


~L= T, + T 2 + . . . + ~ ,


where Tl, T2, ..., Tn are time constants of the members of the denominator of the transfer function of the open system, and TI, T2, ..., ~m are the time constants of the members of the numerator of the transfer function of the open system. The influence of the parameters of system members on the error coefficients examined with special reference to an elementary regulation system. Generally, the transfer function of a fan operating in a mine n e t w o r k will be as

can be written

IVo (S) = n~,e-T~

+ "1),

To is the time constant for input of the

where <0 is the gain factor of the object in the given control of the object; and z0 is the lag in the "fan--network" system.

The actuator will contain elements of dynamic correction and a system control action, such as a system measuring the rotation speed of the fan. The transfer function of the actuator is

lVi.y ( S ) = IV,,(S). ll'i.m (S),

where W K is the transfer function of the correction of the actuator of the control system. Generally, the correction unit unit; and Wi.m.(S) is the transfer


can have a transfer


of the form

l:,,.I'I.(r~s + 1)

]-I (r ~s-- 1)

where KK is the gain factor of correction correction units.


and T i and Tj are time constants

of the

For improving the accuracy of the correction units, their parameters must be chosen such that T i ~ I, and Tj > I, but this reduces their gain factors. The p r o b l e m can be resolved by introducing operating (decision) amplifiers into the correcEion circuits with an analog implementation or fast differentiation programs with digital implementation; the latter, however, is undesirable from the standpoint of system reliahility. When the fans are controlled by changing the rotation speed the transfer function of the


actuator (the transfer function of the fan drive) can be expressed by a member of the second order,

II~.m ( S )


Ti.m S= + 2 ~ r i .m~

+ i '


where Ti.m. is the conditional time constant of the actuator factor of the actuator; and % is the attenuation ratio.

(fan drive), Ki.m.

is the gain

The time constant of the fan drive with an asynchronous motor is expressed as

GD2.n. ~.m =3?-~u'


where GD 2 is the flywheel moment, no is the rated rotation speed, MH is the rated moment of the motor, and SH is the rated slippage. Calculations show that for the fans and drives with an asynchronous motor-valve cascade manufactured by the industry or being developed and for double-feed machines, the time constant of the actuator is equal to a few seconds. In case of an aerodynamic control of fans with electromechanical drive turning the impeller blades, Ti.m. ~ 0.6 sec; with a hydraulic drive Ti.m. ~ 0.6 sec. The energy capacity of an actuator with hydrostatic motor is higher, because the ratio of the kinetic moment to the moment of inertia is greater by two orders of magnitude than that of electromechanical devices. Drives with a variable rotation frequency and small gain factors thus in practice cannot produce high gain factors in an open system and meet the safety requirements. From expressions (4), (6), and (8) it should be clear that error coefficients of such systems differ significantly from zero. For analysis of the capacities of automatic regulation systems with various control modes, we consider the transfer function of an open system which, taking into consideration (6)-(9), can be written as

I:,/: W(S)


';,.~-'" ~=,, ]-I (r, s + i)

' ,,


(ros -:- ,)(ri:.n#':-:-2~r~..~' -i- ~) II (r,s -!- 1)


In the implementation of correction circuits working with the conditions Ti << I and Tj >> I, the gain factor of the correction members tends to zero, leading to a contradiction; namely, when correction circuits operate with a desired accuracy the overall gain factor of the open system is reduced, increasing the error rates. It is thus in practice infeasible to build a high-accuracy automatic regulator of fans controlled by changing the rotation frequency, especially where control actions are entered with a frequency slmilar to that of the object. CHOICE OF THE METHOD FOR DESIGN OF REGULATORS The method of design of regulators for fans in an automatic operation mode should be based on an analysis of the perturbations and the control actions. Studies of control actions have shown [6] that the performance of a fan is a function of several variables (the contents of impurities, engineering operation factors, etc.) and is stochastic. Generally, an automatic regulator (see Fig. 3a) should therefore be a tracking system. For mines and quarries free of gas where the noxious impurities are mostly fumes of diesel engines and explosions, the airflow consumption can be described by programs reflecting the operation schedules and excavation processes. Automatic systems of ventilation control in that case can be built as systems of programmed regulation. Perturbations in the form of fluctuations of equivalent opening A(t) = f(AAl, AA2 . . . . . AA n) result from the movement of underground vehicles, changed position of air redistribution units (doors), buildup of dumps in stopes, etc. This, too, is a stochastic process, formed as an aggregate of a large number of isolated perturbations (AAI, AA2 . . . . . AAn) ; most of these are of a sudden nature, due to the nature of the principal perturbation source (the underground transportation vehicles). The application points of these actions do not coincide, but the overall resulting perturbation can be measured. A system of automatic control thus can be synthesized by using the methods of theory of invariance, which are more effective and less laborious than 353

IMs; ~
. . . . . . . . . . T 7 7


Fig. 3. Flowchart of an invarlant fan control system with variable parameters of control object: Wox(S) Wo~(S) are transfer functions of control object with variable parameters; @p(S) is the transfer function of a closed system with variable parameters ~0(~), ~.,(S) are transfer functions of optimal model and the unit correcting for parameter variability Qf(S),Qr are Laplace transforms of actual and desired values of fan performance output. statistical techniques [4, 7].

Proceeding from the statement of the fan control problem, illustrated by Fig. i, and from an analysis of the interactions, a generalized flowchart of an invariant automatic control system can be represented as a combination control diagram, shown in Fig. 3, where Wp.k. is a sequential correction device (constructed in conformity with the required system quality), Ky is the amplifier, Wi.m. is the hydraulic mechanism turning the impeller blades, W., is the object of regulation according to the ~ontrol action, W,= is the object of regulation according to perturbation, and W c and Wf are the compensating and forcing members developed during the course of system synthesis. The synthesis of the control unit for a given fan and the method of fan operation control includes the synthesis of the compensation and the forcing components in order to achieve absolute invariance [4, 7]: q h (S) = O. (12)



where ~},(S) is the transfer function of a closed control system in terms of perturbations, @~(S) is the transfer function of a closed control system in terms of control action.

Condition (12) means that a deviation of the controlled parameter (airflow rate) when the equivalent opening of the ventilation network is varied should be identically equal to zero. Condition (13) means that the automatic control system reproduces with absolute accuracy the control signal, i.e., that the actual airflow at the output of the ventilation system is absolutely equal to its desired value. Based on Fig. 3, we can write
Q)-I(S) : WmT + I =-Wp~ .-Wv.ll'. - 1.m .ll'ol



(14) is written as

and the rearranged function of the correction unit guided by perturbation

W e = ~ . W i . m . Wo I 9


The physical feasibility of this component depends on the specific form of the transfer functions in expression (15). If the numerator is smaller in order of magnitude than the denominator, the system is feasible.


According to (13), we can write for the structure of Fig. 3

fll',,- - Ilp.k.l," ) . i t i m. l t , ,
~1~o ( S ) ~

1 :- I,'y. lip,,, k li i.m'





whence, after arrangements,

we have
IVf = lllI',W,.,.


Expression (17) shows that the forcing component is physically infeasible, so that the absolute invariance in control is in principle impossible. Obviously, the problem is even more difficult when fans are controlled by rotation frequency, because the transfer functions of the correcting and forcing components should have a much larger number of differentiators. Calculations for the invariant systems with fan control by impeller blade adjustment show that the error of the regulation system, disregarding instrumental errors, could be within 1% of the variable being controlled. INCLUSION OF THE VARIABILITY OF THE CONTROL OBJECT PARAMETERS For the main fans it is important to consider the variability of control object parameters; during the course of mine development the static and dynamic characteristics of the ventilation system are smaller sometimes by an order of magnitude of at least severalfold in the course of its service life [9]. Under such conditions automatic control systems with variable parameters become necessary. Control theory considers parameter variability to be an internal perturbation of the system; various types of self-adjusting systems are used to compensate for it [9, i0]. An invariant system operating with compensatory self-adjustment is effective and relatively simple; its general flowchart is shown in Fig. 3 (q~,.(S) is a real system with variable parameters; dl (S) is a model of an optimal system with constant parameters; ~D (S) is the correcting device; QB(S) is the assignment (the desired flow rate and air feed); Qf(S) is the variable controlled (the actual flow rate); A(S) is external perturbation (change of the equivalent opening of the ventilation network); and QK(S) is the system response to internal perturbations)~ The model of an optimal system qt(S) is constructed in a conventional manner, taking into account the optimal (averaged or desired) values of the variable object parameters and the engineering requirements of the system. A real system ql (S) (see Fig. 3) is described similarly, but, in contrast to the model, it is composed of a real object with variable parameters and a real regulator designed for "optimal" object parameters. The correcting device 4~(S) is the inverse model of the optimal system. The scheme in general operates according to the principle of compensatory self-adjustment [9]. When the parameters of the real system object deviate from the optimal value, a mismatch signal AQ(S) appears in the adder [5]. The signal is passed through the correcting device, which converts it into the signal QK(S). This signal is added to the input signal QB(S) and sent to the inputs of both systems as the corrected control Q~(S). The signal Qn(S), fed into the real system (Fig. 3), compensates the reaction from the internal perturbation caused by the change of object parameters. The external perturbation A(S) in that case is reduced to internal perturbations, because it, too, causes a change of object parameters (the gain factor and the time constants). The invariance of this system in variable parameters has been proved by Vasilenko In Fig. 3


~lh (S) = Q" Cs) _ qa(S)

[q>o (s) - q,,, (s)] ,t,o (.,.) = q~w, (s) - q,o (s) I .x_ l O p ( S ) - - q;,,(._s')] q,t,(Sj '


~I)E (S)

Q',, (s) ?. (s)


1 - - O : (S) = 1 - -

~I)r Cs') - ~ , (.~'1

clef, tS)

~,, (s)
q~o (S)'



and, hence, for the controlled variable we have

(~o (S) qf (S) = Op (s).o'~ (S) = 0 i, (s).q,, (S) ~ = q, (s) Oo (S).


From equality (20) it follows that the controlled quantity Qf(S) depends only on the input value (the required flow rate) and the transfer function of the optimal system, which contains only constant parameters. Such as system is therefore invariant with respect to the variable parameters of the control object. The invarlance of the controlled variable with respect to external perturbations can be demonstrated as well. Effective control systems of main fans can also be developed on the basis of the control methods guided by the highest derivative of perturbation and separation of motions in regulation systems; such methods have been developed in the past few years [ii]. LITERATURE CITED i. N. N. Petrov, "The design of systems for automatic control of mine ventilation," in: Reliability, Cost-Effectiveness, and Automatic Control of the Main Ventilation Units in Mines [in Russian], Tr. VlNITI, No. 1313-69 (1969). F. A. Abramov, V. A. Boiko, R. B. Tyan, and G. A. Shvets, Computer Calculations of the Distribution and Control of Airflow in Mine Ventilation Networks [in Russian], TsNIElugol', Moscow (1968). A. N. Kukhtenko, "Theory of complex systems with a hierarchical control structure," in: Complex Control Systems [in Russian], Naukova Dumka, Kiev (1976). V. V. Solodovnlkov (ed.), Technical Cybernetics: A Series of Engineering Monographs, Book i: Theory of Automatic Control [in Russian], Mashinostroenie, Moscow (I~67). P. S. Melkozerov, Drives in Systems of Automatic Control [in Russian], Energiya, Moscow (1966). N. N. Petrov, "Prospects of improving safety and controllability of main fans in mines," in: Ventilation Control and Gas Dynamic Events in Mines [in Russian], Institute of Mining, Siberian Branch, Academy of Sciences of the USSR Novoslbirsk (1979). A. I. Kukhtenko, Problems of Invariance in Automatics [in Russian], Gosgortekhizdat, Kiev (1963). N. N. Petrov and Yu. M. Kaigorodov, "Studies of the evolution of mine ventilation systems," in: Automatic Control in Mining [in Russian], Institute of Mining, Siberian Branch, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Novosibirsk (1974). V. A. Vasilenko, "Invariant optimal linear systems with variable parameters," in: Automatic Control and Computer Technology [in Russian], Mashgiz, Moscow (1961). Theory of Invariance in Automatic Control Systems: Proceedings of the Second National Conference on the Theory of Invariant Systems [in Russian], Nauka, Moscow (1964). A. S. Vostrikov, "Control of dynamic objects in terms of the highest derivative," in: Automation of Industrial Processes [in Russian], NETI Novosibirsk (1974).


3. 4. 5. 6.

7. 8.

9. i0. ii.