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1.1 Machinery and Lights
1.1.1 Electrical machinery
1.1.2 Diesel equipments
1.1.3 Compressed air run engines
1.2 Underground Water
1.3 Human Metabolism
1.4 Rock Movement
1.5 Oxidation
1.6 Blasting and Fragmented Rocks/Minerals
1.7 pipelines
1.8 Energy Losses in Airways
1.9 Sources of Cooling in Mines

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1.1 Machinery and Lights

Most of the machines used in mines are known to add sensible heat to the mine air
either through friction, electric losses etc. We all know that it is hard to design a
machine with 100 % efficiency. Thus, all machines add heat to the mine air by nonmechanical work produced by them. Different types of machinery used in mines
can be classified on the basis of their source of power supplied. They are

Electrical equipments

Diesel engines

Compressed air run equipments/machinery

1.1.1 Electrical machinery

The main electrical equipment utilized in the mines is fans, haulage, road headers,
conveyors, hoists, pumps, transformers, LHDs, shearer loaders, etc. Most of the
inputs provided to them are converted into heat except for the part which is utilized
in doing the work against gravity. Conveyors transporting ore in an incline or shaft,
hoists, and pumps are the examples of machines which work against gravity. Other
equipments convert input power to heat. Fig.1 represents how the input power
supplied to the electrical equipments is utilized.

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Power Taken By
Machine POW (KW)


Direct heat losses

from the machine
body=POW (1-E) (KW)
Work done
against gravity

E (KW)
Useful Energy
U= POW * E (KW)

Heat dissipated along

working length of
machine (U-Wg)
Fig. 1 Utilization of input power supplied to electrical equipments

The Fig. 1 suggests that if we replace a machine of lower efficiency with that of
higher efficiency, we may require less input power as well as direct heat losses from
the machine body is significantly reduced. It also suggests that, the conversion of
input power into heat is unavoidable along the working length of the machine.
However, we can reduce the amount of heat conversion by reducing the working
length of the machine by planning haulage roads and belt conveyors network
through the shortest possible path. While transporting ore, heat is produced and
given to air throughout the way. So, it will be better if the transportation is carried
out via return in order to reduce the heat load to the underground environment.

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Fan is also an eminent source of heat in underground mines. Some of the work
done by a fan is converted into kinetic energy while a large part of it is converted to
heat. Due to fan the rise in temperature of the mine air is 0.83 K per kPa of power
developed by it (Mishra, 1986). That is why it is logical to install booster fan in
return and prefer exhaust fan on the surface instead of forcing fan. Forcing fans
add heat to the air at the initial stage itself thereby increasing the heat load on the
air supplied to the workings. On the other hand, exhaust fans add heat mostly at
the outbye end of the mine workings. It is advisable to install booster fans in the
return in case of necessity so as to reduce the heat load on the ventilation system.
Other equipments like LHDs, shearer loaders, continuous miners etc. add heat
mostly at the face and we need to eliminate its effect by providing sufficient aircurrent at the face.
1.1.2 Diesel equipments
Diesel equipments are less efficient. Compared to electrical units, they have
approximately 1/3rd efficiency. As a thumb rule, the heat generated by a diesel
engine is taken to be 2.8 to 3 kW per kW of the rated power of the equipment
(after Banerjee, 2003). Heat load from a diesel engine is also calculated on the
basis of average rate of fuel consumption by it in a shift.The heat produced by a
diesel engine appears in three ways each of which may be roughly of the same

heat from the radiator and machine body (mostly sensible heating).

heat in the exhaust gases (as latent heat of water vapour and sensible heat
of other by-product gases).

the remaining as useful shaft power. It is further converted to heat by

frictional processes as the machine performs its tasks (as sensible heat).

Thus, diesel equipments do not only add heat load but also add moisture to the
mine air.

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1.1.3 Compressed air run engines

In general, compressed air machinery does not add any heat to the mine air. It is
because the heat added due to the frictional work done by compressed air
machinery gets compensated by the heat absorbed by the exhaust of the
compressed air unit. However, addition of heat to mine air takes place when hot
compressed air is taken down the shaft in pipelines.

1.2 Underground Water

In underground mines, water is a major source of heat. It transfers heat to mine air
through the process of evaporation. Hence, we can say that it mainly adds latent
heat to mine air. Thus, it increases wet-bulb temperature of mine air. Evaporation
of water causes rise in humidity. Thus, water has a significant role in heat addition
as well as moisture addition to mine air.
Sources of water in underground mines are:

Ground water water from rock reservoirs such as hot water fissures
Mine-water water used for services such as drinking, drilling purpose, fire
fighting, drainage etc.

Ground water has its source in rock reservoirs and therefore its temperature will be
either equal or greater than the surrounding rocks.
Heat added to mine air by evaporation of water can be reduced by adopting
following techniques:

transportation of water in closed and insulated pipes

constructing covered ditches
allowing water flow in return airways
grouting the rocks

To compute heat load addition to mine air because of water in underground mines,
the following equation can be used (McPherson, 1993):
= (1 2 ) /
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q = heat load due to water (J/sec)

Gw= rate of water flow (kg/sec)
Cw = specific heat of water (J/kg )
T1 = temperature of water at the point of emission/source in the mine ()
T2 = temperature of water at the point of exit/sink in the mine ()

1.3 Human Metabolism

Due to metabolism, human beings produce heat even when they are at rest. The
heat produced is dependent on various factors such as

manual work being done

body surface area of the man
level of mental stress, etc.

Heat produced is proportional to all these factors. Men at work produce more heat
and the amount of heat produced goes on increasing as the work becomes more
vigorous. A man transfers heat to the surroundings in three different ways:

through heat loss from body surface

through respiration
through frictional work

Table 1 gives the average heat produced by human body under different situations.

Table 1 Average heat produced by human body in different situation (after,

Mishra, 1986)
Nature of work

Light work (e.g. Moderate

work Hard work (e.g.
winch driving)
(e.g. fitting)

heat 90
rate, in W/m

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In general, the body surface area of a miner/worker can be taken as 1.8-1.9 m2.
We can see from Table 1 that the heat added by miner/worker is not a significant
one. It can be significant only when the local working of the mine (e.g., face) is not
properly ventilated.
1.4 Rock Movement
Subsidence of strata in underground mines is common in part of mines where
extraction of ore has been done. In this case rock falls to the floor and the potential
energy associated with the rock is almost totally converted into heat. It is fortunate
that only a small part of this heat is added to the ventilating air. Most of the heat is
trapped in the broken rock itself. It is said that about 1% of the total heat addition
to mine air is contributed by falling rock (after, Mishra, 1986). It may reach to
almost 9% if no heat is trapped inside the broken rock and all of them are added
directly to the main ventilating air.
On the other hand, in underground metal mines, ore/mineral descending down
through an ore pass or vertical bunker may immediately be exposed to a ventilating
air stream. If no heat is transferred to the ventilating air and surrounding, the
temperature of the falling rock is calculated by the equation

(2 1 ) =

2 = Temperature of rock just after impact/fall ()
1 = Temperature of rock before impact/fall ()
= falling distance (m)
= acceleration due to gravity (m/s2)
= specific heat of rock (J/kg )

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1.5 Oxidation
Oxidation, in general, is always exothermic in nature. Oxidation of coal, timbers,
sulphur in metal mines liberate significant amount of heat. We can make an
estimate of heat addition to the mine air by calculating depletion of oxygen in the
air-current. A 0.1% depletion of oxygen between intake and return can cause rise
in temperature of mine air by 7 provided that all oxygen is utilized in oxidation of
coal (after, Banerjee 2003). In operating airways, the heat generated by oxidation
is added directly to the ventilating air. But, heat produced by oxidation in waste
areas, gob, etc. is not added totally to the mine air. A part of the heat produced is
retained in the areas and in worst case the temperature rise in such areas may be
such that, it may be the cause of spontaneous fire.
1.6 Blasting and Fragmented Rocks/Minerals
Blasting operations are not done in a continuous manner. It is done over a place for
a short duration of time. Blasting operations liberate fairly large amount of heat. A
part of the heat is added directly to the air causing peak head load on the
ventilating air and major part of the heat produced is retained in the broken rock.
The heat stored in the broken rock is also transferred to the ventilating air, but for
over a large duration. The exact amount of heat added to the mine air is difficult to
calculate. This is because we do not have any means of measuring what fraction of
heat produced by blasting is absorbed by broken rock. It is dependent on many
factors like method of mining, degree of fragmentation, drilling pattern, types of
explosives used, etc.
The amount of heat released by explosives falls within the range of 3700 KJ/kg for
ANFO to 5700KJ/kg for nitro-glycerine (after, McPherson, 1993).
In underground mines, minerals are fragmented or broken into small pieces either
by using blasting operations or some mechanized techniques. These minerals are
required to be transported. The fragmentation produces a temperature difference
between the minerals and ventilating air-current. This difference depends on local
geology, method of fragmentation, nature of minerals, etc. This difference causes
heat to transfer from the minerals to air-current until the fragmented minerals are
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taken out of mine through proper transportation system or an equilibrium exists

between the fragmented minerals and air-current. The heat flow from fragmented
minerals/rocks can be calculated by the equation (after, McPherson, 1993):
= (1 2 ) /
q = heat load from fragmented rocks/minerals (J/s)
m= mass flow (kg/s)
Crm = specific heat of rock minerals (J/kgC)
T1 = temperature at the time of fragmentation ()
T2 = final temperature when minerals are taken out of the underground mine ()

1.7 Pipelines
Water and compressed air are taken to mines trough pipelines. The water carried
through pipelines is generally at higher temperature compared to mine air. Thus
heat is added to the mine air. If temperature difference is significant, arrangement
for insulation between pipelines and mine air is provided to reduce heat addition to
the air.
1.8 Energy Losses in Airway
Air travelling through mine airways undergoes head losses, shock losses etc. These
losses may be expected to add heat to mine air, but they do not. They increase
entropy of the mine air instead of temperature or enthalpy. Thus, head losses and
shock losses in the mine airways play no role in increasing heat load.
1.9 Sources of Cooling in Mine Air
So far we have discussed the sources which add heat to mine air. Do there exist
some sources that make mine air cool? Some of the processes in the underground
mines are endothermic in nature and hence are responsible for heat removal from
the air. Some of the processes are:

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Methane emission methane emission from coal cools mine air.

Compressed air equipments working against gravity cools



Banerjee S.P. (2003); Mine Ventilation; Lovely Prakashan, Dhanbad, India.
Hartman, H. L., Mutmansky, J. M. & Wang, Y. J. (1982); Mine Ventilation and Air
Conditioning; John Wiley & Sons, New York.
Le Roux, W. L. (1972); Mine Ventilation Notes for Beginners; The Mine Ventilation
Society of South Africa.
McPherson, M. J. (1993); Subsurface Ventilation and Environmental Engineering;
Chapman & Hall, London.
Misra G.B.

(1986); Mine Environment and Ventilation; Oxford University Press,

Calcutta, India.
Vutukuri, V. S. & Lama, R. D. (1986); Environmental Engineering in Mines;
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

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