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Version 7.3

February 2018

VENTSIM USER MANUAL Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Page 1

1.0 Disclaimer

2.0 Introduction

3.0 Computer Requirements

4.0 Menu Items

5.0 Toolbar Buttons

6.0 Airway Characteristics

7.0 Building a Ventilation Network

8.0 Using TAG Levels

9.0 Viewing the network

10.0 Printing the network

11.0 Network Simulation

12.0 Tips and Techniques

13.0 Importing and Exporting Data

14.0 Ventsim Version 2 - What’s New ?

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The author and the supplier has no liability to the licensee or any
other person or entity for any damage or loss, including special,
incidental or consequential damages caused by this product
directly or indirectly.

The software is supplied "as is" without warranty of any kind,

either expressed or implied. Warranties of merchantability or
of fitness for any purpose are specifically disclaimed.

VENTSIM Version 7.3

Mine Ventilation Simulation Software

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Ventilation has been a primary concern in mines for hundreds of years, but until
the introduction of computerised network analysis in the last 40-60 years, the
planning and modeling of ventilation was largely a black art, relying on
experience, guesswork and extensive calculations.

Even when computer ventilation software allowed simulations of large networks of

underground airways, the process of entering and interpreting results still
remained a job for experts in the field.


Ventsim provides the user with the tools to . . .

• Simulate and provide a record of flows in an existing mine.

• Perform 'what if' simulations for planned new development.

• Help in Short Term and Long Term planning of ventilation requirements.

• Assist in selection of types of fans for mine ventilation.

• Help in choosing development fans and vent bag sizes.

• Assist in financial analysis of ventilation options.

• Simulate paths and concentrations of smoke, dust, or gas for planning or

emergency situations

Ventsim has been written to make the process of ventilation network analysis as
easy to use as possible, by utilising a fully graphical mouse driven interface, and
running on the universally popular IBM PC under Microsoft Windows 3.1 or
Windows 95.

Ventsim is designed for easy access for both experienced people and novices to
the ventilation process, and allows easy creation, interpretation and manipulation
of airway networks.

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VENTSIM is designed to run under MICROSOFT WINDOWS 10 or
WINDOWS 8 and requires at minimum the following computer 1setup.

• IBM Compatible PC with 386 or 486 or Pentium Processor

• Optional Maths Co-Processor (i5 or i7)
• Hard Drive
• 2 Button Mouse
• Colour VGA or SVGA Graphics Card and Monitor
• Windows 10
• 4 gb or more Ram


To get the most out of Ventsim, a fast 386 or 486 powered computer is
recommended to provide adequate speed for the program. The 3D rotation
in particular requires a lot of processing power that is best suited to a 486
DX computer or Pentium.

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The following pull down menus are available in the Ventsim Main Window.

4.1 File Menu

4.2 Edit Menu

4.3 Airway Menu

4.4 View Menu

4.5 Tag Menu

4.6 Database Menu

4.7 Simulate Menu

4.8 Defaults Menu

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4.1 File Menu

Erases the network currently in memory.
An option is given to save any unsaved changes in the previous network.
Ventsim then clears the viewing area, ready for further editing. The previously
used RL Database and Fan Database is retained for the new network.

Allows the user to load a pre-saved network.. Once loaded, the level below the
surface RL will be displayed on screen.

Merge File
Similar to the Open command, but will join two networks together instead of the
new one overwriting the old network. This may be useful for joining separate
networked areas of the same mine. Caution should be taken however, as
duplicate branches are not checked when the networks are merged (duplicate
branches will be deleted if an attempt is made to simulate the network).

Reload Defaults
Reloads the original defaults file that is first loaded when Ventsim is initiated.
This may be required, if the defaults loaded with a Ventsim simulation file are
incorrect or out of date.

Reload Fans
Reloads the 'default' fan database that is first loaded when Ventsim is initiated.
Although a fan database is loaded with Ventsim simulation files, the default fan
database may be more up to date. Once loaded, resaving the simulation file will
replace the files original fan database.

Saves changes made to the network. If the Ventsim title bar shows that the
network is untitled, the user will have to select a name before the file can be

Save As
Saves the network, but gives the option of saving under a different name.

Save Defaults
Saves the program defaults such as colours, simulation parameters - ie
everything found under the Defaults Menu. If Defaults are changed during a
program session, and are not saved before exiting, the original loaded defaults
will be used again next session.

Save Fans
Savesa default fan database that is loaded by Ventsim at the start of every
program session. If fans are added,. modified or deleted during a program
session, and the fan database is not saved before exiting, the original loaded fan
database will be used again next session.

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NOTE: that a fan database is saved with every network file. Save Fans only
saves a DEFAULT fan database. This is overwritten when a network file is
loaded. Use the RELOAD fan database command to recall the default fan
database if it is required.

Save Screen
Copies the graphical window to a BMP format picture file. This file can then be
loaded by a paint package for editing or display.

Import Data (CSV)

Imports network data from CSV format (text format with fields delimited by
commas). This format is widely available through most spreadsheets and can be
read into word processors. Minimum data required from a CSV file are the
branch node coordinates in the format X1, Y1, Z1, X2, Y2, Z2 although other data
can also be imported. See Importing/Exporting section for further information on
importing and exporting.

Import Data (DXF)

Allows the creation or addition to a network of DXF formatted data (supported by
most CAD and Mine Planning packages). Note that only a skeleton network
(with no additional attribute type data) will be created. The DXF file should
contain only the network line strings that will form the network, as anything else
will be ignored.

Export Data (CSV)

Exports the network data in CSV format (Text with field comma delimiters). Note
that due to the large number of network attributes, not all are exported. See
Importing/Exporting menu for further information on importing and exporting.

Export Data (DXF)

Exports basic network data in DXF format, for reading by a CAD package. Note
that only very limited data is output, consisting of the network branches, names
and airflow data.

File Comment
Allows the user to specify a unique file comment which appears in the top title
bar. This comment can help identify the date, name and purpose of the network.

This command prints the network in the View Window to your Windows installed
printer. Note that only printers with Windows supported Graphics Capabilities
will be able to print the network (most inkjets and bubblejets, laser printers, some
dot matrix). Printing to SCALE is also available, however the scale is initially set
to maximum page size.
Other options in the Print Dialogue box include Landscape printing and Colour.
Again these functions are only supported if your printer has the capability. To
change to different printers, use the Windows 'Control Box - Printers'. Note that

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the default printer should always be set to Portrait Printing before running

Previous File List

Names of file previously loaded or saved, which may be selected for instant
loading of files.

This command closes Ventsim. Ventsim will prompt if your network file, fan
database or defaults have not been saved since last modified.

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4.2 Edit Menu

Removes any previous addition or deletion to the network immediately prior to
selecting this command. Once the network is simulated or re-sorted, Undo can
no longer reverse any changes made to the network

This command places Ventsim in the copy/paste mode. Pressing the RIGHT
mouse button on an airway copies the specified attributes of that airway (ie size,
resistance type, wall type, shock factor) and saves the values as defaults for
future airways. Attributes may be specified from the Copy/Paste Attributes menu
item. Copied attributes are listed when an airway is copied. All new airways will
be drawn with these attributes until changed again.
To change an existing airway's attributes with those that have been copied, press
the LEFT mouse button on the middle of the airway, or drag a 'FENCE' around
multiple airways to be changed.

The item allows the user to choose which airway attributes are copied and
pasted. Ventsim defaults to copying ALL attributes, however this may be
changed by selecting/deselecting any of the menu options. For example only
airway sizes or wall types may be required to copy and paste onto other airways.

Insert Node
Allows a branch to be split in two, by clicking the centre of the airway. It is used
primarily for joining a new airway into an existing branch, where the existing
nodes are not suitably placed.

Edit Airway
This command loads the Edit Airway Dialogue box, and allows manual editing of
each airway. This function is described more fully under the Airway Menu.

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4.3 Airway Menu

Constructs a new airway. Press the mouse button at the start of the airway, and
drag the airway across to the endpoint. Either end of the airway will fix itself to a
nearby airway if available, or if no other nodes are in the immediate vicinity, a new
node will be created. The airway parameters (size, friction factor, shock loss etc)
will be set from the defaults table. Selecting the right mouse button will allow text
entry of point coordinates.

Note that airways cannot be added in 3D mode unless both end connect to
existing branches, or the nodes are entered as coordinates.

Moves an airway, and any other connected airways - resistances are also
recalculated if lengths have been changed. Click on the airway end to move,
and drag node to a new location. Use the right mouse button to change the
coordinates manually.

Note that in 2D mode, dragging an airway with the LEFT button will attach it to a
nearby node if one is present, otherwise a new position will be created. In 3D
mode, dragging an airway will attach it to a nearby node, or if one is not available,
the manual select box will appear.

Reverses the direction of airway flow. The most common use for this command
is if a node has no 'from' or 'to' destination when a simulation returns an error.
By reversing an airway, you can ensure every node has a 'to' and a 'from' airway.

Deletes an airway. To delete individual airways, point to the center of an airway
and press the left mouse button. To 'fence' delete multiple areas in a network,
drag the mouse across the screen to form a 'delete' box. All airways that have
ends or centres inside the delete box will be deleted.

Add Fan
Adds, changes or removes a fan in an airway. Point to the center of an airway
and press the left mouse button. A list of available fans from the fan database
is presented. Select the type of fan wanted, enter the number and configuration
and press OK.

Places a descriptive name at the nodes of an airway (end points) or at the
center of an airway. The name is purely descriptive, and plays no part in the
simulation process.

Places a contaminant source (gas, smoke or dust) in an airway (a yellow- red
symbol is shown), at a specified concentration. One of more of these sources

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can be added. Using the gas simulation option, the path and concentration of
the contaminant will be simulated and shown. The function will only work properly
if the network has been previously simulated. Contaminants may be cleared by
using 'Clear Contaminant' menu option.

Adds, changes or deletes any of the following airway characteristics via a
dialogue box. Select an airway centre with the LEFT mouse button to edit the

1. Resistances - fixed or from pick list

2. Wall Types
3. Shock Factors
4. Branch Names
5. Fixed Flows, Lengths
6. Airway types - ie shaft or drive
7. Airway dimensions

Note that by pressing the Right mouse button instead of the Left button on an
airway, the top resistance from the pick list will be added or removed.

Shows basic information about airways (size, quantity, pressure drop, pressure
load, length, coordinates). If a fan is present, it shows the fan curve, operating
point and working pressure. If a FIX is present, it shows the required pressure,
and/or regulator resistance for the Fixed quantity.

Fix All Lengths

This will fix and protect all airways in the network from changes in length when
moving airways. This is useful if airways are required to be moved for clarity, but
lengths must stay the same.

Unfix All Lengths

This will unfix and recalculate all airway lengths in a network.

WARNING - This function will change any previously fixed lengths. If there are
any doubts, use the EDIT function to individually fix/unfix lengths of only the
airways that need to be changed.

Clear Contaminant
Clears all contaminant sources, and also clears any simulated smoke trails in a

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4.4 View Menu

Zoom allows enlarging, reducing or panning of the screen view port.

Use the left mouse button to zoom in (ie. reduce the scale), either by drawing a
box or by clicking the button once.

To ZOOM out (or increase the scale) click the right mouse button on the screen.

To PAN about the screen, again use the RIGHT mouse button, but hold the
button down, and move the mouse about the screen. The screen will follow the
mouse pointer.

Note that the ZOOM magnification factor and Printer Scale is shown in the bottom
left corner of the Ventsim screen.

Displays a coordinate grid to help in viewing and locating airways. The grid is
'passive' and is simply an overlay on the screen, playing no further part in
constructing networks. The mouse coordinates are shown in the lower left of the
screen. Grid scales can be adjusted by altering the simulation defaults - found in
the Defaults Menu. Note that the GRID cannot be displayed when in 3D mode.

Rescales the screen so that all airway branches on the current RL are displayed
on the screen.

Allows the user to automatically locate parts of a network. Selecting one of the
options will find and zoom into the area desired. The option may be repeated for
further branches by pressing the FIND Toolbar button.

Options include:

• Branch Error : Finds branches with simulation errors

• Stalled/Negated Fans : Finds fans operating in network outside fan curve

• Branch Number : Finds the specified branch number

• Branch Name : Finds all branches with all or part of the specified branch

• Branch Node : Finds all branches with all or part of the specified node name.

Plan View
The standard horizontal plane viewing mode.

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3D View
Displays a three dimensional representation of the network. This view defaults to
a plan view, with standard isometric, long sections and horizontal sections also
available from the view pull down menu. The view may be rotated in any
direction with the rotation button.


Displays a single level of data

Allows the user to choose up to six non consecutive levels to display.

Allows the user to display all levels between two selected levels

All Levels
Displays all levels in the RL database simultaneously on screen.

Data Type
Display a variety of different kinds of data. See the data type menu for a more
detailed description of these.

Display Options
Allow the user to turn on or off parts of the graphical display. This is usually
done to improve the clarity of display, and show only the parts of the network that
are required to be viewed.
Note that turning off all options (or by using the HIDE function), results in a
'skeleton' display. The display update speed in this case is dramatically
improved. This is useful if viewing or searching through large amounts of data.

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4.5 Tag Menu

Tag levels allow the user to place groups of airways on different levels, so that
they may be displayed independently of all other airways.

• Primary Tag Levels are intended to group TYPES of airways together (eg
Shafts, Declines, Stopes, Raises etc).

• Secondary Tag Levels are intended to group an area a network together (eg
Shaft system, orepass system, stope system, workshop area).

• Primary and secondary tag levels can be used independently of one another.

Displays all primary tag levels and names. If the checkbox is highlighted, then all
airways on the highlighted level will be displayed (providing the secondary tags
are also set).
The 'active' tag level will be displayed in either blue or red. To make any level
active, simply click on the level once with the mouse.
Primary tag levels range from 1 to 16.

Displays all secondary tag levels. The use of the secondary tag checkboxes, is
the same as the primary tags as stated above.
Secondary tag levels range from 1 to 48

Tag display options will give the user the opportunity to change the way Ventsim
displays tag levels that are 'turned off' or 'hidden'. The default display will be to
hide all off-tag level airways, however these can be displayed as dim grey lines,
or full lines. The amount of data (eg names, flows, arrows etc) showed for
off-tag level airways can also be modified.

Show All
Turns on ALL tag levels (both Primary and Secondary) so that every airway in a
network will be displayed.

Hide All
Turns off ALL tag levels (both Primary and Secondary) EXCEPT the active
primary and secondary tag levels which will be turned on.

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4.6 Database Menu

Displays a dialogue window which allows editing, adding and deleting of all fans in
your fan database. Up to 1000 fans and their curves may be entered into the
fan database. A display of each fan curve will be presented upon clicking on the
fan name in the display list. Further fans can be added by selecting blank
spaces, or by overwriting existing fans.

Caution should be taken when deleting or modifying a fan, as any network which
may have used that fan number, will still attempt to use that particular number
fan's data. If the data is not present, or is different, the network will not simulate

Displays a dialogue window which allows editing or creating of the RL Database -
a database which contains up to 250 RL levels on which your network will be

RL Data can be edited in any order, as well as added at a later date - Ventsim will
sort the data from highest to lowest when next displayed.

This will display a list of currently entered airways in a spreadsheet form. Data
cannot be changed, but searches can be made in network data that can narrow
down to airways with FANS, FIXES or ERRORS. This can be useful for finding
airways that may be restricting network analysis, or causing other problems (eg
stalled fans, airways with errors etc).

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4.7 Simulate Menu

This will perform a network analysis air simulation, and attempt to come up with a
solution to your network. If the simulation is successful, the simulation dialogue
box will disappear and the screen updated to show new airflows. If the
simulation is not successful, a list of errors will be shown.

Note that the tool bar button 'AIR' will perform the same function as this.

Contaminant (GAS)
Performs a contaminant simulation based on the position of contaminant sources
previously placed in the network (see AIRWAY menu for placing contaminant
sources). Contaminants should be cleared before any further editing is done to
the network. The contaminants may be cleared by pressing the CLEAR button
on the smoke legend, or by selecting CLEAR CONTAMINANTS from the

Note that the tool bar button 'GAS' will perform the same function as this, but will
automatically bypass the input box.

Displays a brief summary of your network. Note that some values in this
summary are only valid for a fully working, balanced network.

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4.8 Defaults Menu

Options from this menu can change the appearance and operation of


Allows changing of the colour scheme of the network on screen and printer.
Upon viewing the Colour Dialogue Box, simply select the colour to change
on the left side of the box, and then select a new colour from the list on the
right side. Beware when changing some of the colours if a colour printer is
being used. The new colours may not show up well on the printer.

Allows changing the various aspects of the way your network is drawn on
the screen, including Line Thickness, Text Size, Arrow Size and Node Size.
Any general increasing of the size or thickness of any of these, while
improving clarity, can greatly decrease the speed of graphic screen updates
- particularly increased Line Thickness.

Allows the changing of several parameters including:

• Grid Spacing - allows variable grid line intervals (eg 10m, 50m, 100m

• Node Spacing - restricts placing of nodes to a minimum spacing. For

example if you want a node to be placed only on 10m grid interval (ie
4010, 4020 etc) then this can be set to ten. By doing this it is also
easier to place exact vertical and horizontal airways.

3D Rotation
Allows changing the rotation speed, and tilt limitations of the network
models. Rotation jump steps are in degrees.


Allows changing of various simulation parameters including maximum
allowable errors, number of iterations etc. Changing of these parameters
may improve the speed of simulation of your network, but can also decrease
the accuracy of results.

Allows changing of default airway sizes and attributes, so that new airways
drawn also have these same attributes. Note that COPY ATTRIBUTES
from the EDIT menu does the same thing.

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Allows changing or adding of the parameter definitions of Resistances, Wall
Types and Shock Types, as well as their displayed names.

WARNING - these values should only be changed if the function of these

values is understood, and new values have measured or demonstrated
accuracy. Changing of these values will also alter the attributes of every
branch in a network that uses these values. New resistances can be added
by selecting the 'undefined' values, and typing in new names and values.

Mouse Control
Mouse Node Sensitivity - reduces or increasing the tendency for the mouse to
grab the nearest node when placing or deleting airways. This is handy as
accurate mouse placement is not normally required, but can be frustrating if
nodes need to be placed close to one another, without having to zoom in. Lower
Values increase the tendency for the mouse to grab nearby points.

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Toolbar buttons provide almost all the functions needed to create and
analyse a airway network

Rotate Button
The large button at the right of the tool bar is the network rotation button.
Clicking on any of the arrows on the button will rotate your network in that
direction.. Two speeds of rotation are available by moving the mouse pointer
further to the edge of the button. The small button at the centre is the 'rotation
centre' button. By clicking on this button, and then selecting the middle of an
airway on screen, the model will then be rotated about this branch. To reset the
rotation centre to the centroid of the model, simply choose 'rotation centre' and
click on a blank part of the screen.
Note that the model can be rotated continuously for display purposes by simply
using the RIGHT mouse button instead of the left to rotate the model.

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5.1 Bottom Toolbar Functions
Blue Buttons - View Manipulation

Zoom Button
Allows enlarging and reducing of screen view port. Use the left mouse button to
zoom in, either by drawing a box or by clicking the button once. To ZOOM out
click the right mouse button.

Fit Button
Fits all graphic airways on the current display level into the view port.

Redraw Button
Redraws the screen in the event that the screen is partially erased by another
screen or program

Find Button
Finds a selection of different types of airways as specified in the <VIEW>Find
menu. Repeated pressing of the button will find the next occurrence of the
specified type.

BLACK - Editing Functions

Add Button
Constructs an airway. Press the mouse button at the start of the airway, and
drag the airway across to the endpoint. Either end of the airway will fix itself to a
nearby airway if available, or will create a new start/end node for the airway. The
airway parameters (size, friction factor, shock loss etc) will be set from the
defaults table.

Note that by pressing the RIGHT mouse button, a coordinate window will be
displayed, allowing the user to manually enter the coordinates. Note that if
manual coordinate entry is required for just the end point, then while 'rubber
banding' with the LEFT button, select the RIGHT mouse button simultaneously.

Copy / Paste Button

Allows the user to copy an airway's attributes (dimensions, shock type, wall type)
and paste them onto other airways. The RIGHT mouse button will copy the
attributes into the defaults. The LEFT mouse button will paste them onto another
airway, by pressing the middle of the airway. Multiple airways can be changed
by 'fencing' an area with the LEFT mouse button. All airways with ends within
the fence will be changed to the copied default values.

Note that you should make sure that only the attributes you desire to copy are
first selected from the copy/paste attributes menu on the EDIT menu bar,
otherwise unwanted attributes may be pasted onto your airways.

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Move Button
Moves one end of an airway, and any other connected airways. It will also
recalculate resistances if lengths of airways have been changed. Click on the
airway end to move, and drag to the new location. The new location can also be
manually entered by coordinates by pressing the RIGHT mouse button. This is
particularly useful if the RL of the airway is required to be changed within the
Large areas of airways can be moved by 'fencing' an area with the LEFT mouse
button. The 'manual coordinate' window will display and allow the user to enter
the displacement for the move area.

WARNING - using ' fence move' will only move displayed airways within the
fence. If airways are hidden with the TAG function or are not shown in the
current RL range, then airways connecting to them will not be moved. This may
cause nodes to have the ends moved away from hidden airways, resulting 'no
exit/entry' errors on simulation.

Flip Button
Reverse direction of an airway flow - This is normally used to ensure all nodes
have an entry and exit.

Note that airways will automatically correct their direction if the airflow is reversed
during the simulation.

Erase Button
Deletes an airway. To use, point the mouse to the center of an airway and
press left mouse button. Make sure no other connecting airways exist before
simulation, as a destination error will occur when simulating.

PURPLE - Airway Property Functions

Fan Button
Adds or changes a fan in an airway. Point to the center of an airway and press
the Left Mouse Button. A drop down menu box will allow a selection of fan types,
while other options on the form will allow changing of the number and a parallel or
series setup.

Name Button
Places a name at the nodes of an airway (end points) or at the center of an
airway. Names are entirely for user reference and do not affect simulation.
Note that there are only a limited number of characters available for a name.

Contaminant Button

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Places a Contaminant Source and concentration along an airway (a yellow/red
mark is placed on airway). One of more of these sources can be added. Using
the <Gas Simulation> toolbar button, the path and concentration of the
contaminant is shown. This function can only be used providing the network has
been previously simulated. Contaminants may be cleared by using 'Clear
Contaminant' menu option.
Pressing the RIGHT mouse button will automatically place a 100 strength
contaminant if none is present, and will automatically remove a contaminant if
one is present.

GREEN - Airway Information

Edit Button
Brings up an Airway Edit form when mouse is clicked on an airway, which allows
fine tuning and changes of airway sizes, type and parameters.

Info Button
Shows basic information about airways (size, quantity, pressure drop). If a fan is
present, it shows the fan curve and operating point. If a FIX is present, it shows
required pressure (Pa) and resistance for the FIX.

RED - Simulation Functions

AIR Simulation Button

Simulates the air flows and pressure drops in a network. If any error exists, it will
list the branches with errors. Graphically, the errors are shown as BOLD
airways, with the name ERROR.

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Save Button
Saves the network immediately under the current name.

Load Button
Opens the LOAD dialogue window to load another Ventsim network

Print Button
Prints the current screen contents on the windows attached printer

Grid Button
Displays/removes the coordinate grid in 2D mode.
Note that no grid is available in 3D mode.

Multi Level Button

Toggles between single RL Level display and Multiple RL Level display. The
multiple RL display will be the previously selected Levels, whether they be
Selected, Ranged or All.

3D Button
Toggles between 3D mode and 2D mode. Only limited editing is available in 3D
mode. The button will remain pressed down while in 3D mode.

Saved View Pull Down List

Recalls a list of previously saved views. View names are presented in
alphabetical order. The first 5 views are permanent orientations and cannot be
saved or changed. These views are also special in that they will only orientate
existing data on screen, not recalling any position, zoom magnification and tag
levels that other saved views will. To save extra views, simply go to the VIEW
Save menu item and enter the name of the view.
Up to 100 saved views may be stored.

View Options Button

Shows the view options window, which allows the choice of displaying various
levels of data and information. Useful for uncluttering the display for easier

Tag Button
Converts existing airways to the active Tag level, whether it be Primary or
Secondary. To set the active level, view the Primary or Secondary Level window
from the TAG menu, and click on the level (so it turns red).
Pressing the LEFT mouse button on the center of an airway, will change it to the
active tag level. To change multiple airways, draw a 'fence' with the LEFT mouse
button. All airways with ends or centers within the fence will be changed to the
active tag level.

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If the active level is turned off, then airways that are tagged will 'disappear' from
the view. This is useful to ensure that all airways required to be tagged have
been tagged.

GAS Sim Button

This button activates the contaminant simulation, and immediately moves into the
simulation process and displays the result. If simulation input is required (eg a
change from fixed to cumulative simulation) then menu item CONTAMINANT
SIMULATION from the RUN menu should be chosen instead.

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An important part in the modeling and simulation of a ventilation network, is
accurately setting the characteristics or parameters of an airway. When
airways are initially constructed, the airway characteristics will be set to a
series of defaults.

Any of the following parameters can be changed by selecting the EDIT button,
and clicking on the airway.

Square or Circular Airway

Square and Circular airways are assumed automatically to be horizontal and
vertical airways respectively, when initially constructing airways. If this is not true
(for example, a vertical airway is a actually a long hole winze measuring 2.0m by
2.0m), then the type of airway should be changed to square to reflect the shape.

Airway Dimensions (m)

Airway dimensions are entered as Height & Width (in metres) for a square airway,
and Diameter (in metres) for a circular airway. Ventsim calculates the
cross-sectional area from these values, for use in the simulation. If an airway
shape does not match either square of circular shapes (eg heavily shantied back)
then values should be entered that give equivalent areas.

Fresh or Exhaust Air Types

Ventsim allows the user to choose whether an airways will be displayed as Fresh,
Exhaust or unspecified air. Note that this function is only to assist the user in
recording and showing air types, and plays no part in Ventsim calculations. All
new airways will be unspecified until set as fresh or exhaust air. Air types must
be set manually for each airway, however the copy/paste function can be used to
copy an existing fresh/exhaust air condition, and (fence) pasting the air type over
other airways (note all other copy/paste attributes should be deselected when
doing this).

Fresh/exhaust airways colours will only be shown if the 'Fresh/Exhaust air' display
option is selected under the Display Options menu or the Defaults Colours menu.

Show Data
Ventsim will only show data of airways with this box selected. If not selected, a
line will simply represent where the airway is on screen. No arrows, nodes, fans,
bulkheads or written data will be shown on the airway. This function can be used
to 'unclutter' a display, by just showing the important airways.

Surface Entry and Exit

Selecting either of these will force the airway node to the surface, without actually
require the node to be placed there. This is useful for placing fixed air into or
from a network without a vertical branch to the surface, or when the surface is a
changing RL (eg the mine located on a mountain side) and airways are required
to enter or exit the mine at any RL.

VENTSIM USER MANUAL Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Page 26

Length (m)
Length is calculated automatically when entering airways.
If the automatically calculated length is not the true length (for example, a
spiralling decline is drawn as a vertical line between levels, but is obviously longer
than the vertical line), then the length should be set to FIXED, and the true length

Note that a FIXED Length will not change if the airway nodes are moved.

Resistance (Ns2/m8)
Resistance is calculated automatically when entering airways from its size, type,
length and several other factors. If the airway has no obstacles, then this does
not have to be calculated.
Airway obstacles such as doors, bulkheads, muck piles etc, exhibit a resistance
usually much greater than the airway itself. Some obstacle resistance values are
included in the defaults. Up to 50 resistances can be added or changed from the
DEFAULTS - Airway Parameters menu.
If the resistance is known to be a different value (for example, it has been
calculated in a ventilation survey), then the resistance can also be fixed, and the
true value type in.

Note that a Fixed or Obstacle resistance will not change if the airway is moved
or lengthened.

Friction Factor (k)

Atkinsons friction factor describes the roughness or uneveness of wall. Uneven
walls create turbulent airflow along their boundary, thereby increasing the
resistance of an airway. A range of common values are suggested in the
defaults, but other values may be entered with the USER DEFINED option from
the menu list.

Shock Loss (m)

Shock Loss is a term used to describe the turbulence caused by sudden changes
in airflow direction or flow shape. Examples are a sharp corner, or sudden
change in drive size. Ventsim uses extra metres for a shock loss values - for
example an airway with a medium shock loss may suffer an increase in
resistance equivalent to an extra 50m long stretch of the airway.

Ventsim comes with a series of Shock Loss defaults, describing different sized
shock losses. Use the following as a guide, but feel free to change to your own
definitions. ( Note that the airway receiving the airflow is the one upon which the
shock loss should be applied.)

• Airways that join into one another in a straight line have no shock loss
• Airways that join into others through a corner <90 degrees have a very low or
low shock loss
• Airways that join into others through a corner >90 and <180 degrees have a
medium to high shock loss.

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• Airways that join into others with a sudden reduction or increase in
cross-sectional areas will have a high shock loss.

Other values may be entered with the USER DEFINED option from the menu list..

This option simply deducts an average area that service pipes etc. take up in a
drive. Ventsim uses a value of 0.6 m2.

Fixed Flows (m3/s)

This option allows fixing of airflows in an airway. It forces the simulation to fix the
flow in the specified airway to a value, and adjusts all other airway accordingly.
By pressing INFO on the airway after simulation, the pressure and/or resistance
required for the fix is shown.
Fixed Flows should be used sparingly, as they may adversely affect the balance
of a network.
Fixed Flows can be used where a quantity has been measured, and you want the
network to use the same value, or if a fan type is not available, but you know what
air flow you require.

Fixed Resistance
This option will allow setting of an airway resistance, regardless of size of length.
This can be used where the resistance is known or has been measured.

Fixed Pressure
This provides a pressure boost for an airway, in a similar way a fan would, but
forcing the pressure boost to be constant. This is useful if a pressure increase is
known, or needs to be simulated. Natural ventilation pressure can be simulated
by using this function at entries and exits to mine, where the natural ventilation
pressure is known.

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Initial Requirements
Before creating a network, an RL database and Fan database should first be

RL (Reduced Level) Database

An RL Database (reduced level) should be entered before starting a network
(although Ventsim does initially default to a two level RL database).

The RL Database consists of a list of levels on which it is likely that your

data will be located. It must ALWAYS include a SURFACE level (although
data does not have to be placed on this level), and a selection of levels
below the surface. An RL level can represent a range of actual
underground RL's, with each level being defined by a top and bottom RL.

The RL's for each level are usually heights (m) above sea level, although
other forms of representation may also be used. For example, the surface
RL may be called 0 metres, and all others set to -ve (m below surface). It
is important however, is that the RL's be listed in metres from highest value
(SURFACE) to lowest (bottom of mine).

RL's may range from -89999 to +89999.

Fan Database
This is a list of fans and their characteristic fan curves (operating pressures,
quantities and efficiencies). Although Ventsim starts with a list of several
example fan curves, it is recommended that actual fan curves used at the
mine site be entered into the program. The fan curves can be copied
carefully off the Fan Data sheets (usually available from the fan
manufacturers) by reading off the pressure, quantities and efficiencies along
the fan curve, and entering them into the fan database editor. Be careful
not to copy the stall region of the fan curve into the database, as this cannot
be used by Ventsim.

Up to 1000 different types of fans may be stored within Ventsim (the actual
maximum number can be changed from the Default menu. Ventsim
defaults to 250 maximum). The fan database is loaded automatically when
Ventsim is loaded. Unlike Ventsim V1.1 and V1.0, Ventsim V1.5 or greater
also stores a fan database within the simulation files. Therefore the
database in memory is overwritten by the simulation file fan database when
loaded. SIM files can therefore be transferred between programs without
the need for the FANSDATA.DAT file (the file that specifies the default fan
data when Ventsim is first loaded).

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7.1 Default Settings

A series of defaults is loaded (defaults.dat) at the beginning of a Ventsim session.

Although these defaults are suitable for most networks, you may like to change
some of them to change the performance or look of the program. Although a
large number of different defaults exist, some of the parameters that will affect
network analysis include....

Simulation: Network Size (in airway branch numbers) - set this value to the
minimum you think you will need - it can be increased later if your network
gets too big. Setting this to a value to large (max 4000 branches) will
increase system requirements and slow the program down.

Simulation: Maximum Error - this value should be set to less than 0.1
m3/s error. If a final analysis is required it may be advisable to set this to
0.01 m3/s. The smaller this value, the more accurate the simulation
process, but the longer it will take - experiment to find the best trade-off.

Simulation: Number of Iterations - this value controls the number of

attempts allowed to find a solution - if a solution has not been found after the
maximum number of attempts, a best guess solution will be offered unless
the user elects to continue simulating.

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7.2 Constructing a Network

Two different methods can be used for constructing a network. The first is the
freehand method, which this section describes. The second method is the
IMPORT method, where a network can be created in a mine planning program or
CAD package by tracing over the mine plans, and then imported into Ventsim via
DXF format. See the section on IMPORTING/EXPORTING for further
information on this method.

Rules for Constructing a Network

Keep in mind a number of simple rules must be followed for a successful network.

• All airways in a network must be connected at both ends to another airway.

(The exception is airways entering or exiting the Surface RL)

• All junctions of airways must have at least one airway entering, and at least
one airway leaving.

• Any Fixed Quantity in an airway must not restrict any other fixed airway in a

Constructing Airways

Provided all other criteria have been met for establishing a network, (a fan and RL
database has been established) , an airway network can be created as follows.

• Although airways can be added in any order, a good practice in creating a

network, is to establish major vertical airways, and then construct the
interconnecting horizontal airways.

• When constructing your network, remember that it is not critical that the
network appear exactly as your mine plans. Bent or curved development that
can be approximated with a single straight line should be done were possible,
as this will decrease the number of airway branches required, and help speed
up simulation and display.

• Although the network should be kept to the same scale as actual

development, slightly misplaced airways will have little impact on the final
simulation. Of far more importance are the parameters, such as airway size
and wall types.

Horizontal Airways

Horizontal airways can be constructed by simply pressing the left mouse button at
the beginning of an airway position and 'dragging' the mouse to the airway
destination. Clicking nearby other airways will automatically join the airway to

VENTSIM USER MANUAL Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Page 31

them, even if not exactly on top. If two airways are required to be placed closely
together without joining, then you will have to either zoom in closer to separate
the apparent distance, or increase the mouse snap tolerance in the defaults

By clicking the RIGHT mouse button before or during the operation, the start
and/or end points can be input by keyboard for more accurate placement. By
this method, the RL of either end can also be changed to allow for inclined
airways. Note that if the RL range for that level is set wide enough, the airway
will remain entirely on that level (ie default green in colour).

Airways that remain within the Level RL range, are shown in a different colour
than off level airways in 2D mode. In 3D mode airways going up or down are
shown in different colours. The direction of airflow is indicated by the arrow.

Vertical or Inclined Airways

Constructing vertical airways in the third dimension is slightly more complicated

than horizontal airways. Several methods exist for constructing vertical airways.

When in the default editing mode, the easiest way is to press the left mouse
button at the start of airway point, and move between levels with the 'UP' or
'DOWN' arrow keys. The airway will 'rubber band' to where the mouse pointer is.
When on the desired level, release the mouse button, and the airway will be

Another way is to manually enter the coordinates (by pressing the RIGHT mouse
button to draw the branch). The end coordinates can be entered as true
coordinates, or a relative offset can be entered, describing the relative movement
from the starting coordinate.

If multiple levels are being displayed, vertical/inclined airways can be drawn

between levels in the same way as horizontal airways.

Vertical airways are shown in a different colour than horizontal airways. Airways
that go to a level above the current level are shown in a different colour to airways
going below.

Try to construct vertical airways as true vertical if possible (ie keep the mouse
pointer in the same place when moving through levels to the destination).
Vertical airways are shown with the 'off level' side being offset from the 'on level'
side, the result being you are able to see both ends of the airway. Inclined
airways are shown with their true end coordinates, the result being that both ends
can be hard to see, particularly if their upper/lower coordinates are similar.

The RL Problem

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When constructing an airway on a new level, the RL of that airway will be set to
the middle of the RL range for that level. If a different RL is required it will have
to be manually entered with the RIGHT mouse button. Airways that are
constructed starting from another airway will inherit the RL of the airway they are
connected to. Do not worry if the RL of each airway isn't initially correct, as they
can later be changed with the MOVE function (again using the RIGHT mouse
button to manually edit the RL number).

VENTSIM USER MANUAL Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Page 33

7.3 Viewing the Network

To view or construct on different parts of the network a variety of tools are

provided. Two view modes are available - PLAN VIEW mode (editing & viewing
mode) or the 3D VIEW mode (which provides only limited editing and viewing)

Moving View Around a Level

Option to do this are
• Use the ZOOM and FIT functions from the Toolbar
• Use the Pan function (right mouse button while in ZOOM mode to 'grab' and
slide the screen around.
• Use the FIND button to find parts of a network.
• Use the SAVE view function to recall previously saved views.

Moving Between Levels

Use the up or down arrow keys or...
Use the scroll bar at the left of the Ventsim screen or...
Use the 'drop down' menu at the top left of the Ventsim screen to select a
different level.
Use the SAVE view function to recall previously saved views.

VENTSIM USER MANUAL Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Page 34

What are tag levels ?

Tag levels are a way to individually tag or identify and view parts of a network
separately from other parts of the network. Some examples may include a stope
system, an orepass or ventilation raise system, a workshop area, or any other
collection of airways. Note that there is no requirement for the user to use tag
levels. They are only present to allow easier manipulation and viewing of a vent

How do they work ?

Tag Levels work by allowing the user to 'overlay' multiple levels of airways or
information on a screen. By doing this, unnecessary detail can be 'turned off' so
only airways of interest are viewed.

Primary Tag Levels, consist of 16 levels. It is intended that the Primary Tag
levels be used for identifying types of airways. For example, Level 1 could be
Primary Shafts, Level 2 could be Main Airways, Level 3 - Raises, Level 4 -
Stopes, Level 5 - Minor Airways etc

Secondary Tag Levels, consist of 48 discreet levels. It is intended that the

Secondary Tag Levels be used for isolating parts of a network that could be
viewed independently from the rest of the network. As mentioned above, this
could include working areas, stope, raises, declines or any other feature of

There is no limitation on the number of airways belonging to a level, however an

airway can belong to only one secondary and primary level.
Primary levels and secondary levels can be set and viewed independently of each
See the DEMO.SIM and BLUE_SKY.SIM examples that come with Ventsim.

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8.1 Using Tag Levels

The easiest way to use tags is to create the network first (all airways will default to
Level 1 of both Primary and Secondary Tags, and then going back and changing
Tag Levels to the desired number. To change Tag Levels, a TOOLBAR button
is provided. The TAG button can individually change airways to the active TAG
level, by clicking the centre of an airway, or change multiple airways at once by
FENCING an area (similar to the ZOOM function) and changing all airway
whose node(s) are within that fence to the active TAG level.

HINT: to set an active TAG level, use the TAG menu, and click on the level you
want to make active. Active levels will show in RED. If the level is active, but
the display for that level is OFF, then changing TAG levels of airways on the
screen will cause the selected airways to disappear. This can be a good way of
ensuring you catch all airways that need to be changed.

Viewing Tag Levels

Once all airways have had tag levels assigned to them, simply turn the levels on
or off with the Menu item TAG SET PRIMARY or SECONDARY. By using the
SAVE view function, a view can be saved, along with all the set Tag Levels, for
later viewing.
The Tag Option item allows the user to choose how off level Tag airways are
displayed on screen.

VENTSIM USER MANUAL Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Page 36

Ventsim 2 allows the unique option of viewing your network as a two
dimensional or three dimensional model. While in this mode, the model
can be rotated in any direction to aid in the viewing of the network. Three
dimensional viewing allows easy examination of shafts and other vertical

Most editing functions can take place in 3D mode, however new branches cannot
be added or moved unless they connect to existing branches, or the coordinates
are entered manually.

Plan View Mode

This is the default viewing mode and is the only viewing mode that full network
editing is allowed. It shows a horizontal view of the network, with vertical or
inclined raises or drives shown entering or exiting the level. Single, Selected,
Multiple or All levels (View menu) can be viewed and edited in this mode.

3D View Mode
This mode is selected from the <VIEW>3D View option menu or the 3D toolbar
button. Five standard saved views can be accessed from the drop down view
list. Apart from the default horizontal editing view, other views include LONG
SECTION (vertical slice, left to right), CROSS SECTION (vertical slice, top to
bottom) and ISO VIEW (looking isometrically down, bottom left to top right.
Further views may be added by using the SAVE VIEW function, accessed from
the View Menu.

Manipulating the 3D Display

A view may be rotated using the arrow rotation buttons on the Rotation button at
the far right of the screen. The Up/Down arrows will tilt the network model forward
and back. The Left/Right arrows will spin the model around. Two speeds of
rotation can be used by moving the mouse from the inner to the outer parts of the
Rotation button.

Note that pressing the RIGHT mouse button on the Rotation button will continue
to rotate the network model without any further interaction from the user. To
stop the view rotating, simply click the button again, or any part of the screen.

Viewing Levels
The default display is for one level only, however multiple, selected levels or all
levels may be displayed by selecting the <VIEW>Level menu function, or the
Level toolbar button. Levels can be changed by using the Up and Down arrow
keys or by changing levels with the pull down level list at the left of the screen.

Viewing Options
A large number of viewing options exist (accessed from the VIEW menu) that
allow the user to vary the amount of information shown on the screen. Because

VENTSIM USER MANUAL Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Page 37

of the large amount of information shown on the screen, options exist for showing
just vertical or horizontal data, as well as numerous other bits of data.

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Printer Types
Ventsim should be capable of using most Laser and Inkjet printers, and other
printers with graphics capabilities. Windows 3.1 requires the appropriate printer
drivers to use any printer. Because of internal program limitations of Ventsim,
the maximum paper size capable to be printed in this version is A3 or equivalent.
Future versions of Ventsim will allow printing on large sheets.

Printing the Network

Printing the network is available from the FILE <Print> menu. Ventsim will print
whatever is on the screen at the time (including 3D mode graphics) and will also
use similar screen font sizes and line widths for the printer if possible.

Ventsim initially defaults the printing scale to the maximum width of the paper. If
the printer supports Landscape printing, the scale size can normally be improved.
If a specific scale is required, simply type in a new scale in the box provided on
the print form. Remember the scale number can only ever be increased from the
default scale size initially presented (otherwise the print would be larger than the

Printer setup and type can be changed by pressing the Printer Setup button.

Colour printing is available on colour printer, but screen graphic colours may not
match printer colours on some printers.

VENTSIM USER MANUAL Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Page 39

WARNING - Failure to observe the rules of network analysis can result in
network errors, which must be corrected before simulation can be


Ventsim uses a method called the Hardy Cross process, where, through a
number of iterations a network is adjusted until it comes up with an acceptable

Once all desired airways have been added, the network can be simulated using
the <AIR SIMULATE> toolbar button, or by selecting 'Simulate Flows' from the
menu. The process will show a STATUS window describing the process of the
simulation. Network simulations go through the following processes.

The initialising of a network will sort and check all airways to ensure that they
have an origin and destination, and that no duplicate airways exist. It will also
check to see if a FIXED airflow will restrict airway analysis.
All errors found during the initialisation process will appear in the Error List
window on the simulation form, and any further simulation will halt. These errors
must be corrected before simulation can be continued further.

Performing Simulations
While performing iterations, the network displays the following information

• Iterations - the number of attempts the program has used to adjust the

• Maximum Error - the maximum adjustment required in a network during an

iteration. When this error is below the error level set in the Defaults, the
network is assumed to be balanced an acceptable level.

• Confidence - the percentage of total airways in a network which are under the
acceptable error level.

Well balanced networks should be solved within 25 iterations, however poorly

constructed networks may take much longer to solve. If the number of iterations
exceeds the maximum number set in the defaults, then the simulation process will
halt and ask the user if they wish to continue. If the user choose NO, Ventsim
will display its best guess. Networks which are not allowed to balance
completely should be treated with some caution, as all air flows may not be

Simulation Problems

VENTSIM USER MANUAL Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Page 40

A poorly converging network will usually have one or more of the following

• stalled or negated fans (ie fans operating outside fan curve)

• unreasonably FIXED airways
• unreasonably parametered airways (eg size or resistance)

Any of these will slow down network simulation convergence.

These should be sought out and corrected if possible (unless the data represents
a desired part of your network) particularly if the network shows signs of poor
convergence.. The <DATA> Airway Data function, available from the top
Database Menu, will help identify these airways, as will the FIND function under
the VIEW menu.

Correcting Simulation Errors

The majority of errors in a network result from airways that have no 'from' origin or
'to' destination.
If this occurs, find the erroneous branch(es) and ensure every node has a
branch entering, and a branch leaving. Use the 'FLIP' function to turn the
airways around, and then re-simulate when completed

FIX NOT ALLOWED (BAD FIX) errors are caused by fixes placed in a network
where other fixes contradict it. A fixed quantity cannot override another. In this
case, one of the fixed airways must be unfixed.

Non-balancing networks (ie networks which will not converge to the desired error
level) are sometimes difficult to track down. Most times this problem can be
solved by investigating all fans and fixes in a network, and ensuring they are
operating at reasonable pressures and flows. A fan that has air forced through
backwards are particularly troublesome as the airways entering the fan are
reversed, however the fan branch remains in its original direction. This causing
branch errors. In this case, it is best to remove the fan and replace it with a fixed
quantity until the cause of the imbalance (if there is one) can be found elsewhere.

VENTSIM USER MANUAL Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Page 41


Contaminant simulation is a complex process, and Ventsim uses only a relatively

simple algorithm to perform analysis. While this can cope with multiple sources
of different concentrations, and recirculation within the network, more complex
factors such as gas layering, dust settling and non-perfect mixing at junctions are
ignored. Treat any results with caution if this is likely.

Some Possible Uses for Contaminant Simulations

Contaminant simulation allows tracking of smoke/gas/dust paths and

concentrations throughout your network. It also can calculate times taken for
contaminants to travel through a network.

• Planning fire refuge bays or ventilation setups should a fire occur.

• Emergency situations of fire underground.
• Tracking dust or gas contaminations in a network.
• Determining the effects of exhausts from productions area through an
underground mine
• Showing whether recirculation of air is present in a mining region.
• Showing the paths, concentrations and dispersion times of a warning gas (eg
Stench Gas) throughout a mine.

Setting Concentrations
Ventsim uses a unit independent form of contaminant concentration, however the
unit must be related to the air flow volume. Units such as % , ppm , mg/m3 are
all acceptable, however units that describe emission rates (such l/min or l/sec or
kg/s) are not acceptable. For example if methane in a coal mine is required to be
simulated, and is measured in l/sec emission from a seam, then this unit must
first be converted to another unit type (eg percentage, or ppm of total air content)
before simulation.

This simulation method suffices for almost all types of simulations (gas, smoke,
dust) , however if the contaminations are large in volume compared to the air
flow, and heavy recirculation is present in network, then some accuracy may be

For general use (eg tracking smoke) simply use a value of 100 at the smoke

WARNING - larger underground fires may cause changes in ventilation flows

(such as increased or reversing airflows) due to the heat and gases produced.
The ventilation simulation will not reflect this, and therefore the contamination
simulation may not be valid.

Placing Contaminants

VENTSIM USER MANUAL Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Page 42

Placing contaminants in a network is done by selecting the Contaminant button,
and clicking on the centre of an airway. An input box will then ask for the initial
concentration number. This may represent any type of contamination unit as
discussed above. The default value of 100 may be used for general smoke or
gas simulation, where the actual value is not known. Ventsim will not attempt to
keep track of the unit type, and output results will simply be returned in the same
scale format as the input concentration. Input concentrations must be entered as
numbers with no form of unit type.

For example:
Smoke or gas percentages may be input at one location as 100, and another as
50, where these numbers may represent scale percentages of smoke thickness.
Once simulated, the values returned will be relative to these values.

Performing a Contaminant Simulation

A contaminant simulation can only be done after a network is simulated.
Contaminant simulation is activated by placing one or more smoke sources with
the contaminant toolbar button, and then performing a Contaminant simulation
from the RUN menu or from the TOOLBAR button.

Contaminant Simulation Options

Two types of simulation may be performed : Fixed source or Cumulative source.

Fixed Source Simulation will keep the concentration in a contaminant

source airway limited to the original value. Recirculated contaminants that
passes back through source airways, will not alter their value. This type
should be used if contaminations in airways are known to be the maximum
value (eg 100% or have been actually measured).

Cummulative Source Simulation will not limit the concentration in a

contaminant airway to its original value. Therefore if recirculation is
present, or another contaminant source is located upstream, then the value
may increase above the original source. This type should be used where
recirculation is required to be simulated.

Retain Legend Numbers will simply use the legend values and colour
codes from the last simulation. If this is not selected, then the legend will
automatically calculate the colour split up.

Upon pressing the <SIMULATE> button the display will then show the paths of
the smoke, and a colour code concentration legend, showing various degrees of
contaminant levels.

Networks which have recirculated air will slow down smoke simulation. The
network may be returned to 'normal' mode after simulation, by selecting the
<CLEAR CONTAMINANT> menu item from the top menu or the GAS LEGEND

VENTSIM USER MANUAL Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Page 43

Viewing the Simulation Data
The view can be changed between concentration and time by selecting the drop
down DATA list on the left of the screen.

Changing the Concentrations Legend

Ventsim will attempt to create its own concentration legend by splitting up the
range of concentrations into five parts. These can easily be changed by clicking
on the legend numbers, and typing in new numbers. The colours on the network
will automatically change. To keep these values for the next simulation, select
the RETAIN LEGEND function on the Simulation sheet before simulating.

VENTSIM USER MANUAL Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Page 44

Creating a Successful Network (notes from the author)

Network analysis cannot solve all ventilation problems, and it is important to

recognise some of its limitations.

Designing a Network
Many people like to put as much detail into a network as possible, thinking that
more detail means more accuracy in simulation. While this may be true in some
cases, a smart network will be constructed with the absolute minimum detail
required. This means that all unnecessary airways (such as bulkheaded off or
unused airways) should not be put in a network unless required for the simulation.
Extra airways in a network will increase the scope for errors, slow down
simulation and viewing, and generally create a more complex, cluttered display.

Using the Cost Analysis Functions

The cost analysis functions available from Ventsim (ie the Power cost, and
Energy Loss data types) are useful for determining the economics of a network,
particularly in establishing raise and drive sizes. The power cost of fans and
fixed airways is calculated by dividing the air power by the fan or default
efficiency. If the fan efficiency is not available (for example the efficiency curve
has not been entered) then the default 'air power efficiency' (from the defaults
menu) is used.

When calculating economic airways sizes, it must be remembered that by

increasing the size of a primary airshaft to decrease pressure loss (and hence
energy loss) and increase airflow, the increased airflows will be distributed
throughout the rest of the network. The net result for the network may be an
overall increase in power costs, not a decrease ! To establish a true cost for a
PLANNED network, instead of using fans on the primary shafts, use FIXED
quantities. This means increasing sizes of raises and drives will not increase
total airflow, but instead show a true reflection of reduced costs.

Selecting Fans
If the type of fan is not currently present or known, then FIXing the quantity in
airways that will have fans will have the same result. The advantage of this
method is that the required pressure can be derived from the INFO button, and
hence the exact type of fan selected by matching this pressure and quantity to a
fan curve.

Using Flexible or Vent Duct with Fans

Although Ventsim allows the user to simulate fans and vent duct, the limitations of
this method must be recognised. Simulating vent duct into a blind heading will
actually require two airways, one with the vent duct characteristics, and the other
returning airway with the development drive characteristics. On a network this
can be simulated by constructing two very closely spaced airways doubling back
on each other, either side by side, or on top of each other separated by a change
in RL.

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Flexible vent bag also has a leakage factor that Ventsim cannot simulate. This is
particularly relevant if the duct is old or damaged. The result is that much of the
air leaks out the duct before exiting the end, and hence a lower pressure buildup
occurs within the duct. Steel, rigid or brand new duct usually has less of a
problem in this regard, and can be simulated more accurately. Caution should
be taken when simulating vent duct !

Inclined Levels
Ventsim normally only allows horizontal levels over a range of RL's, however what
do you do when the orebodys may be shallow dipping and closely spaced, and
each mine level follows the orebodies (for example shallow dipping coal seams)?
In this case the RL's between the mine levels will probably overlap, making the
normal leveling system unusable. This is where TAG LEVELS can be used to
create inclined levels.

• Ignore the normal RL level system, and just have two (2) levels - Surface and
Underground, where the underground level covers the full range of all mine

• Now use the Primary Tag Level function to group all airways on a particular
mine horizon onto the same Primary Tag Level. Call this Tag Level an
appropriate level name.

• Continue grouping other mine horizons onto different Primary Tag Levels (a
maximum of 16 are available)

• Finally, save each view, where the different Primary Tag Levels have been
switched on and off.

Now each mine level can be selected from the recall view list, the same as normal
horizontal level would be recalled from the level list.

Plotter Printing on Large Size Paper

One of the major printing problems experienced with Ventsim is the inability to
print to paper larger than A3 size paper (for use with HP Plotters etc). This is in
fact a limitation of the Visual Basic programming environment and has been
acknowledged as a bug by Microsoft. Hopefully this problem will be fixed by the
next version of Visual Basic, and consequently the limitation under Ventsim will
be removed in a future version.

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Ventsim provides the user with the ability to import and export data via a
CSV or DXF file format.

CSV file format is simply a text format with columns or 'fields' separated
(delimited) by a comma (Comma Separated Values). It can be used by most
spreadsheets, databases, and also read into text processors.
(Note the VENTSIM uses a CSV format for its native SIM files - therefore these
can also be edited with a spreadsheet or database package)

DXF file format is a ASCII CAD file standard, describing graphical data. If this
data is in line string form, VENTSIM can import and construct a skeleton network
from the file. Both UNIX and DOS format DXF files can be read automatically by

Why import or export data ? Some uses may be.....

• To read data to or from a CAD package, via a spreadsheet or database

program. This eliminates the need to redraw a network from scratch.

• Import or Export data to another network analysis program

• To allow recording or analysing of results or data in a spreadsheet or

database program


CSV Format
A wide variety of airway data can be imported into Ventsim via CSV format,
however it must conform to a set column format, and the minimum data must
contain the end coordinates (in metres) of each branch. From these coordinates,
Ventsim can construct a three dimensional network, and other branch
characteristics can be added later (such as size, fans, names etc).
Other data that can be imported from a CSV import file include branch name, to
and from node names, resistance, quantity, drive sizes and types. All of this data
is optional and can be left out of the import data if desired. Where possible,
Ventsim will use default values to fill in missing data.

To view the import file column format, load a blank EXPORT.CSV file into a
spreadsheet program. The first line will show the column heading for each
column. Note the first line of an Import File will always be ignored, and can be
used as a comment line.

DXF Format

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Only very limited data can be imported with a DXF file. Ventsim will import all
line and linestring data from the DXF file and attempt to create a 3D network with
it. As only a skeleton network is created, all airway attributes (sizes, names etc)
will need to be entered into VENTSIM at a later date.

Import Options

• Retain Drive resistances. If your CSV import file has resistance values, and
you would like Ventsim to use them, and not recalculate it own resistances,
select this option before pressing IMPORT. If your data has no drive
dimensions, but precalculated resistances, then this should be used as
Ventsim will not be able to calculated resistances accurately.

• Retain Raise resistances. As with drive resistances, the import resistances

will be set to MANUAL, and not recalculated by Ventsim

• Attempt to create a RL database. USE THIS OPTION WITH CAUTION.

Ventsim will search your data for different RL's and create its own RL data
list. If this option is NOT chosen, your data will be placed on a single RL
level range, which can be split into more ranges later. Note that the RL
database is created from discreet RL values, and if the import data has a
large amount of the data on slightly different RL's, then it may be best if the
RL database is created later, so that Levels can be defined by the user to
cover a range of RL's. For example, if the import data is sourced from a
CAD package where many airways may vary by several metres over a
sub level, and the Create RL database function is chosen, then an RL Level
will be created for each and every different airway RL.

• Merge with existing data. The imported file with attempt to merge with your
existing data. Duplicate airways will normally be deleted. A good option if
you are updating a network with more data for example.


CSV Format
Export data saves the data in the same format as IMPORT data reads a data file.
The first line of an export file will describe what each column represents. The
first six columns represent the X,Y,Z coordinates of the airway ends, while the
remaining data describes various other attributes. Note that because of the large
number of airway attributes, not all are exported to an export file. This mean that
exporting and importing the same data file will result in the loss of some attributes
(such as the RL database, wall types, shock types and others).

If all attributes are required, then the native Ventsim *.SIM files can be read as
CSV format. These files will contain all data used by Ventsim, and can also be
modified and resaved, providing no data or formatting has been corrupted.

DXF Format

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Exports the data in DXF format for reading by a CAD type package. Note that
only very limited information is exported in this format. This includes all
branches, names and data values at shown on the screen.

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Ventsim V 6.0
• Ventsim has many new features to give users greater flexibility and power.

• Some of the more major features include:

• Easy to use 3D rotation, viewing and editing.

• Tag levels for grouping and viewing individual sections of networks.

• Fence functions for fast deleting, moving, tagging and pasting attributes.

• Larger coordinate system up to 0 to 1,000,000 in X and Y directions, and up to

-90,000 to 90,000 in RL range.

• Save view function for instant viewing of parts of a network.

• Multiple or selected level viewing.

• View panning using the mouse 'grab and slide' feature.

Ventsim V6.2

• Minor corrections to the Reload Defaults function.

• Increased information under the INFO button.

• More displayable data types.

• Increase of USER DEFINED resistances from 10 to 50.

• Addition of efficiency curves to fans, for more accurate simulation and costing.

Ventsim V6.3

• Fresh Air / Exhaust Air airway colouring and display options.

• Selectable Copy / Paste attributes - improved copying and pasting, now

including Tag Level copy/paste and Fresh/Exhaust air copy/paste.

• Saving of view options with File Save and View Save.

• Contaminant simulations have been made a little easier. A GAS simulation

button has been added to the toolbar for automatic contaminant simulation.

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Contaminant sources of strength 100 (%) can be automatically added by
pressing the right mouse button.

• The rotation centre button has been moved to the centre of the Rotation

Ventsim V6.4

• Improved SETUP installation utility for new, updates or network installation.

Can be run from floppy disk without installing if required.

• Improved general stability.

• Improved RIGHT mouse button coordinate entry with selection list. Simply
click the right mouse button on a node and enter the end coordinates.

• Fire simulation legend now retained once modified.

Ventsim V7.0
• Import/Export DXF format files (from CAD or Planning packages) in DOS or
UNIX format

• Node pressures in relative, atmospheric and barometric form.

• Save screen to BMP file format for editing/displaying with a paint package

• Time simulation for contaminants - shows time taken for contaminant to travel
through network

• Improved information display for branches

• Print function on most major forms (ie INFO, SUMMARY, FAN DATA etc)

• Total pressure simulation on fans for improved power and costing estimates

• Improved 3D moving of branch ends

• Bug fix for number of fans calculation

• Bug fix in friction factors/air density, that will automatically adjust Friction
Factors in network before 2.4 to correct values. Existing simulations should
not change significantly.

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