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TLT-Turbo Africa Bridge Mining Ventilation Market Gap

Based on client feedback and an extensive track record in the mining industry, ventilation fans and systems manufacturer, TLT-Turbo Africa have announced the extension of their current Auxiliary and Booster Fan range to include variants that are able to provide flexibility to clients on all underground ventilation performance requirements.

Following the launch and subsequent market success of the TLT-Turbo Auxiliary and Booster Fan (A&B) range for the mining industry launched in 2019, TLT-Turbo Africa noticed a trend emerging of mining companies focusing on energy efficient solutions for ventilation. Based on enquiries received from numerous existing and potential clients, TLT-Turbo identified a gap in the mining ventilation market as demand increased for fans in the size range between 1600mm and 2000mm diameter.

“With the mining sector starting to move away from large scale, end of life surface fan installations to smaller, more scalable and movable ventilation installations, it became clear to us that this niche will become more and more relevant in the future. TLT-Turbo Africa decided to bridge this gap in our offering by extending our current standardized auxiliary and booster (A&B) fan range to include 1800mm and 2000mm variants,” explains Vusi Madlopha, TLT-Turbo Africa Head of Sales & Business Development.

The same design methodology and aerodynamic concepts on which the A&B fan range was based were taken on board to develop these larger fan products. Standardisation was also one of the main criteria for the development of the new fans to ensure a globally cost-effective supply chain of product components. This was achieved by using the same blade, impeller, and stator design from the A&B fan range. “To enhance product robustness and performance, we included features of the TLT-Turbo Modular Mine Fan range which includes fans ranging in size from 2000mm to 3150mm,” Madlopha explains.

Stephan Viviers, Engineering Specialist at TLT-Turbo Africa, goes on to explain what makes these new fans exceptional from design and product development aspects. “The standard design features include a horizontally split fan casing to allow for larger foot mount motors to be installed and to make international transport of components possible within normal sized marine containers. All fans in the range are designed to operate in 50Hz and 60Hz applications with a 2-pole motor at 3000 and 3600 RPM and with a 4-pole motor at 1500 and 1800 RPM.”

The Booster fan range is supplied standard with in-situ blade pitch angle adjustment brackets. The full range of fans can also be supplied with optional temperature and vibration sensors, as well as an Anti-Stall Unit (ASU). The fans are fully Variable Speed Drive (VSD) compliant, and thus can be easily integrated to any Ventilation On Demand (VOD) system. A large range of duty points can be achieved at high efficiency by varying the blade pitch angles as well as the solidity of the impeller. Fans can also be installed in series up to three stages to achieve higher pressure requirements allowing the client more flexibility.

Proven Performance

TLT-Turbo Africa recently completed the build and supply of the first MC2000 for the Australian market. Madlopha describes this fan as a “top of the range South African manufactured product in terms of size and performance”. The fan’s highest duty point was designed to deliver a volume flow of 90.0 [m3/s] and 4,000.0 [Pa] of Total Pressure at an air density of 1.2 [kg/m3] and VSD setting of 110%. This particular unit was intended for a force draft application and included an aerodynamic conical inlet as well as an outlet diffuser to allow for further static pressure recovery.

Prior to delivery of the final product, TLT-Turbo Africa performed an on-site performance test to ensure that the performance parameters predicted were achieved. The test was broadcasted via live video feed to interested parties at both the TLT-Turbo headquarters in Germany and TLT-Turbo Australia with invited clients.

TLT-Turbo Africa conducted the fan testing according to requirements from the BS EN ISO 5802:2008 Standard for Performance Testing of Industrial Fans In-Situ.  Environmental conditions as well as several flow, pressure and power measurements were recorded at two different speeds and at various simulated system resistance levels. Experimental results corresponded well (with a slightly higher performance) to the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. The predicted and targeted efficiencies were also achieved.

Test results data showing the operating range and duty points of the new range

“These tests are a confirmation of the efficacy of the use of tools such as CFD to fast track our designs and ensure that we as TLT-Turbo Africa are able to deliver standard as well as niche solutions to our customers within acceptable timelines,” Viviers comments.

“Having this size product as a standard offering in the mining industry is of huge global significance based on the direction that mining developments are taking with dynamic scalability at the heart of ventilation. Mining contractors are also interested in a product that can allow them to use more smaller, and modular fans for underground booster applications. This enhancement of the TLT-Turbo product range will shorten lead times and capital costs to our customers’ growing applications,” concludes Viviers.

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