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Mine Ventilation Laboratory

The laboratory devoted to mine ventilation is well-equipped for both research and instruction.  The main goal of this laboratory is to give students hands-on instruction for working with instruments used for mine ventilation studies.  The laboratory has a series of wind tunnels, ducting and instrumentation for airflow studies.  A number of software packages are available to validate and compare the data collected during the laboratory exercises.  These packages also are sufficient for full-scale mine ventilation network analysis.

Airflow Studies

Wind Tunnel: low-turbulence tunnel with 400-mm by 400-mm measuring chamber, velocity range from 0 to 13 meters per second for anemometer calibration and flow studies

Fan Performance System: 30-inch diameter wind tunnel, 34-inch adjustable-pitch axial fan, 25 horsepower motor with variable frequency drive; PLC-based control system to perform performance characterization for different speeds and blade pitches

Auxiliary Ventilation System: 150 feet of reinforced 18-inch diameter tubing network combined with two auxiliary 21-inch diameter axial fans that can be connected in series or parallel

Climatic Simulation Unit: demonstrates the sensitivity of psychometric parameters of the underground environment

Physical Model of a Mine Ventilation Network: three-level mine model built with four-inch plastic pipe to demonstrate ventilation surveys; reduced-scale, three-entry development heading model for leakage and dust settling studies

Reduced Scale Models of Face Ventilation Systems: reduced-scale, physical model of a continuous miner face and a longwall face, equipped with a laser particle image velocimetry (PIV) measuring system

Full-Scale Dust Gallery: full scale mock-up of a continuous miner face for conducting face ventilation research

3D Printers: fused filament fabrication printers capable of developing models used for airflow studies


Airflow: hot-wire anemometers, vane anemometers, Pitot-static tubes

Pressure:  incline manometer, portable precision manometer, mechanical and electronic barometers, absolute pressure gauges

Air Quality: Multi-gas monitors for the following gasses: CO2, CO, CH4, O2; coal dust analysis: gravimetric, personal dust monitor, real-time optical particle sizer


Network Modeling:  mine ventilation network modeling tools including VNetPC and Ventism Visual allowing for full mine climatic simulations

Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling:  computer simulation tool for modeling complex thermo-fluid phenomenon, including a 48 node HPC and a 24 node workstation