Ventilation Requirement for Electric Vehicles in Underground Hard Rock Mines - A Conceptual Study
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In the past five years, electric power price in Australia has increased significantly and is likely to continue to increase in the foreseeable future. This can make a mine uneconomic to operate. One option to reduce underground mine power consumption is to reduce ventilation power consumption. The electrical power required for the ventilation system for a mine is one of the major components of the total mine electrical power consumption, which typically represents more than one-third (de la Vergne, 2003). To reduce ventilation power consumption, ventilation requirement must be reduced. One option to do this is to replace diesel vehicles with electric ones. An electric motor produces zero emissions and only emits one-third the heat of an equivalent diesel engine. Airflow specification can therefore be less (Marks, 2012). Ventilation requirement for an underground hard rock mine is determined based on the engine power of diesel vehicles used in the mine. The current Australian regulatory requirement for a diesel vehicle ranges from 0.05 to 0.06 m3/s per kW engine power. However, no such requirement stated for an electric vehicle. This paper evaluates the ventilation requirement of an electric vehicle operating in an underground hard rock mine.
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