Tag Archives: Vusi Madlopha

TLT-Turbo Africa addresses mining ventilation market need with new fans

TLT-Turbo Africa has extended its current auxiliary and booster fan range to include variants that, it says, are able to provide flexibility to clients on all underground ventilation performance requirements.

Following the launch and 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 1,600 mm and 2,000 mm diameter.

Vusi Madlopha, TLT-Turbo Africa Head of Sales & Business Development, said: “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 standardised A&B fan range to include 1,800mm and 2,000mm variants.”

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, TLT-Turbo said. 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 2,000 mm to 3,150 mm,” Madlopha explained.

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,” Viviers said. “All fans in the range are designed to operate in 50 Hz and 60 Hz applications with a 2-pole motor at 3,000 and 3,600 rpm and with a 4-pole motor at 1,500 and 1,800 rpm.”

The Booster fan range is supplied as standard with in-situ blade pitch angle adjustment brackets, according to TLT-Turbo. The full range of fans can also be supplied with optional temperature and vibration sensors, as well as an Anti-Stall Unit. The fans are fully Variable Speed Drive (VSD) compliant and, thus, can be integrated into any Ventilation on Demand 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, the company says. Fans can also be installed in series up to three stages to achieve higher pressure requirements allowing the client more flexibility.

TLT-Turbo Africa recently completed the build and supply of the first MC2000 for the Australian market.

Madlopha described 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 cu.m/s and 4,000 Pa of total pressure at an air density of 1.2 kg/cu.m 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.

Viviers concluded: “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.”

TLT-Turbo customised ventilation solution hits the spot at South Africa mine

TLT-Turbo Africa says its customised and proactive approach to ventilation solutions, combined with a new range of auxiliary and booster fans, have provided substantial electrical cost savings to a major global gold and platinum producer.

The latest installation comes just three months after installing a customised pair of TLT-Turbo Africa’s fans at one of the miner’s South Africa sites.

TLT-Turbo Africa was approached by the ultra-deep mining operation, in Gauteng, requiring a recommendation for a suitable fan solution to be installed in a section of its mine.

“Following numerous engagements, our engineering and research and development teams set out to develop a customised solution utilising our high efficiency A&B fan range,” Vusi Madlopha, TLT-Turbo Africa Head of Sales & Business Development, said.

TLT-Turbo Africa’s solution was purpose-designed to meet the requirements of the mining operation. At the time, the operation was using multiple installations of auxiliary fans to deliver the required volume and pressure (these auxiliary fans were consuming circa-630 kWe). The mine was also operating three main surface fans, each consuming around 2 MW of power.

“The client’s main objective was to ensure that a sufficient volume of ventilating air was provided to the underground operations while reducing power consumption,” Madlopha explained. “To meet their needs, TLT-Turbo Africa was required to supply two fans, each capable of moving 71 cu.m/s of ventilating air at a pressure loss of 3,000 Pa.”

These requirements fell comfortably within the design ranges of TLT-Turbo Africa’s A&B fan offering, the company said.

Based on an assessment of the mine’s needs, the final recommendation made by TLT-Turbo Africa was for two MC1600AP-160 kW dual-stage fans from the newly launched A&B fan range (specifically 1,600 mm diameter, dual-stage fans, each fan driven by two 160 kW high-efficiency motors).

There was another challenge TLT-Turbo’s team was required to resolve; the selected fans (as per standard, off-the-shelf design) would be too large to pass freely through the shaft and horizontal infrastructure to reach their installation site.

To overcome this obstacle, TLT-Turbo Africa’s R&D team custom designed the fans to be modular thus allowing transport of the fan components through the shafts and access tunnels of the mine. Once on site, the fans were easily assembled, according to Madlopha.

The complete product offering also included broadband silencers, self-closing doors and other fan ancillaries. For this project, TLT-Turbo Africa also provided locally manufactured Direct On-line starter panels.

“TLT-Turbo Africa offered the mine a solution well suited to the tough underground mining environment,” Madlopha said. “This solution would ensure a reliable supply of ventilation within the section of the mine in which the fans were to be installed.”

Three months after the installation and commissioning of the supplied fans, conditions underground at the shaft have improved noticeably, according to Madlopha. This is particularly the case in the previously warmer upper levels.

The installation and commissioning of the TLT-Turbo Africa fans described above has allowed the mine to permanently stop and remove 14 other auxiliary fans (with a total rated power of 630 kW). In addition, the mine has also been able to permanently stop one of the main surface fans, resulting in a direct energy saving of more than 2 MW of power, providing an annual electrical cost saving of more than ZAR14 million ($921,504). The capital payback period on this project has been less than three months, according to TLT-Turbo Africa.

“With the lifespan of this project exceeding 10 years, the implied electrical cost savings of this solution are massive,” the company said.

According to Madlopha, the success of the ventilation equipment at this mine can be attributed to the innovative design of the company’s A&B fan range, and the ability of TLT-Turbo’s experts to customise these fans even further to meet client and site-specific requirements.

“The system supplied was customised and optimised for that particular operation,” Madlopha said. “The design point, layout and robust structure provided an overall fan system which is not only efficient, but also reliable.”