Coal Age

OCT 2018

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October 2018 31 ventilation controls continued of Coronado Global Resources, took the form of praise and additional orders for the solution, Jason Lionberger, opera- tions manager, SMJ Fans, said. "They like it," he said. "It saved them money." Buchanan initially reached out to SMJ in search of a more effective scrubber for its dual leg system that would increase overall system efficiency and trim costs. "They were unhappy with the system they had," Lionberger said. "The main issues they were having is they were spending a lot of money each year on impeller re- builds. A big concern of theirs was being able to scrub before the fan section with- out a great deal of loss." At the time, SMJ offered a wet scrub- bing platform that could serve as a seed idea for a possible solution. "We went out to the mine and met with them and saw what their needs were and came back, mulled things over, and tried to come up with a design that would work," Lionberger said. Each leg of Buchanan's existing sys- tem employed one contra-rotating fan unit, consisting of two coupled fan as- semblies. Each assembly used a motor rated at 60 horsepower (hp), for 120 hp per unit. The miner had rigid performance specs for each leg, Lionberger said. "They had one leg running up to the mining face, and then they had anoth- er leg going to a different area," he said. "They had a minimum performance specification that we had to meet while still utilizing their same ducting in terms of diameter, length of run, and changes of direction." SMJ hit the drawing board. "We basi- cally had a year of development testing," Lionberger said. Within that time frame, the company developed and installed a prototype. "We designed a new 32-in. fan that would do this." The miner put it to work. Based on the early feedback, "we refined the design adding features and modifying others," he said. The resulting double-barreled scrub- ber features patent-pending technolo- gy, "scrubs the air more efficiently" pri- or to reaching the fan to "reduce wear and tear on the fan system," and can "provide clean air in any condition," SMJ reported. At Buchanan, it resolved the main issues and concerns, and then offered additional benefits, Lionberger said. "We were able to go in and with each leg pro- vide the performance they needed with one motor," he said. "We were able to go with a single 75 hp fan per leg." The solution's wet scrubbing sys- tem is approved under Mine Safety and Health Administration SCH-2G guidelines. It "hydrates particulate dust down to the 0.3 micron-level and re- moves it from the air stream" upstream of the fan, SMJ reported. It can be de- signed for 5- to 100-hp fans, offers a maximum rated volume of 25,000 ft 3 per minute, and can remove up to 45 lb of dust per hour. And it can be custom-designed to modify a pre-existing fan system. "This system is a platform," Lionberger said. "Regardless what performance specifi- cations a customer might have, we can design a scrubber based off of our cur- rent platform to fit their needs." Resolving those needs to "help im- prove the lives of the miners" is one of SMJ's main missions, Lionberger said. "We want- ed this system to save the mine money, in terms of maintenance and replacement costs, and to improve the working condi- tions for the guys underground," he said. "It is extremely important to filter out that dust so there are less particulates, to quiet down the units, and to limit the amount of maintenance they have to perform." Above, CFE engineers install fans and attenuation systems. (Photo: LMS)

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