Transient Flows In Ventilation Networks

Jacques, E. J.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1995
A typical problem in ventilation networks with multiple fan systems is the possibility of them interacting. Multiple fan systems are no exceptions in complex tunnels, and may also be met in mines where underground fans are installed. When aiming at controlling a multiple fan system in a ventilation network, e.g. with a view to maintaining an acceptable air quality level, yet at minimum power consumption, transient flow conditions frequently occur. Although in most applications these transients are short compared to the time needed to achieve the planned actions on the ventilation, one should, however, keep in mind that it is important to avoid any bouncing effect between different (adjacent or distant) fan systems. Therefore a simulation of the unsteady-state flows could allow us to learn more about the propagation of transients within the network, and their possible secondary effects Among others, one question that often is raised, is to find out in which sequence and at what time schedule each of the fans in a network should e.g. be started up? Another typical problem, into which an unsteady-state simulation could provide some insight is the following: how should the facilities of variable pitch angle and/or changeable RPM of several fans operating in parallel be handled and combined in order to obtain a flow rate that changes gradually from zero to its maximum value i.e. the sum of the individual throughput flows of all the fans. The literature is not very abundant on the topic of simulating transient flows in networks. There is no doubt that numerical models have been developed (Pollak, Christensen, 1987), most of the time for particular applications (Wala, Kim, 1985), (Tanaskovic et al., 1984), (Schultz, Sockel, 1991), etc. The aim of this paper is to present a model that also simulates one-dimensional compressible flows in unsteady-state conditions with, however, the specific intent to handle networks with more than one fan. PROBLEM STATEMENT The mathematical model chosen to describe the unsteady flows in a ventilation network is based on the dynamic and continuity equations applied to each of its airways. The following basic assumptions are made : - the flow in the airway is considered to be one- dimensional, - - the flow is assumed to be fully turbulent, and hence the ATKINSON equation for calculating the friction losses will be applied. Whether this equation remains valid for transient state flows remains an open question. However, this may reasonably be assumed since the interesting flow frequencies are low. A discussion may be found in (Kämpf, 1987) ; - the airways are assumed to have a constant cross- sectional area along their length. If obviously this would not be the case, it is always possible to subdivide the concerned airway into sections for which the previous assumption holds. Applying the basic equations of mass and energy conservation, the flow in each branch may be described by the Euler equation for Newtonian flows.
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