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Air supply: The redefining of ventilation

Meeting the demands of mining operations in Africa is the main focus of the development of TLT-Turbo Africa’s auxiliary and booster fan range.

Because energy efficiency is one of the main drivers of mining equipment usage, and minimum efficiency requirements on certain equipment are often legislated, TLT-Turbo identified the need and opportunity in the market for more efficient mining fans compared to what is currently in use.


“We are striving to change the industry’s mindset on the use of such fans to ensure proper fan selection for the ventilation required. In optimising mine ventilation, efficient, high quality auxiliary and booster fans can add as much value as surface fan installations,” explains Michael Minges, technical director at TLT-Turbo Africa.

Fans in this range offer several innovative additions to enhance performance to provide better underground ventilation. The fan range was developed using the latest in engineering flow technology which allowed the company to improve the aerodynamics, and thus efficiency of the fans. A unique stator design and aerodynamic fairings, all manufactured from wear resistant composite materials, result in improved efficiencies and reduced noise levels. The modularity of the fan casings allows for quick and easy assembly with interchangeable ancillary fan parts.

The motor mounting in coherence with a machined impeller track ensures low and controllable blade tip clearances for improved performance and efficiencies. Pad mount motors are used for all fan sizes and help reduce vibration levels in the axial direction of the motor significantly which leads to longer motor bearing life and lower maintenance requirements. The fans can be supplied for in-situ alteration of fan blade angles, eliminating the need for them to be transported from the mine site to the factory.

Meeting clients’ expectations

 “All fans are tested according to ISO 5801, unless the client agrees to type testing on higher volume orders. We ensure the client quoted performance is met before the fans leave the factory,” adds Vusi Madlopha, head of sales and marketing.

Ease of maintenance was also a major consideration in developing the new auxiliary and booster range. Furthermore, the modularity of the product design and the interchangeable standardised parts allows for quick turnaround time on parts supply.

TLT-Turbo Africa has received several orders for these fans since the range was launched in 2018. These orders include South African clients seeking a solution for deepening a gold mine, and for a major copper mine in the DRC as an exclusive supplier. “The feedback that we have received thus far is that the fans are meeting and sometimes exceeding our clients’ expectations,” says Minges.

“Continual product development and keeping up to date with the latest technologies is ingrained within the engineering teams of TLT-Turbo. Ensuring that innovations are market and client driven with the result being a benefit to the industry, puts us in the forefront of advancement in ventilation solutions,” Madlopha concludes.