TLT-Turbo Africa’s Auxiliary and Booster fan range was designed to address both efficiency and cost effectiveness, in a versatile product range that meets the specific ventilation requirements of the mining industry.
Meeting the demands of mining operations in Africa was the main focus of the development of the 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.
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“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 optimizing 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 exceptional underground ventilation. The fan range was developed using the latest in engineering flow technology which allowed TLT-Turbo 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. Our fan range can be supplied for in-situ alteration of fan blade angles, eliminating the need for the fans to be transported from the mine site to the factory.
All possible measures are taken to ensure the highest quality and best possible performance of every fan supplied by TLT-Turbo, says Vusi Madlopha, Head of Sales and Marketing at TLT-Turbo Africa. “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.
Test certificates on both raw data and calculated performance can be provided on request. Fan efficiency is determined with the performance test and this quality check ensures we deliver on what we promised the client. The fans also come with pressure ports that can be hooked up to a calibrated handheld measuring device to measure performance in-situ.”
Ease of maintenance was also a major consideration in developing the new Auxiliary and Booster range. The modularity of the product design and the interchangeable standardized parts allows for quick turnaround time on parts supply.
“For example, we only have two blade types for the full product range and generally only one motor barrel per fan size accommodating various motor sizes and types. Standardization on the product is the key to successfully managing maintenance and repair as it allows ample supply of spares for companies certified to do the repair work. The design track record has indicated a longer mean time between failure (MTBF) than previous products,” Minges explains.
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 has been that the fans are meeting our and client expectations, and at times exceeding expectations. I am proud to say that one EPC consultant used the phrase ‘super fan’ to describe the new range and indicated that he has not heard a fan of this size so quiet before,” 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.