Safety through reliable and efficient cooling
With containerized Plate Ice Plants (PLIP) and the Underground Chiller (UC), KTI has created a flexible and highly efficient way to cool deep mines. This guarantees the operation of the mine even under the adverse underground conditions and keep the miners’ working environment at the recommended ambient temperature. With this, KTI is a pioneer in replacing the traditional large-scale refrigeration systems and the adherent costs with modular, “growing-when-necessary” refrigeration systems.
Currently, the mining industry faces three major challenges worldwide: cost-cutting measures, increasing efficiency, sustainability. With new technologies, mining companies have more and more opportunities to recover ore deposits at greater depths. As a result, there is a growing demand for innovative methods to support these projects.
Whether mines for gold, copper or platinum – at depths of 2000 m and more below the surface, ambient temperatures of +60 °C or higher are common. Necessary excavation activities generate additional heat, which impedes the working conditions of the miners. An essential prerequisite is that the working areas of miners, who work underground for longer periods, must be cooled to the recommended ambient temperature.
Energy Efficient Plate Ice Plants (PLIP)
The required refrigeration capacities for cooling deep mines are considerable and can easily exceed 2000 tons of ice per day.
For this field of application, KTI has developed special Plate Ice Plants (PLIP) with a capacity of up to 200 tons per day. The ice cooling systems are modular and can be expanded with the growing demand for ice needed. KTI’s Plate Ice Plants operate at the optimum operating point and offer way more cooling capacity than conventional chiller systems. The reason is, that one kilogram of ice absorbs much more energy than one liter of cold water, so ice systems require more than 80% less pump energy for water recirculation. Thus, annual power savings of several million kWh can be achieved.
The systems are installed and operated on the surface. The produced ice is transported down through the mine shaft, where it is collected in so-called underground melt dams to provide the required cooling capacity. Both the ambient air and the equipment can be supplied with this cooling power.
Underground Chiller (UC)
In addition to the ice cooling systems, KTI has developed Underground Chillers (UC) with cooling capacities of up to 500 kW in one unit. The chillers are designed for the adverse conditions and heavy-duty demands in the mining industry. The special design allows an application underground and an easy transport through the mine shaft to the place of operation.