CFD analysis on gas distribution for different scrubber redirection configurations in sump cut
Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration
, 2015, Vol. 338, No. 1, pp. 423-432
Zheng, Y.; Organiscak, J.A.; Zhou, L.; Beck, T.W.; Rider, J.P.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Office of Mine Safety and Health Research recently developed a series of models using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to study the gas distribution around a continuous mining machine with various fan-powered flooded bed scrubber discharge configurations. CFD models using Species Transport Model without reactions in FLUENT were constructed to evaluate the redirection of scrubber discharge toward the mining face rather than behind the return curtain. The following scenarios are considered in this study: 100 percent of the discharge redirected back toward the face on the off-curtain side of the continuous miner; 100 percent of the discharge redirected back toward the face, but divided equally to both sides of the machine; and 15 percent of the discharge redirected toward the face on the off-curtain side of the machine, with 85 percent directed into the return. These models were compared against a model with a conventional scrubber discharge, where air is directed away from the face into the return. The CFD models were calibrated and validated based on experimental data and accurately predicted sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gas levels at four gas monitoring locations. One additional prediction model was simulated to consider a different scrubber discharge angle for the 100 percent redirected, equally divided case. These models identified relatively high gassy areas around the continuous miner, which may not warrant their use in coal mines with medium to high methane liberation rates. This paper describes the methodology used to develop the CFD models, and the validation of the models based on experimental data.