Bulk Air Cooling (BAC) solution for copper mine in Bahia, Brazil
The Pilar mine at the Caraiba Mining Complex in Bahia, Brazil, will soon have a high-tech, safe, and efficient underground mine cooling system supplied by Howden on a turnkey basis. At the heart of this project is the Bulk Air Cooler (BAC), provided by Industrial Water Cooling | IWC.
The Caraiba Mining Complex is owned and operated by Ero Copper and is located in north-eastern Bahia State, Brazil, approximately 385 km north-northwest of the capital city of Salvador.
Bulk Air Coolers(BAC) are used to chill large quantities of air in order to cool the working areas underground thereby improving working conditions which are unpleasant due to the hot and humid environment.
The use of BAC’s in this environment reduces worker fatigue resulting in increases in both safety and production.
The BAC’s provided for this project are single stage, induced draught, counterflow units in which chilled water is brought into direct contact with ambient air stream. A directly driven variable speed axial fan, mounted on the shaft collar draws the hot ambient air through the BAC and delivers the chilled air to the mine’s ventilation shaft. The BAC provided for Phase 1 of this project is designed to reduce the ambient air temperature from 34˚C down to a chilly 8.4˚C.
The BAC will be erected above the ventilation shaft and the structure is made from a fire retardant pultruded FRP which has been selected for its corrosion resistance and ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. The BAC is packed with trickle pack fill which has been selected for its thermal efficiency while maintaining resistance against clogging when used in dirty water applications. This provides many years of serviceability when the BAC is operated in dusty conditions typically found on mine sites world-wide.