Now, blade to cut power consumption - ISM scientist's fibre fan saves around 15 per cent energy in mining

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  • Published 21.01.10

Dhanbad, Jan. 20: An Indian School of Mines (ISM) scientist has developed a “blade” that can cut energy consumption by as much as 15 per cent.

D.C. Panigrahi, head of the department of mining engineering at ISM and chairman of International Mine Ventilation Congress, has developed a new mine ventilation equipment, or fan blade, that has come as a boon for an industry looking for ways of cutting fuel cost.

The fibre-glass reinforced blades, already being used at Tata Steel’s Bhelatand Colliery in Jharia, has proved to be 12-15 per cent more energy efficient than the aluminium ones in use before. The exhaust helps reduce heavy air pressure in the mines, said Panigrahi.

“It took us one-and-a-half years to prove the instrument’s energy efficiency. So far we have tested resistibility of the equipment in coal mines. We are yet to test its durability in other mines where gas pressure-level is much higher,” said Panigrahi, a recipient of the National Mineral Award in 1998.

The Rs 35-lakh research project — Energy saving in the main mine ventilation fans — has for the first time been offered to ISM by Petroleum Conservation Research Association.

The scientist, who specialises in mine ventilation and sub-surface environmental engineering, said that the prototypes of the blades were prepared after one and half year’s of rigorous research. It is equally good in resisting air pressure as conventional alloy blades.

The ventilation system in mines has to be operational round the clock according to international regulation.

“The process consumes massive energy. This is where my instrument comes in and wins the race,” said Panigrahi, who has also conducted more than 70 industry sponsored consultancy projects.