ABB SmartVentilation delivers worker safety and significant energy savings at the Boliden Kankberg gold mine in Sweden

Ventilation on Demand provides fresh air for workers while delivering ventilation energy savings of 54% and air heating energy savings of 21% during first year of use

Zurich, Switzerland, July 6, 2016 ABB has delivered an innovative demand controlled ventilation system for Boliden’s Kankberg gold mine in Northeast Sweden. The SmartVentilation ventilation on demand solution provides fresh air for the 500 meter deep underground mine, which extracts gold, tellurium and other minerals for commercial electronics and industrial uses. The system was delivered in mid-2015.

In addition to providing fresh air, SmartVentilation helps ventilation equipment operate more efficiently. Since it was commissioned earlier this year at Kankberg, Ventilation on Demand saved 54% of ventilation energy, and 21% of air heating energy, when compared to operating without this technology.


Image source: Boliden

The project extended the mine’s existing 800xA control system by adding SmartVentilation to provide all work areas with plentiful fresh air to ensure worker safety and comfort. It uses a library of functions customized for this Boliden site, including heating of the fresh air brought into the mine.

“This solution truly delivers on ABB’s promise of smart technologies able to provide a healthy, safe and energy efficient working environment for Boliden’s operations,” said Roger Bailey, Managing Director of ABB’s Process Industries business. “It underscores our commitment to using these technologies to provide our customers in all industries with integrated solutions that significantly improve their operations while ensuring worker safety.”

In the mining environment, where conditions can change quickly, reliable ventilation is critical to worker and equipment safety. The control system must be adaptable and expandable for current circumstances and future operations. By using ABB’s SmartVentilation solution, Boliden can easily add, remove or relocate fans to where they are needed in the mine. The Mobilaris Mining Intelligence location system in the mine detects the presence of a mining vehicle or machinery in the ventilation area, then communicates with the 800xA control system which in turn calculates the right amount of air needed and controls the fans to provide it.

ABB’s SmartVentilation solution provides a controlled ventilation system that delivers fresh air where and when it is needed. At the same time, it minimizes the use of energy through the utilization of on-demand functionality, which yields 30 – 50 % savings compared to normal installed power. The system also improves the safety conditions through built in functionality in case of fire such as preventing spread of smoke and enabling faster exhaust of hazardous fire gases.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leading global technology company in power and automation that enables utility, industry, and transport & infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environ­mental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people.

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    • Laura Patrick
      Trade Media Relations
      BU Process Industries

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