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Farm Antiques and Collectibles Old belt driven farm equipment: shellers, milkers, threshers and pumps.

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coal mine fan house information sought


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Old 07-16-2019, 10:28:23 PM
Greg M Greg M is offline
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Default coal mine fan house information sought

Hello all,

I'd like to learn about the design, operation, construction etc. of what might have been a typical fan house for a vertical shaft (~600 ft) coal mine operating around the year 1900.

My interest lies particularly with No. 5 and 6 mines in the Village of Cumberland, BC Canada less than a half hour drive from my home. I'm assuming the fan house design etc. for these shafts would have been typical of the day but I'm certainly no expert. Documents on file at the Village mention a 12' diameter Sirocco centrifugal fan pushing 220,000 cubic feet of air (there's no unit of time mentioned. Minute, hour?) at "7.5 p.s.i. water gauge pressure". This last in quotations seems an error to me with two units of pressure (7.5 psi being ~ 208" of water column). The motors, two including the backup, were 500 hp each synchronous electric according to the same document. The air would have had to travel a mile or more in all. Do these specs seem reasonable? What sort of power would have been appropriate - volts, frequency?

This thread is almost certainly in the wrong forum. But which would be the correct one? Mods please move where appropriate or, if too far off topic, delete.

Thanks, Greg
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:22:50 AM
Tracy T Tracy T is offline
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Default Re: coal mine fan house information sought

while i cant give you the specs i have been around the mines and seen one of the fans and a 12 footer sounds right from what i have seen in person. no idea on HP but the motors were huge 3 phase.
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:56:44 AM
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FWurth FWurth is online now
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Default Re: coal mine fan house information sought

Not any specific data but there were a bunch of small coal mines in the local area when I was growing up. They all were either shaft or slope type till the strip mines under Peabody Coal took over in the mid 60s. I can still remember all the hoisting towers still standing in the abandoned coal yards. One in particular still had it's fan intact well in to the 90s. It sat next to the old scale house/ office. it was about 15 ft in dia., had a large paddle fan inside, the housing was shaped like your average house hold furnace blower, only larger and the housing was made of concrete. As to power, it was flat belt driven, the power unit was long gone, electric or steam?
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:23:32 AM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: coal mine fan house information sought

500 horsepower electric seems huge for 1900. Dunno.
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Old 07-17-2019, 01:46:41 PM
Greg M Greg M is offline
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Default Re: coal mine fan house information sought

I really appreciate the replies so far. Thank you.

And the motors do look to have been seriously large:
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Old 07-17-2019, 01:54:04 PM
Glenn Gieszler Glenn Gieszler is offline
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Default Re: coal mine fan house information sought

I have the engineering book at home, these fans were quite common early on, we ran into them in the early church’s downtown Minneapolis, as they were used for summer ventilation and fast heat recovery in the winter when the doors opened constantly, the name came from the sirocco winds from the desert it was so named after, just not sure if my catalog would go to 12 feet.
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:27:51 PM
Mike Rock Mike Rock is offline
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Default Re: coal mine fan house information sought

Find a copy of Taggart, Handbook of Mineral Dressing. Big thick sucker, it has information on all things mining. I am sure fans and deep hole ventilation are covered thoroughly for the time period in question.
I found a wealth of info just searching the net. 500hp not at all out of line.
I don't remember how large the ones were at Homestake but they were large. For the deepest mine in the western hemisphere one would guess they were large.

Where I live now in SW Wisconsin, the lead mines had pretty huge ventilation shafts and fans too.

Holy cats, just looked up Taggart on Amazon. I think I'll dig my copy out and lock it in the safe!! When I got hired on at a mill in Keystone, SD in 1971, I was using Taggart after a few days. Boss asked howinhell I could get all the data I was calculating, so fast. I showed him the book..... ended up finding him a used copy too! Ball milling speeds, air classifier settings for dry ground feldspar, lab work for determining iron and quartz content of feldspars....... then flotation settings, chemistry of froth flotation...life was good. Set up two Wilfley tables, a right and left for gold....fun.
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