Mining Ventilation Laboratory

Ventilation is an important aspect of underground mine operations, providing fresh air to miners while diluting or removing hazardous from mine workings.  While learning ventilation system basics, regulations and design principles, mining engineering students obtain hands-on experience through the use of the Mines Mine Ventilation Laboratory and the Edgar Experimental Mine.

The Mines Mining Ventilation Laboratory features two experimental arrangements:

1. An arrangement of ductwork with two centrifugal fans where students conduct the following experiments:

  • Measure air velocities using a Pitot tube and take velocity profiles across different diameter sections of ductwork
  • Measure static, dynamic and total air pressures at multiple points
  • Determine pressure drops from friction and shock losses along the ductwork
  • Measure the changes in air flow caused by changing fan speed and regulator settings
  • Determine the effects of operating multiple fans on the same network, including observation of air reversals

2. An arrangement of ductwork with a single, centrifugal fan where students conduct the following experiments:

  • Measure fan motor rpm, torque and wattage; determine electrical and mechanical horsepower and motor efficiency
  • Measure fan output quantities at different regulator settings; determine air horsepower and fan efficiency

The Mining Ventilation Laboratory is equipped with instruments to determine absolute (barometer) and relative (manometer) air pressure, wet and dry bulb temperature, quantitative testing for a variety of mine gases and contaminants, and a variety of anemometers.  When conducting their labs, students will take temperature and psychrometric readings to correct air pressure at elevation (Mines is about 6,000 ft above sea level).

In addition to these in-house labs, students conduct several labs at the Mines Edgar Experimental mine where they measure air velocity, quantity, pressure and airway resistance.  Students will complete a full mine ventilation survey and calculate ventilation projections for planned mine expansions.

The Mines Mining Engineering computer laboratory permits students to use mine ventilation network calculation software to analyze ventilation circuits and to model changes in a mine ventilation system.  A software package is also available to make psychrometric calculations.

In 2024, the year of our 150th anniversary, we will celebrate Colorado School of Mines’ past, present and possibilities. By celebrating and supporting the Campaign for MINES@150 you will help elevate Mines to be an accessible, top-of-mind and first-choice for students, faculty, staff, recruiters and other external partners. The Mining department’s goals for Mines@150 include upgrading facilities, scholarships, and continuing to build on student experiences both in the classroom and out in the field. When you give, you are ensuring Mines becomes even more distinctive and highly sought-after by future students, alumni, industry, and government partners over the next 150 years. We look forward to celebrating Mines’ sesquicentennial with you and recognizing the key role you play in making the MINES@150 vision a reality through your investments of time, talent and treasure. Give now