Ventilation Fan Test Column – Oct 2018

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M&C Zambia test technicians conducting a test with the facility’s newly installed mine ventilation fan test column.


Access to a ventilation fan performance test column installed at Marthinusen & Coutts Zambia, a division of ACTOM (Pty) Ltd, offers a major advantage to mines on the Zambian and DRC Copperbelt.

Significantly, this is the only fan test column in the region and was commissioned at the Kitwe based facility in the second quarter of 2018. The custom engineered test column will facilitate verification of ventilation fan performance following repair work prior to installation.

According to Eugene Lottering, general manager at Marthinusen & Coutts Zambia, the test column will ensure that ventilation fans are tested and validated to the requisite parameters prior to being installed.

The test column has been designed to perform tests in accordance with the current BS ISO 5801:2007 standard and equipped with common test airways with a 1 016 mm diameter. Interchangeable conical inlet throats with diameters of 766 mm and 1 016 mm allow underground operating conditions to be simulated with ease.

Lottering says that while subjecting the ventilation fan to operating conditions, it is possible to test various critical parameters including static pressure, air flow, shaft power and speed, vibration and kW rating as well as overall total efficiency. “The test facility allows for accurate reporting data to be produced which provides assurance for customers that the ventilation fan will meet the operating criteria,” he says.

Marthinusen & Coutts Zambia has a selection of OEM reference fans should it be necessary to test these on the column for verification purposes.

Recently, Marthinusen & Coutts Zambia conducted a comparative test for a customer on ventilation fan installations. Lottering says that interestingly the competitor installation only achieved 64% on a 45 kW fan and 50% on a 37 kW fan, while the Marthinusen & Coutts fans both achieved an 80% rating.

Marthinusen & Coutts has also established a working alliance for the service and repair of main and auxiliary fans with TLT ACTOM. This collaboration brings together the expertise of a fan technology specialist and the experience of a leading electrical rotating service and repair operator.