Bluhm Burton Engineering Mine Ventilation and Refrigeration Specialists and VUMA Software Products
Bluhm Burton Engineering (BBE) is a team of experienced professional consulting engineers who are leaders in mine ventilation, refrigeration and cooling practices; measurement and control of underground pollutants (dust, diesel, methane, radiation etc); energy optimisation and energy recovery, computer modelling and software for ventilation and cooling networks.
BBE provide a comprehensive suite of services including:
- Conceptual investigations
- Technical and bankable feasibility studies
- Due diligence investigations and competent persons reports
- Analysis of alternative ventilation and cooling distribution systems
- Selection of the optimum (practical and efficient) systems
- Detailed engineering specifications
- Detailed estimates and programmes
- Turnkey project execution and management (including installation and commissioning).
- Computer simulations
- Applied research
- Identification, development and assessment of new technologies
- Surveys and audits of ventilation and cooling networks
- Training courses and preparation of training materials
BBE’s experience includes a wide range of mining methods, in a various ore bodies, in several countries including the following:
- Mining methods: narrow reef tabular stoping, cut and fill, block caving, longhole and tunnelling
- Mineral types: gold, platinum, base metal, copper, lead, nickel, coal and potash
- Countries: South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Peru, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania and Ghana
- Equipment types: refrigeration machines, ventilation fans, air coolers, spray chambers, cooling towers, filtration systems, ice and thermal storage
MINE VENTILATION, REFRIGERATION AND AIR-CONDITIONING SYSTEMS
BBE provide a comprehensive service from conceptual investigations, through technical feasibility studies and the analysis of alternative ventilation and cooling distribution systems, to selection of the optimum system, preparation of detailed engineering design specifications, estimating and project execution and management, for existing mines and new projects.
BBE strive for energy efficient systems making optimum use of energy recovery devices (Pelton wheel turbines, three-chamber pipe feeders, hydropower etc)
MINE HEALTH AND SAFETY, FIRE PREVENTION AND PROTECTION
BBE have considerable experience in the control of underground pollutants and in fire engineering, having contributed significantly to numerous research and investigation programmes around flammability of materials, fire engineering, fire fighting techniques and escape and rescue strategies.
COMPUTER MODELLING AND SOFTWARE
BBE are the driving force and co-developers of customised software for the analysis of mine ventilation, contaminant tracking, refrigeration and cooling networks (e.g. VUMA, Environ, Chiller, Coolflow) with particularly full thermodynamic solutions. The most modern package, VUMA, comprises a suite of modules that determine air flow, pollutant levels and temperature distribution throughout the ventilation circuit and cooling network, all displayed in 3D full colour graphics. The latest addition will interface with live monitoring of underground conditions, with the option for remote control of ventilation ‘on demand’. BBE also perform full CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) analysis of airflow in drifts for optimised (capex/opex) designs.
BBE senior engineers have over 100 years of experience in mining research, including underground field studies, in the fields of mine ventilation, cooling practices, pollutant control, mine water quality, fire engineering and cooling practices. BBE engineers made significant contributions to numerous research programmes in the South African mining industry (e.g. SIMRAC, SIMCOL, SIMGEN, SIMOT, SIMHEALTH, DeepMine, FutureMine)
NEW MINING TECHNOLOGIES
BBE engineers have contributed significantly to state-of-art technology, evaluation of novel cooling systems (e.g. recirculation, ice and hydropower) and to analysing the effects of novel mining methods. BBE holds a number of patents related to novel cooling systems and has an on-going programme of implementation and energy and cost reductions.
MINING EDUCATION AND TRAINING
BBE engineers regularly conduct training courses and workshops for mines, mining houses, and professional societies and also lecture at universities. BBE is registered with ECSA for the on-going development of in-house professionals.
(Images by kind permission of clients.)
Products and Services
BBEnergy’s Projects Reduce Energy Consumption for Clients in the Mining Industry
BBEnergy has completed projects across a broad range of applications in the mining industry to reduce energy consumption, including refrigeration, mine ventilation, water pumping, compressed air control, solar PVs and concentrated solar thermal plants.
BBE Projects Releases Catalogue of Mine Ventilation and Refrigeration Projects
BBE Projects delivers complete turnkey designed, engineered and constructed projects in the fields of mine ventilation, refrigeration and cooling.
BBE Group’s Latest Brochure on Mine Ventilation and Cooling Systems
Download BBE's free brochure for information about the company's services and turnkey projects in mine ventilation and cooling systems.
BBE Consulting’s Latest Brochure on Mine Ventilation and Cooling Systems
BBE Consulting consists of a team of experienced professional consulting engineers and practitioners in mine ventilation, refrigeration and cooling practices.
Our visit to China provided a valuable insight into a number of ventilation and cooling challenges and initiated exploratory discussions with several contacts in coal, gold and copper mines/groups. There appears to be a genuine enthusiasm in the larger mining groups to tackle the problems and a rRead more
On 18 September 2006 VUMA version 3.0 was launched at a function held at the Kloof mine Country club. The features of the improved version 3.0 were demonstrated and new ideas for future upgrades were discussed. A new dynamic website for VUMA has also been launched, from where updates, demonstratiRead more
On his arrival at BBE in August 2006, Mr Willie Kruger, Safety Manager, assisted with the finalisation of BBE's Safety, Health and Environmental Policy. This policy will form the basis of BBE's SHE Management System for all major contracts and can be viewed on the BBE website.Read more
No 16 Shaft BBE has been awarded a large turnkey contract to design, construct and commission a 16MW refrigeration plant and air cooler system at the mine's No. 16 Shaft. The installation will consist of surface bulk air cooling spray chamber and fans, refrigeration equipment, conRead more
BBE Staff are Awarded the Mine Ventilation Society Prize for Paper Titled ‘Thermal Storage and Cyclical Control of Mine Cooling Systems’
The presentation was made at the AGM of the Mine Ventilation Society of South Africa on 23 June 2006. The paper was published in the October/December 2005 issue of the Journal of the MVS, [Vol. 58, No. 4]. Concepts discussed in the paper were presented at the Tenth U.S./North American MinRead more
In May 2005, BBE were awarded the turnkey contract to build two 18 MW(R) bulk air coolers and associated refrigeration plant at AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi Mine in Ghana on a turnkey basis. Earthworks at the first site at Kwesi Mensah Shaft began immediately; civil construction was completed inRead more
Eskom Demand Side Management [DSM] have awarded BBE a turnkey contract to design, install and commission a large ice thermal storage system at AngloGold Ashanti's Mponeng Mine, located near Carletonville, South Africa. The system will significantly reduce electrical costs by melting ice to provRead more
VUMA-network 3.0 represents a streamlined, user-friendly and extremely robust software product with significant new developments and improvements compared to version 2.5. Network construction is now more rapid due to added functionality in the 2-D graphics interface. Navigating and viewing the neRead more
BBE is currently involved in three separate refrigeration projects for Australian mines. The projects are at Rosebery Mine (Zinifex) in Western Tasmania, Argyle Diamond Mine (Rio Tinto) and Granites Gold Mine (Newmont) in Western Australia. BBE has an EPCM contract with Rosebery for the installRead more