In Polish underground mines in which excavations are subjected to high heat load, central and group cooling systems based on indirect cooling units are implemented. Chilled water, referred to as cold water and produced in chillers, is distributed through a pipeline network to air coolers located in mining and development districts. The coolers are often moved to other locations and the pipeline network undergoes constant modification. In such a system, parameters of cold water in different branches of the pipeline network need to be controlled.
The article presents the principles for controlling the cooling capacity of air coolers installed in an underground mine. Also, the authors propose automatic control of water flow rate in underground pipeline network and in particular coolers, depending on the temporary cooling load in the system. The principles of such a system, controlling cold water distribution, and the functions of its individual components are described. Finally, an example of an automatic control of water flow rate in a central cooling system currently implemented in a mine is presented.