Business Tech

Innovative Underground Airflow Instruments for the Mining Industry

Frits Ypenburg, Owner of Safdy Systems Company, a South African based company specializing in underground airflow instruments particularly for the mining industry.  “My instruments transform air speed to electrical currents, these mining companies use a telemetry system called SCADA which measures the standard output of airflow,” he said.  Safdy was established in 1990, manufacturing the solid-state air flow systems used underground to help monitor ventilation for South African mines; which is so crucial for a healthy environment.

SAFDY solid-state airflow sensors were originally designed for the South African diamond and coal mining industries. This underground instrument determines whether enough air flows through the ventilation systems, making it crucial for human life functionality. “What is very often used for airflow measurement underground is the so called anemometer,” he adds, “This principal is to heat the resistor by an electrical current and the airflow cools it down.

The end temperature is than a measure for airflow,” Ypenburg said.  This airflow theory is widely used in many of the mining systems in South Africa to determine air flow ventilation.  “That there is a large draw back especially in coal mines, for instance water is normally found in air and the airflow measurement doesn’t work right because the weight of the air becomes heavier, which translate into high airflow,” he added. Ypenburg studied in Holland.

The Dutch native had the opportunity to work for Phillips, studying quality of components, in South Africa he had the opportunity to study wind flows inside cement chimneys 50 meters in diameter.  “That’s when I learned about air flow, he said, ”I had the ability to play in wind tunnels and learn about airflow.” He adds, “Because wind and air is naked to the eye, which gave me the time to research and experiment with wind.” He said it took him a long time to understand how air flow current travel,” But I learned electronics and airflow dynamics in South Africa because you cannot ask many people for answers,” he said.  Tests were completed in the CSIR wind tunnels and that Vortex Airflow Meters will now be sold to mining companies in CANADA.

    For more information:

    SAFDY Systems
    P O Box 912870
    Silverton, 0127
    South Africa

    Tel/fax: +27 12 8042097
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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