LSM Technologies

Earlier we discussed the essentials of a Quality Cabin Environmental Air System to provide for HEPA Filtration for both Recirculation and External Air supplies so as to maximise protection of the Operator / Occupants.

But this combination is also critical to maximise HVAC Service Life as well as the Internal Components within the Cabin of both Fixed and Mobile Plant.

Particulate inundation inside the Cabin will shorten the service life of:

  • HVAC System: Clogged / chocked Evaporators, Fans, Electrical controls are severely effected by Particulate and when combined with moisture will fail prematurely.  It is accepted / known that repairs / replacement  / servicing of HVAC major components (ducting / evaporators / fans, cleaning etc) on only 60 x HME (Heavy Mining Equipment) can cost between $1.0- $1.5 million / annum. This is without considering associated Production Loss both from repairs and also "parked- up" machines as a result of a failed HVAC System whilst in service. Also consider the costs to HVAC Systems on LV (Light Vehicles), Fixed Plant Cabins such as Control Cabins, Accommodation, etc.
  • Electrical / Electronic / Safety Equipment: Electronic components, Radios, Displays, etc are all subjected to premature failure if exposed to particulate contamination.
  • Controls / Linkages: Subjected to wear  / premature failure and jamming- just consider how hard it becomes to even adjust the seat!

Subsequently some a  essential design / configuration considerations for your Quality Cabin Environmental Air System to protect the Operators Health and also in turn protect the HVAC and the Cabin Internals  are as follows:

  • External PF Unit Filtration: By ensuring that the Filter media utilised is of a HEPA grade arrestance (>0.3 micron / 99.995%).
  • Once again, ensuring that a separate Pressuriser / Filtration (PF) of HEPA grade arrestance (>0.3 micron / 99.995%) is utilised.

Note: It is a misconception that only an External PF Unit is required and that the Internal HVAC Filter Panel will provide adequate Recirculation Air filtration. These Filter Panels are not HEPA, are small and load very quickly. Subsequently they will not protect the Operator nor the Cabin Internals from Particulate / Fibre exposure.

A separate Recirculation Air PFP designed for high flow (and HEPA Filtration) should filter the Cabin Air Volume at least once every 60- 120 seconds so as to rapidly extract Entrapped Particulate / Fibre and reduce the "dwell" time that Airborne Particulate / Fibre remains in the Cabin.

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