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Innovation: Hydraulic Air Compressor (HAC) launch in Sudbury



Ontario – After a seven month long build, the Hydraulic Air Compressor (HAC) Demonstrator at Dynamic Earth has officially opened. The 100-ft. high (above and below ground) industrial-scale system for testing and demonstration of compressed air production is installed in a former elevator shaft at Science North’s Dynamic Earth in Sudbury.

HAC launch in Sudbury. Credit: CEMI (Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation)

HAC launch in Sudbury. Credit: CEMI (Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation)

This innovative technology provides an energy efficient alternative to conventional mechanical air compression that promises up to 50% savings in lifecycle cost for mine operators and other industrial scale users of pneumatic power. The HAC Demonstrator project is a joint undertaking of the Ultra Deep Mining Network (UDMN) – a business led-NCE, with MIRARCO Mining Innovation, Laurentian University, Electrale Innovation Ltd. and Reasbeck Construction.

Canada’s Ultra-Deep Mining Network, hosted at CEMI, continues to make strides in resolving the challenges that impact resource extraction in ultra-deep (below 2.5km) environments. This UDMN project was combined into two phases: research and construction, with a total value of $3.38 million.

The Cambrian Innovates team at Cambrian College was commissioned to fabricate the air-water mixing head, a specialty item that followed a design created by Charles Havelock Taylor in 1905 for the HAC embedded in the concrete abutments of the Peterborough Lift Lock, on the Trent-Severn Canal, now operated by Parks Canada. At the opening event, guests met the HAC team, partners and sponsors and those who contributed to the build, they were guided on a tour of the facility by the project team members, enjoyed BBQ food and listened to a special briefing from the project leader, Dr. Dean Millar, entitled: What the heck is the HAC?

HAC installed in a former elevator shaft at Science North’s Dynamic Earth in Sudbury. Credit: CEMI

HAC installed in a former elevator shaft at Science North’s Dynamic Earth in Sudbury. Credit: CEMI

Hydraulic Air Compressors promise low cost, low carbon, energy efficient compressed air for all industries requiring pneumatic power, but there is a special synergy with the mining industry because the systems have great vertical extent. The objective of the wider project is to lower the cost of energy for mine operators to help maintain the global competitiveness of the Ontario Mining Industry. One intended new use for the compressed air produced by a HAC is for refrigeration of ventilation air for ultra-deep mine cooling. Once the facility is opened, innovators from MIRARCO, scientists and engineers from Laurentian University and engineers from the industry partners will work collaboratively to prove the energy efficiency of the systems and to investigate their feasibility for mine cooling, gas liquefaction and carbon capture. Electrale Innovation Ltd is already exploring commercial opportunities for this energy efficient technology. For more HAC info visit: www.electrale.com


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1 Comment » for Innovation: Hydraulic Air Compressor (HAC) launch in Sudbury
  1. Carmen Storey P.Geo. says:

    HHMMMM rediscover the wheel. The Cobalt silver camp was provided with compressed air for many years using a hydraulic compressor.

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