Industrial fan company MechCaL has teamed up with environmental management company l-CAT to develop a custom designed evaporator. The "optimised evaporation canon" will use MechCaL's patented fan design for low pressure high flow fans to evaporate mine water.

Prototypes of the product, I-CAT I-VAP 500, have already been manufactured. Originally developed following the identification of a need for an effective and environmentally safe evaporation system that can be applied in reducing excess wastewater at mines, the I-VAP 500 is capable of handling 500 cubic metres of water per twelve-hour day. The evaporation rate is measured as between 60% – 65% depending on ambient weather conditions. In order to ensure that the unit is light, durable and mobile as well as being resistant to rust, it must be constructed from composite materials.

Mech CaLThe I-VAP 500 units in progress at MechCaL’s manufacturing facility in Pretoria

The high energy efficiency unit will have an inlet cone and nozzle configuration that is made from composite materials. The nozzle itself is designed using CFD coding to assist in an optimum flow pattern and droplet throw distance. The MechCaL manufactured I-VAP 500 will also incorporate MechCaL's patented nose and tail cones and state-of-the-art Stator design that improves air flow by reducing turbulence and assisting in laminar flow being achieved.

The units are designed to be 'fit-for-purpose' with an emphasis on energy, evaporative efficiency and noise reduction. Working within harsh environments, the I-VAP 500 will ultimately manage excess water through evaporation but will also be adaptable for use in dust suppression as well as potential fire fighting applications by changing the water nozzle and pump configuration.

According to MechCaL's Managing Director, Professor Jan du Plessis, the joint venture will enable both companies to benefit from a simpler yet highly effective process for manufacturing products that are used in the evaporation of excess mine water. "MechCaL is focused on providing the best mining ventilation and cooling solutions to help mines achieve high efficiency with lower energy usage. We expect that our collaboration with I-CAT will streamline the process for our clients by providing them with a dual solution that is custom designed as opposed to having to secure these products separately."



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