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Ventsim Newsletter

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This newsletter is intended for purchasers, license holders and demonstration users of Ventsim Software.  If you do not wish to receive future newsletters, click the above right hand link to remove your email from the mailing list.




We Have Moved!

What’s Happening at Chasm Consulting?

Upcoming - Ventsim Version 3.0

Training Courses - 2012

Tutorial : Customizing Units

Tutorial : Limiting Airways

Tutorial : Excluding Airways

Tutorial : Small Pipe Gas Reticulation

Maintenance and Upgrades

About Ventsim Visual


We Have Moved


Chasm Consulting has moved to new premises near Brisbane, Australia.


Our new larger office  in Capalaba, near Brisbane, Australia allows us to locally service many of our customers and offers training options directly at our office.


Please update your contact details with us if required


Chasm Consulting

Suite 17, ‘The Hub’

2 Lorraine St

Capalaba, 4517


Phone 07 3390 2663

Fax  07 3390 3612





Chasm Consulting’s move to new offices near Brisbane has dominated activities over the Christmas / New Year period.  The move has been planned for some time, and was prompted by a desire to get closer to our growing list of software users.  Relocating to Brisbane will allow us to provide better access and service to our local and overseas customers, and the new larger office premises will provide the ability to train small groups of people within our own office.




NEW VERSION 3.0 : Ventsim Visual™ Version 3.0 is due for release in May 2012 and  will introduce a host of new and exciting features, making the software easier to use and more powerful than ever.  If your maintenance is up to date at the time of release, the new version will be made available at no additional cost for all existing license holders. Unfortunately, due to in part to support of additional features and also continued devaluation of the US dollar to the Australian dollar, there will be a modest US dollar price rise with the introduction of Version 3.0 to bring the software in line with its Australian dollar pricing.  The Australian dollar pricing will remain the same.  Once again, software licenses and maintenance purchased in either currency before the introduction of Version 3.0 will allow existing users to upgrade at no additional cost.



RUSSIAN VENTSIM :  Ventsim Visual has launched in RUSSIAN LANGUAGE.  Russian language joins Chinese, Spanish and English as languages available for Ventsim Visual.  Russian language regions of the world represent a boom growth area in mining and technology, and Chasm Consulting is proud to be able to offer Ventsim to this region.  Special thanks to Kazzinc Ltd, from Kazakhstan who have adopted Ventsim Visual for all their mines sites and assisted with the translation of the software.





NEW SAFETY SOFTWARE! : Chasm Consulting has considerable experience in mine management and safety, and has previously developed sophisticated software systems for companies to better manage safety, training and incidents.  Chasm Consulting will be launching a new product called ‘C-Safe Software’, an integrated suite of software designed to manage personnel, training, hazards, inspections, incidents, meetings, and health monitoring- and any follow up actions resulting from these activities.  The software is available in several versions and is designed to scale from low cost single user installations for small contracting / service companies, up to multi-user large mines or construction companies with thousands of employees.  The software is very customizable and promises a very easy to use and economical way to assist companies in complying with all their safety and training requirements.

If your company has a desire to improve their safety management software or your current system is poor, expensive, time consuming, difficult to use or poorly integrated, contact Chasm Consulting for further information or introductory special pricing on C-Safe Software.  In most cases we may be able to assist in migrating your existing data to the C-Safe System.





Ventsim Visual is now a truly multinational software package and is in use in over 20 countries and licensed by over 500 mines, government and research agencies and universities.  Thank you to all our users for their support!  The following chart shows our current user distribution around the world.



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March 14-16, 2012 Denver, Colorado USA,

A two day training course and optional ½ day workshop is scheduled in Denver.

This course is designed to quickly build up competency in all aspects of ventilation design and simulation using Ventsim Visual.  If you are a casual or regular user of Ventsim Visual, the course demonstrates numerous time saving and efficient ways to develop and analyse your models.

Over two days, you will learn about ventilation model design, fan selection, ventilation cost optimization, gases, contaminants and DPM, refrigeration and heat in mines.

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Other Courses


March 7 – 9, 2012 : Pachuca, México


March 27-28, 2012 : Gold Coast.  CAE Masterclass Advanced Ventilation


April 3-4, 2012 : Brisbane.  Closed course BHP Billiton


May  9 – 10 2012: Perth: Open Course 2 Days


May 28 - 29 2012 : Brisbane: Open Course 2 Days


May 31 – June 1 2012: Sydney : Open Course 2 Days



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New Features in Ventsim Visual (version 3.0)


Ventsim Visual version 3.0 is planned for release in May 2012. The new version will contain a host of new features and functionality.



Full Dynamic Modelling.  All simulation types (airflow, gas and heat) will have a dynamic time-based simulation option, allowing users to observe the second by second changes in their models from internal or external influences.  Moving diesel machines, refrigeration and heating cycling, gas spread from different sources, and natural ventilation changes will all be able to be modelled in real time, allowing the user to pause and observe the changes as they happen. 


Simulation of the dynamic heat effects of fire will be a possibility using the dynamic modelling simulation.  Dynamic heat modelling has the ability to model large scale heat, density and natural ventilation changes associated with fires.


Multiple window interface.  Users will now be able to open multiple windows, simultaneously observing different model locations, data types and colours for various parts of their model.  And of course, every window will be fully animated, customisable and editable.


Ultra high resolution and printing.  Version 2 of Ventsim Visual printing was limited to the screen resolution.  Version 3.0 will allow screen graphics to be saved or printer with 800% higher resolution and detail than before, allowing clear large format printing (A0) or publication quality screen dumps.


Fully customisable icons – all icons (even standard) icons will be able to be customised and changed.


Dozens of other improvements, including a revised interface, movable toolbars, reduced computer memory requirements and a simplified settings system.



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Standard Version

Ø  Full 3D modelling

Ø  Real-time animation of airflow and fans

Ø  Dynamic colouring of airways and data

Ø  Airflow simulation and fan modelling

Ø  Pressure modelling of fan and regulators

Ø  Contaminant spread, sourcing and emergency simulation

Ø  Financial functions to analyse airflow and fan costs.

Ø  Variable speed fans which can be reversed or turned off.


Advanced Version

Ø  All the Standard features

Ø  Thermodynamic heat and moisture modelling

o Strata heat and moisture

o Refrigeration

o Diesel heat and emissions

o Electrical heat sources

o Oxidization

Ø  Compressible airflows and different mine air densities and fan operating environments.

Ø  Multi gas contamination simulation

Ø  Advanced financial analysis.

Ø  Recirculation predictor

Ø  Diesel particulate simulation


Ventsim Visual can be purchased or rented from Chasm Consulting or one of their authorised distributors.



Contact us at [email protected] for further information.


TUTORIAL : Customizing Units

Many countries use differing engineering units to describe airflow volumes, velocities, pressures and lengths (to name a few).

Ventsim Visual can switch automatically between Metric and Imperial units at any time, through the TOOLS > SETTINGS menu.  However a further feature of Ventsim Visual is that ventilation data can also be displayed in any type of non-standard ventilation unit, and to any level of accuracy.  The results can even be a combination of both SI Metric and customised imperial units.


For example

Ø  The mine works in a region that uses both metric units (for lengths and dimensions for example) and imperial units (for airflow and pressure).

Ø  A user may want to display airway dimensions in ‘inches’ with 1 decimal accuracy, and airflow in litres/minute, because they are experimenting with lab scale apparatus.

Ø  Alternatively, for the same reason, they may wish to display and enter lengths in millimetres (mm) with 0 decimal accuracy

Ø  Or they may want to display and enter atmospheric pressure in inches Mercury (inHg) with two (2) decimal accuracy.


All of these options can be implemented in the TOOLS > UNIT CONVERSION menu function.  Selecting this menu option will display a list of approximately 50 different types of ventilation data used in Ventsim Visual (see below).  All types of data can be modified and customised by the user.


Data Types used in Ventsim Visual

How it works.

Ventsim internally calculates all ventilation parameters in SI Metric units in high accuracy (64 bit numeric calculations). To display these results, data is passed through a ‘Conversion Formatter’ so users are not presented with numbers with 16 digits of accuracy (much like how Excel can format cell numbers to any number of decimal places).  In addition, the Conversion Formatter provides the ability to convert the units to another compatible type, by using a ‘multiplier’.  For example, one (1) metre can be converted to feet by multiplying by 3.2808, or to inches by multiplying by 39.37.  Conversely, when the user enters numbers into Ventsim in their own regional units, the same multipliers are used in reverse to convert the units back to metric for Ventsim’s internal calculations.

A further option to ‘add’ or ‘offset’ the unit is also available.  For example converting temperature Celsius to Fahrenheit requires the addition of ‘32’ after multiplication of 1.8. 


How to change conversion settings.

The Metric Unit column links to Ventsim’s internal calculations and is fixed and cannot be changed.  These units will be displayed if the METRIC option is selected in the Program Settings.  The decimal accuracy displayed can be adjusted in the Decimals column adjacent the Metric Unit column.  For example to display Length (m) to 3 decimal places (eg 4.536) enter ‘3’ in the decimal column. To display all units in Ventsim in default Metric units, select ‘Metric from the Tools > Settings > Ventsim Program Settings menu

The Imperial Unit column is completely customisable and can be set to any type of compatible imperial or even alternative metric unit.  For example, on the Length (metric m) row item, the default ‘Imperial Unit’ could be changed from the word ‘feet’ (ft) to millimetres (mm) and the multiplier changed to ‘1000’.  To display the modified ‘Imperial’ or other units, select ‘Imperial’ from the Tools > Settings > Ventsim Program Settings menu.


How to use a combination of Metric and Imperial Units.

Change the settings to display Imperial Units and then either;

1.       Adjust the required Imperial Unit columns to metric unit names and change the multiplier to 1. (for example, changing the Length Imperial unit ‘ft’ to ‘m’ and changing the multiplier to ‘1’ will retain metric units for the length item)

2.       Alternatively, select the check box ‘Always Metric’, which will force the display to show the Metric version of the unit, regardless off the Program Settings.


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Ø  Ventlog™ is a new software package to help manage recording underground measure ventilation information, a statutory requirement in many countries.

Ø  Ventlog™ is available for separate purchase and does not require Ventsim software or licenses, and works under its own license.  Ventlog™ stores an unlimited amount of underground Ventilation survey data in a database format.

Ø  Data can be analysed, graphed, recalled at any time, and exported to DXF plans, or to Ventsim Visual for display with ventilation simulation results.



Contact us at [email protected] for further information.





Ø  Liveview™ is a Ventsim Visual plugin that allows importing live or historical data into 3D Ventsim Visual models.  The data can be sourced from many different systems, such as SQL databases, spread sheets and text files.

Ø  Live data can be displayed in real time in Ventsim models and periodically updated as new data becomes available.

Ø  Imported data can be used to modify simulations and display the real time effects of changes to fans, airflows, doors, gases or heat.

Ø  If your mine has sensors underground, Liveview™ provides an active window into conditions underground at any time, and provides predictive tools to estimate the effects on ventilation outside the immediate range of sensor input.


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TUTORIAL: Limiting Airways


The LIMIT function is designed to reduce the amount of text and ‘clutter’ on the screen to ensure only important features remain visible.  It is ideal for presentations where clarity is required to ensure important information is displayed.

Figure 1  The SHOW DATA option in the Edit box will ensure data continues to be displayed when LIMIT is turned ON


How It Works

When the LIMIT function is turned ON (press the ‘L’ key or choose VIEW > LIMIT DATA > LIMIT ALL), only airways which have the SHOW DATA option checked in the EDIT box will display text, arrows and nodes.  By default, all airways will start with the ‘SHOW DATA’ turned OFF – when LIMIT is initially turned on, all data will be hidden, and only the airway shapes will be shown.


Using Limiting

The quickest way to set which airways show data is to use the SELECT  button to highlight and select the airway that needs to show data.  Once the selection is made, press the EDIT  button twice (to EDIT the selected data), select the ‘SHOW DATA’ option, and press APPLY or OK.  When LIMIT is turned ON, only these airways will show data.  To turn LIMIT OFF, and show all data again, simply press the ‘L’ key again, or menu VIEW > LIMIT > ALL OFF.

Note that the LIMIT menu has options to also hide or show ARROWS or NODES if required.


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TUTORIAL Limiting Airways (examples)


Typical Display with LIMIT turned OFF


Display with LIMIT turned ON



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TUTORIAL - Excluding Airways

Ventsim version 2.4+ introduced an ‘EXCLUDE’ option for airways that allowed airways to be built into a model, but not included in simulation or results.  Some uses of this feature may be to;

Ø  Include future mining infrastructure, but restrain simulation to current existing airways.

Ø  Include old ventilation infrastructure that may no longer be used or may be backfilled or flooded.

By showing a visual reference to excluded airways, but not actually simulating the airways, this provides an important tool to ensure the presence of these airways (in the future or past) is considered when modelling ventilation. 

Unlike the previous method of sealing of old / future areas with bulkheads, the EXCLUDE method allows more efficient simulation and does not permit build-up of heat and pressure (which could occasionally cause simulation problems in previous versions)



Excluding the airway - optionally hiding excluded airways from view


How It Works

The EXCLUDE option is available from the EDIT box.  Simply select and EDIT the airways, and click the EXCLUDE option to remove the airway(s) from simulation.  Once airways are excluded, and a simulation occurs, the following will happen

1.        The excluded airways will no longer be included in airflow or heat calculations – excluded airways are treated as if they do not exist.

2.       Any normal airways connecting to excluded airways will be automatically CLOSED.  There is no need to seal (bulkhead) or manually CLOSE the existing airways.  Ventsim Visual will not raise any ‘No Entry’ or ‘No Exit’ warnings for airways connected to EXCLUDED airways.

3.       Excluded airways can be HIDDEN or made TRANSPARENT in the VIEW > HIDE EXCLUDED menu option.  This will remove the excluded airways from view, so that only normal airways are seen.



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 Small Pipe Reticulation


Ventsim Visual can be used to help simulate small pipe (<0.6m diameter typically) gas reticulation systems commonly used in coal mines to drain methane from coal seams.

One of the challenges of designing such systems is that they run under extreme negative pressures, resulting is large density and volume changes depending on the proximity to the high pressure pump.  With pressure reduction differentials of 30,000 Pa or more, this density alteration cannot be ignored.

Fortunately, Ventsim Visual Advanced is designed to handle density changes and different gas types, and can be adjusted to perform this type of simulation.


1.       To handle the smaller dimensions and units of gas reticulation, you may want to increase the decimal accuracy displayed in Ventsim.  See the section on Unit Customisation in this newsletter for further details.

2.        Gas reticulation system can be built and displayed above existing airways using the Duct Builder function in Ventsim Visual.  Simply select the airways along which the gas reticulation system will run, select the DUCT BUIILDER function, specify the duct (pipe) diameter, specify zero (0) leakage, and use an OFFSET to place the reticulated pipe above the visible airways (eg 5, 5 for the X and Y parameters)

3.       By default, the duct builder links the pipe back into the airflow model.  Because gas reticulation system usually draw the gas from another source (eg coal seam) this link or connection must be DELETED, and the airway specified as a ‘SURFACE’ connection.  This tells the simulation to draw the gas from another location.  Do the same for the connection at the other end of the pipe (normally the surface).

4.       If a pump/fan curve is available for the high pressure pump, then this can be added into the fan database the same as any other fan.  If the pump is simply specified as a working pressure, then the FIXED PRESSURE function in the EDIT BOX > FANS section can be used in place of a fan.

5.       To simulate COMPRESSIBLE flows, turn this option on in the TOOLS > QUICK SETTINGS.

6.       Finally, if a specific type of gas is to be simulated, then this can be adjusted by selecting the length of pipe, setting the gas mix concentration from the EDIT BOX > GASES.  To use the actually volumetric density of the specified gas, the Simulation > Contaminants > Use Gas Density for Simulation = True option will need to be set.

7.       Remember, simulation will show the compressible volume flow of gas, which will vary significantly as it gets closer to the low pressure region in front of the pump.  Mass flow (available from the data display types) will give a more indicative flow of gas drainage.



Ø  Small pipes can be hard to see against normal size airways.  Switch to Wireframe mode (the ‘W’ key) can make reticulated small pipes easier to see.

Ø  Try hiding non-pipe airways by using layers.  Set normal airways on a different layer, so the layer can be turned off, and only the gas reticulation network shown.

Ø  To simulate very high pressure changes (>30,000 Pa), the simulation settings will need to be adjusted in the TOOLS > SETTINGS > SIMULATION AIRFLOW to a higher Maximum Simulate Pressure number.

Ø  The extreme pressures and density changes of these types of simulation may occasionally cause simulation errors or warnings due to large fluctuations of density along the pipe route.  Use the TOOLS > RESET to reset the model simulation and try again.


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TUTORIAL - Excluding Airways (examples)


Stage 1 - Basic model with airways EXCLUDED in 2 regions (Left and Upper)


Stage 2 - Upper region included - Left region Excluded


Stage 3 - All regions included



Find duct/pipe connections, delete and connect to surface


2Setting gas to 'Methane' in the EDIT box


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Ventsim Visual Maintenance and Upgrades 

Ventsim Visual is being continually developed and improved, with new features being added every month.  As part of the license agreement, full licenses have no expiry date, but new upgrades will only work for current maintenance holders.

The majority of maintenance fees go towards building better software, with new versions including numerous improvements, new features, additional licensed components, and implementation of user suggestions.

Ventsim Visual maintenance can only be applied from the expiry of the previous maintenance date, but can be purchased at any time to upgrade your license to the current version.  It is an economical way to ensure you have the latest versions, improvements and support for your software.

Unfortunately, if you have expired maintenance, then maintenance fees may increase in price to reflect the new versions and improvements implemented during the expired period, as well as the ongoing 12 months of future upgrades and support should you require it.

Alternatively, for single version upgrades of expired maintenance to the latest version without ongoing upgrades and support requirements, contact [email protected] for a no obligation quote.

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