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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.




What’s Happening at Chasm Consulting?

Training Courses – 2013 1st half year



INTRODUCTION: NEW! Using Multiple Windows

INTRODUCTION: NEW!  Dynamic Modeling

INTRODUCTION: NEW!  VentFIRE – Predict fire effects


Maintenance and Upgrades

About Ventsim Visual


Ventsim Version 3.1 RELEASED


After several months of beta testing, Ventsim Version 3 is released.

Click for more information on this new release.






VERSION 3.1 RELEASED : The release of the new Version 3 of Ventsim Visual software marks a new landmark in Ventsim Visual development.  The new version is a substantial upgrade to Version 2, and contains many new features designed to assist users in ventilation design and optimization.  Existing license holders with valid maintenance dates are welcome to download and install the software at no additional cost.  At this time, the new version can be installed concurrently with the existing version 2 of the software


TRAINING : We have been busy conducting training course in various corners of the world including Peru, Brazil, USA and of course Australia.  The 2013 Year will see training courses held in the UK, Sweden, USA, Canada and Chile.  See the training course section for more information.



C-SAFE SAFETY MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE : C-Safe Safety Management software is a complete safety and training information management system designed for any business from small departments or contractors, to large companies. C-Safe was recently implemented at Masbate mine site in the Philippines, which required a complete safety and training system to help manage their thousands of employees.  C-Safe is designed to manage all information and actions resulting from safety incidents, training, hazards and many other types of activities at business sites.  Visit our website at for more information.




The staff at Chasm Consulting would like to wish all of our customers a safe and prosperous 2013, and thank them for their support and feedback that has assisted in developing the latest versions of Ventsim Visual.

Ventsim is now used in 26 countries around the world in four (4) different languages and eight official distributors, some of whom are now offering expert assistance, consulting and training in Ventsim.  During 2013, we hope to add French and Portuguese to the Ventsim languages, and continue to add new innovative features to the software.

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Training Courses 2013



Boliden, Sweden, January 27, 2013 – Closed Course.

Wells, UK, February 5-6, 2013 Open Course 2 Days

Denver, Colorado USA, May 8-9 2013 Open Course 2 Days

Vina Del Mar, CHILE, May 15 – 17, 2013



Brisbane, Australia, January 23, 2013 Short Course 1 Day

Perth, Australia, March 12-13, 2013 Open Course 2 Days

Brisbane, Australia April 15-16, 2013 Open Course 2 Days

Sydney Australia, April 18-19, 2013 Open Course 2 Days


AFRICA Region – Training by Terramin.  Click the link for more info

21 - 23 January 2013

10 - 12 April 2013

8 - 10 July 2013

7 - 9 October 2013


The Ventsim Visual training courses are designed to quickly build up competency in all aspects of ventilation design and simulation using Ventsim Visual.  The 2013 courses also are based on Ventsim Version 2 and 3 and include an introduction to the latest Premium Version modules including VentFIRE and Ventlog.

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.

Contact [email protected] for further information or click this link

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New Features in Ventsim Visual (Version 3)


Ventsim Visual Version 3 has hundreds of improvements from Ventsim Version 2.



New feature : Full Dynamic Modelling.  All simulation types (airflow, gas, heat, contaminants and DPM) 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 over time, allowing the user to pause and observe the changes and variations to underground ventilation conditions.

New feature : STAGING.  Multiple different model versions can now be built into a single model, representing different stages of a mine life, or different ventilation options for a mine.

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

New feature : Customisable icons – all preset icons can be replaced with custom animated icons to allow actual pictures, symbols or signs to be put into Ventsim by the user.

New feature : Ultra high resolution and printing.  Version 2 of Ventsim Visual printing was limited to the screen resolution.  Version 3 allows screen graphics to be saved or printer with 800% higher resolution and detail than before, allow clear large format printing (A0) or publication quality screen dumps.

New Optional Modules : VENTFIRE.  Dynamic scripting and fire simulation module.    VentFIRE is an optional addition to Ventsim Advanced licenses, or can be purchase as part of the complete PREMIUM version.

 Improvements : Many other improvements, including a revised interface, movable or hidden toolbars, reduced computer memory requirements, simplified settings system



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Ventsim Visual Versions



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, oxidization

o Refrigeration

o Diesel heat and emissions

o Electrical heat sources

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


Premium Version

Ø  All the Advanced features

Ø  VentFIRE : Scripting and fire simulation module

Ø  LiveVIEW : Live data capture and display

Ø  Ventlog : Ventilation survey data record keeping software.


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



Contact us at [email protected] for further information.


New Ventsim Visual PREMIUM available

A new level of Ventsim has been introduced which sits above the existing Advanced version.

Chasm Consulting now has a number of optional specialised modules to Ventsim 3, such as the live sensors connection function LiveVIEW, and the new fire simulation module VentFIRE.

Individual optional modules can be purchased and added to your Ventsim license at any time, however the new PREMIUM license will automatically include VentFIRE and LiveVIEW modules, as well as the Ventlog data collection and management package at over a 40% price saving on purchasing the individual modules separately.


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INTRODUCTION – Version 3 Dynamic Modeling (Advanced / Premium Version)

Ventsim Visual 3 introduces advanced dynamic modelling for most Ventsim simulation functions.

While Ventsim version 2 had limited low resolution dynamic modelling for contaminants only, version 3 dynamic modelling can be applied to all contaminants (including an improved explosive blasting function), gases, diesel particulates and heat.  Version 3 can also automatically graph and record the ventilation changes over the simulation time.

Dynamic modelling differs from normal ‘steady state’ modelling in that the simulated ventilation conditions can change over time, allowing the user to evaluate a range of conditions that may change in response to various factors and influences in the model.

Dynamic modelling is not designed to replace standard steady state modelling and should usually be considered as a niche or specialised function.  Steady state modelling presents a single solution based on final simulation result that has stabilised over an indeterminate length of time, whereas dynamic modelling presents many solutions that change over time.

For example, a traditional steady state simulation of a model with a contaminant release will show the ultimate concentration of a contaminant from a source to the final exhaust airway (should the contaminant be released continuously).  Dynamic simulation will show the contaminant spreading through the mine, and contaminant concentration building up or clearing over time at specific locations through the model.  For this reason, dynamic simulation of explosive gas contaminants (for example) is very useful to determine blast gas clearance times.

Other uses for dynamic simulation may be

·           Gas releases and spread times and concentration through a ventilation model.

·           Spread time and clearance time for stench gas through a mine.

·           Range of DPM exposure levels from diesel machines stop / starting and moving about a mine.

·           Range of temperatures expected from changing machine activities, changing surface temperature between day and night, and variances in refrigeration output.

Dynamic modelling is only designed for one simulation type at a time, and changes during the modelling must be made by pausing and manually altering the model during simulation.  If more sophisticated script (programmable) based dynamic modelling with multiple simultaneous simulation types is required, then the optional VentFIRE module should be considered, which allows much more advanced control over dynamic models.


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Dynamic blast gas modelling of carbon monoxide concentration over time at different locations underground.

INTRODUCTION – Version 3 Multiple Windows (All Versions)

Ventsim 3.0 can display multiple graphics windows (up to 7), each with its own independent view of the ventilation model.  Every window is fully 3D and is customisable in terms of data display including colours, levels, layers, text and graphical items shown.

Each window is a ‘live’ view of the mine ventilation model, which means that if a change is made in one window, it will automatically show in all other windows.  This is useful to observe simulation results of different locations or data types simultaneously.  In addition, if an airway is manually drawn in one window, then it can be continued by moving the mouse to a new window.


Using Multiple Windows.

New windows can be opened by pressing the toolbar button.  The new window will initially divide the main window viewing area, and will be identical to the current active window.  The new window can then be rotated, filtered, coloured and customised to show any type of data separately from the initial window.  Additional windows will further divide the main window.  The dividing borders can be changed by using the mouse to ‘drag’ the divider left or right, up or down.  The arrangement behaviour (vertical, horizontal, tiled etc) can be selected from the Window menu.


Docked and Undocked Windows.

New windows are automatically arrange in the main window and are called ‘Docked’ windows.  To move a window outside of this area or onto another monitor, simply drag the title bar of the window to a new location outside of the main window.  The windows will then be ‘undocked’.  To dock the window again, simply drag the window back in to the main window area.  Automatic docking can be controlled and set from the Window menu in Ventsim.



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Multi Windows


An example of multiple windows showing different parts of the mine.


Up to seven different windows can be opened and simultaneously used.



TUTORIAL – Version 3 – STAGING AIRWAYS (All Versions)

Ventsim Version 3+ introduces a great new feature called “STAGING”.  Staging is a term representing the ability of Ventsim to create multiple versions of similar models in a single simulation file.  Examples of this may include creating ventilation models representing different phases or timelines of the mine design, or alternatively it could be used for representing different options and variations for a ventilation design. 

Up to 12 different stages can be developed in a single model.  Each stage can ‘share’ common airways with other stages, or can have unique airways that are only valid for a particular stage or stages.

Staging is a great alternatively to creating multiple different Ventsim files that can quickly become out of date.  Because staging shares common airways, then changes to shared airways on one stage will automatically occur on all other stages.  In addition, every stage shares a common set of presets such as fans, resistances and friction factors.


How to STAGE multiple extensions of a single ventilation model.

 In this example, the BLUE-SKY model will be used to create four models representing different periods of time.  The fully worked model is available in the FILE > DEMONSTRATION > METAL MINE menu of Ventsim Version 3.

 The reversing implementation method will be used in this example.  In other words, a final model representing the ultimate ventilation design will be used as a base, then progressively cut back to represent early stages of the ventilation design.

1.       Firstly, create names for four (4) different stages.  In this case, the names “Production”, “Pre-Production”, “Preliminary” and “Initial Development” can be entered by either selecting the STAGE list box and RIGHT CLICKING the box to change the first four list names, or by using the TOOLS > STAGING option to enter the names on a spreadsheet.


2.       The final ultimate ‘base’ model can initially be made to belong to ALL four (4) stages by SELECTING and then EDITING all airways, and selecting the first four stages in the EDIT box.  This will make the full mine model appear when any of the four stages are selected from the stage list box.


3.       Now, switch to the 3rd stage (Pre-Production), and then SELECT all airways which ONLY belong to the final stage (4).  These airways DO NOT exist for stages 1, 2 and 3 and therefore must not be set to belong to these stages.  Once the selected airways are deselected from stages 1,2 and 3, press OK and they will automatically disappear from these stages.

4.       Switch to the 2nd stage (Preliminary), and the SELECT all airways which only belong to Stage (3).  Edit these airways, and deselect the stage option for Stages 1 and 2.

5.       Finally, switch to Stage 1 and report step 5 for Stage 1 only.  In the Blue Sky example, only the main ramp exists, therefore after editing, this should be the only airways showing for the stage.

6.       To create a Ventilation Auxiliary duct system only for Stage 1, select the ramp airways, use the Duct Builder function (under the ‘add’ drawing button) and construct the duct and then add a fan to the duct.  SELECT the duct, and EDIT the airway and ensure the duct only belongs to STAGE 1 (Development).  The duct will only show and simulate on the stage 1 model.


More examples of staging are available in the Coal Mine demonstration model in Ventsim.


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TUTORIAL - Staging Model examples

Full Mine Model – initially set to appear in all four stages



Stage 3 – The second exhaust shaft to the right has been omitted.

Stage 2 – Ramp and initial shaft included

Stage 1 – Only the initial ramp showing, with vent ducts from surface.

VentFIRE™ Simulation (Premium Version)

VentFIRE™ is a new module that uses dynamic simulation techniques (time based) to simultaneously model heat, gas and airflow changes on a mine environment over a period of time.  While the heat source could be a fire, VentFIRE™ is also designed to work on other heat or cooling sources such as (for example) diesel machines and refrigeration plants. 

VentFIRE takes into account atmospheric gas and oxygen levels, and heat and gas emissions from different fuel sources. In addition, VentFIRE™ allows a ventilation model to be dynamically modified during simulation (for example doors may be opened or closed, or fans may be turned on or off at certain times).  The result is that a complete scenario may be modelled over a period of time, and the atmospheric changes observed at different points in the mine.

No underground hazard has greater potential for large loss of life than a mine fire or explosion.  The smoke and gases produced by such an event in a confined space quickly creates a lethal atmosphere for any underground workers exposed to the event.

For this reason, there is great interest in being able to predict the effects of underground fires and utilise the results to establish emergency response procedures and systems to ensure the safety of people working underground.

Unfortunately, the prediction of fires before the event is extremely difficult; not only the location (which to some degree may be predicted using risk assessment techniques on possible combustible sources), but also to the nature, size and behaviour of the fire.

VentFIRE DOES NOT propose to be a highly accurate fire behaviour simulator, although it can be calibrated if sufficient technical expertise is implemented into the VentFIRE design.  Even in hindsight however, it is difficult to analyse how a fire may have behaved. This expertise may be beyond the capability and experience of most vent engineers.  For most users the use of VentFIRE therefore is recommended as only one part of assessing risk and managing potential of underground fires.  It should not be relied solely on to predict the ‘absolute’ outcomes of fires.

Using VentFIRE, an unlimited number of fire, heat, regulator or fan events can be programmed into a Ventilation model and simulated over time.  Recording ‘monitors’ can be placed in different parts of the model to record and graph changing ventilation conditions (airflow, heat, gases etc) over a period of time.  During this time, fans can be made to stop, start or change speed, regulators and doors can be opened or closed, and fire sizes, diesel equipment or refrigeration can be automatically altered. 

A complete emergency or operational scenario can be easily scripted to occur, and the results of this scenario reviewed or exported to Excel after the simulation.  As an example, an action plan could be developed to reduce the impact a fire may have on people located in the mine during an emergency.

VentFIRE requires the user to make significant assumptions about the fire size and duration.  Due to the unpredictable and complex nature of fire behaviour, and the simplified approach employed by VentFIRE, Chasm Consulting suggests that VentFIRE be used only as a broad tool to simulate the potential of different sized fires in a mine to alter airflows and distribute smoke and gas through a mine.  It is important that engineers consider a broad range of possibilities with a fire, and not base a solution on one particular modelling outcome.

VentFIRE can be purchased as an addition to your Ventsim Visual Advanced license, or as part of the new PREMIUM package version.  Ask Chasm Consulting for a quotation.

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Graphs showing the ventilation changes (heat and carbon monoxide)

 at a monitor location in the mine.

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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