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New! Ventsim DESIGN: Heaters

Martin Griffith

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A new feature in Ventsim DESIGN 5.4: Heaters!

In cold climate mines, heaters are used to prevent the entrance to the mine from icing over. The heat added by the heater can be adjusted to maintain a specific temperature minimum, often around 3 or 4 degrees Celsius. This can now be modelled in Ventsim, rather than specifying a heat addition in kilowatts.

To set up a heater, edit the airway where you want to place the heater, then go to the Heat Tab


Here you can specify the minimum temperature and also which fuel is being used to power it. Ventsim will run the Heat Simulation and adjust the temperature upwards to this minimum temperature should it fall below. If the temperature is greater than the minimum, then the Heater will have no effect.

There are 2 types of heaters to choose from, Indirect and Direct; this will have an effect on the efficiency. Direct heaters are assumed to run at 100% efficiency and Indirect heaters at 85%.

Also shown is an output field Heater Annual Fuel. This will show how much fuel is needed per year to maintain the minimum temperature specified.

However, colder climates being generally seasonal, the output of the heater will need to change throughout the year. Helpfully, the heater combines with the Annual Thermal Flywheel to give a model of how the fuel consumption of the heater will vary through the year. Running the flywheel simulation (with appropriate summer and winter temperatures), the heater output will adjust accordingly to maintain the temperature in its airway greater than the specified minimum.

The see the fuel usage through the year, you can open the flywheel results on the heater (by clicking on the airway with the flywheel graphing mouse mode) and go to the new tab “Fuel”. In the example here, I’ve set the coldest month to February, which you can see by the maximum fuel usage in that month.


The Heaters are a new feature in Ventsim DESIGN that we’re keen to develop further. If you want to use it, please contact us with any questions, feedback or suggestions you have.  

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  • 1 year later...

Hi Martin,

so it is annual, not monthly fuel? Or is this depending on whether you run a flywheel simulation or not?

In my version (Design Premium it says "monthly fuel", and I'm running a regular heat simulation.




Edited by Fred_K
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