AGS in HACs: An Ultra-Cool Solution for Ultra-Deep Mining Challenges

Victaulic's AGS a the coupling in the Hydraulic Air Compressor (HAC) Demonstrator project

AGS in HACs: An Ultra-Cool Solution for Ultra-Deep Mining Challenges

Posted on June 21, 2017

After seven months of construction, the innovative Hydraulic Air Compressor (HAC) Demonstrator project is being unveiled today in Ontario, Canada in a multiparty effort to prove that HACs are the future of ultra-deep mining.  A joint undertaking of the Ultra Deep Mining Network (UDMN), Mining Innovation Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation (MIRARCO), Laurentian University, Electrale Innovation Limited, and Reasbeck Construction Inc., the industrial-scale HAC Demonstrator project is located at Sudbury science center Dynamic Earth.  Victaulic is a core sponsor of the project, which employs old technology with the aim of offering solutions for today’s ultra-deep conundrums.


Ultra-deep mining, defined as mining below 2.5 kilometers or 8,000 feet, involves a naturally demanding environment and presents a host of unique challenges, some of which include energy costs, cooling, and compressed air supply.  HAC technology has the potential to change the game because it is energy efficient, can be used to cool ultra-deep mines, and can produce inexpensive compressed air, promising up to 50% savings in lifecycle cost for mine operators.  Integral to the success of the HAC design is the presence of Victaulic material, including large-diameter Advanced Groove System (AGS) products, chosen based on strength along with flexibility.  Described onElectrale Innovation Limited’s HAC news page as “state-of-the-art couplings”, Victaulic’s AGS line provided a critical piece of the HAC puzzle:

The HAC needed a pipe coupling solution that not only could pass ASME pressure tests and TSSA inspection procedures, but could also economically deal with the thermal expansion and contraction caused by the ~50 degrees Celsius temperature swings expected of the system. HACs are compressors that, in contrast to many other types of compressors, work better when they are run hotter. It stops the compressed gas the system produces from dissolving in the water that circulates. When we approached Victaulic, we learned that their grooved couplings could provide us with just the right amount of thermal strain accommodation. We ended up adopting Victaulic couplings for in the type design, throughout the whole system: AGS for the large sectioned pipe, and normal cut groove for the smaller sections.
-Dean Millar, Engineering Professor, Laurentian University, MIRARCO Mining Innovation and CEO/President of Electrale Innovation Limited


Today, members of the mining, science, political, and academic communities, along with media, attend the Hydraulic Air Compressor Demonstrator Launch, which includes guided tours, lectures, a reception, and a special briefing from the project’s leader, Dr. Dean Millar.  HAC tours will be available to the general public beginning tomorrow.  Once applicability for deep mine cooling is proven, the HAC project team looks forward to seeing the fruits of their efforts in the form of full-scale HACs operating in ultra-deep mines for years to come.

To learn more about Victaulic Advanced Groove System technology or to request a demo, click here.


Photos courtesy of Electrale Innovation Limited


Victaulic is the leading producer of mechanical pipe joining solutions. Engineered with confidence, our solutions put people to work faster, while increasing safety, ensuring reliability and maximizing efficiency.

Related posts

Victaulic StrengThin Piping System

Victaulic Adds Plug Valve to StrengThin™ Piping System, Updates Grooved Coupling Design

Victaulic StrengThin Piping System now has an updated coupling design. This innovative high-pressure piping system solution for balance-of-plant ap...

Victaulic Booth at the AHR Expo

Victaulic Heads for the 2015 AHR Expo With New Grooved Pipe Joining Products and Technologies that Lead the HVACR Industry

Visit Victaulic at the 2015 AHR Expo in Chicago. Learn about our new grooved pipe joining products & technologies including industry-leading valve ...

Victaulic Compact Hydronic Balancing Valve

Victaulic Releases Compact, Precise Hydronic Balancing Valve from IMI TA

Victaulic releases a compact precise hydronic balancing valve. The new Compact Pressure Independent Balancing & Control Valve (Compact-P) TA Series...

Recent posts

ASHRAE Mechanical Room

Innovative Software Enables Successful Install of ASHRAE HQ Mechanical Room

A tight timeline & effects of a pandemic were no match for Victaulic & Shumate Mechanical, who partnered to install the ASHRAE headquarters mechani...

Bolden Mineral Project

Optimizing Mine Backfill with Innovative Diverter Valve Technology

Victaulic has a proven history of optimizing mine backfill system around the world. Here is a look into our innovative diverter valve technology in...

The Spectrum Center in North Carolina, USA remained operational during water system retrofit using Victaulic products

Installation-Ready™ Technology Simplifiesy Arena’s Domestic Water System Retrofit

The Spectrum Center remained operational during its domestic water system retrofit with help from Victaulic grooved solutions.