An optimization approach for panel dimension design in underground coal mines


KUWAIT JOURNAL OF SCIENCE, vol.46, no.1, pp.90-98, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.90-98
  • Keywords: Coal production, face length, longwall, panel length, panel optimization, STRESS CHANGES, LONGWALL, PILLARS
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Global energy demand has increased coal production in the last decades. Productivity improvement, cost-effective production, and work safety are important factors in terms of underground coal mine design and planning Generally, coal production uses the longwall method to maximize production. This is done by extracting large panel blocks underground. The longwall design requires specific technical parameters and constraints, such as knowing the correct panel dimension, face and panel length. This study deals with the determination of the optimum face length, panel length and their relations in mine planning Longwall models with differing face and panel lengths are modelled using a numerical analysis method. Stress distributions on different face and panel lengths are calculated. The ratio of panel length to face length (PL/FL) is derived while considering mining losses and stress distribution for underground coal mine planning. If the PL/FL rate decreases, mining loss decreases. Forthe proper panel dimension selection, an optimum zone is suggested that accounts for stresses occurring in the longwall. This zone provides more efficient and safer panel dimension planning for longwall coal operations. Reducing mining losses increases productivity which leads to a reduction in fixed cost.