SNOLAB is a science laboratory specializing in neutrino and dark matter physics, and its construction started in 2004. Situated two kilometres below the surface in the Vale Inco Creighton Mine located near Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, SNOLAB is part of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) facilities.
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The complex has two separate facilities: 5,000 m2of underground clean rooms and a 3,100 m2 building on the surface that houses the support services for the underground experiments as well as the administrative services.
The conditions inside the laboratory are very particular. Given that it is built inside the underground structures of the mine and that it is located at a considerable depth, the air is thin and dusty, the humidity level is high and the heat of the rock is intense: approximately 42°C. It is hard to imagine that clean room research can be carried out in these conditions, which is nonetheless necessary, in part because the equipment used is so sensitive. In light of these facts, the ventilation and air conditioning systems in this project are all the more important—controlling the environment is as vital for the workers as it is for the work they are doing.
To carry out its mandate, Regulvar therefore implemented solutions that use complex algorithms to tightly control every parameter. In addition, several alarms closely monitor the systems as well as the filters and the air and water supply. Unlike a traditional project, controlling the ventilation and air conditioning does not only ensure the comfort of the occupants; it also provides the necessary refrigeration for the experiments, guarantees the absence of dust, maintains the balance of the air pressure in each area, and supervises the quality of the air coming from the mine.
In addition to the HVAC systems, Regulvar directly controls the domestic hot water system, the pump system and the filter maintenance system and supervises the waste water treatment station and power meters.
Given the level of precision inherent in the solutions provided by Regulvar, the studies conducted in this high-tech laboratory can be carried out with confidence.