As mine equipment, both fixed and mobile, become more autonomous with less personnel around, reliance on people to spot hazards early and act is reduced, and progressively will not be available at all. Even so with the huge distances and labyrinth nature of mines, it is not always guaranteed that personnel will spot a fire situation; for example in spontaneous combustion situations.
Combined with the increase in mine fires especially on mobile plant underground (NSW Resource Regulator, quarterly report Jan-Mar 2018), the risk of even a slow smouldering event turning into a major fire are greatly increased if no one is there to spot it.
The consequences of an undetected fire exposes the mine to injury of mine personnel and fire fighters, major equipment damage, production losses and environmental releases.
Therefore, mines need to look at not only production facility automation, but the automation of hazard detection and response systems.
The best technical and cost-effective solution to provide TOTAL mine coverage and EARLY warning of abnormal heat build-up around equipment or whole areas in the mine is a Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) system, fibre optic cable based system.
Our fibre optic cable Distributed Temperature System provides the following key features:
- Accredited for fire detection (flame resistance 750°C for 2 hours, IEC 60331),
- Doesn’t propagate the flame along the cable (IEC60332-3).
- Provides the location of the fire to remote monitoring control rooms.
- Provides early warning of heat before a flame occurs,
- Can be installed in hazardous areas (zone 0 and zone 20),
- Is immune to EMI (electromagnetic interference),
- Requires no maintenance,
- The fibre cable is the sensor, no other cabling or field interface devices required.