Electrical Power & Protection


Increased safety in mine charging stations

November 2017 Electrical Power & Protection

Increasingly, mines are using battery-powered electric vehicles underground as they help eliminate the problem of air pollution from diesel exhaust emissions. However, there is also an inherent risk in having large multi-battery charging bays underground. The charging process generates hydrogen, which escapes from the banks of batteries on charge to form a potentially explosive mix. This could result in a potentially catastrophic hydrogen gas explosion – constituting a very real health and safety risk in the process.

In addition, in a ‘fiery’ mine such as a colliery for example, hydrogen combustion may potentially trigger a more serious secondary coal dust explosion.

RTS Africa Engineering, based in Tshwane, specialises in innovative technologies that provide solutions to industrial challenges. Among other things, the company has been involved in supplying hydrogen production and analysis equipment for many years.

“Importantly, we also offer hydrogen detection instruments, the Hy-Alerta 500 and the Hy-Alerta 600B/610B from our international California-based principal, H2Scan, for use in many industrial applications, including the mining sector,” explains managing director Ian Fraser. “For example, these products serve as a valuable safety aid in hydrogen gas detection within battery charging stations in underground mines.”

Hydrogen detection and monitoring

The Hy-Alerta 500 instrument is a versatile handheld detection device, able to detect a wide range of hydrogen gas concentrations without the need for any peripheral equipment. The hydrogen sensor probe has a unique visual LED array that will effectively help navigate to the source of a hydrogen leak where hydrogen gas is produced, used, transported or stored.

“With two sensing elements on the same semiconductor die, the Hy-Alerta 500 can detect hydrogen leaks as low as 15 ppm and will not saturate or be destroyed when detecting high concentrations of hydrogen up to 100%,” says Fraser.

The Hy-Alerta 600B/610B fixed area hydrogen monitors are better suited for area monitoring; and will provide hydrogen-specific leak detection and measurement for hydrogen concentrations as low as 4000 ppm. They can, furthermore, be scaled to any concentration up to 5% hydrogen by volume, a range representing 10% to 125% of hydrogen’s low flammability limit.

“This instrument can be connected to a flashing light or an alarm siren and, if need be, can communicate with a mine’s existing control system,” elaborates Fraser.

Both models have been designed for either ceiling or wall mount; and have RS-422 capability that extends the interface from the sensor to the controller to over a hundred metres.

“In addition, H2Scan’s hydrogen-specific sensor technology has no cross-sensitivity to other combustible gases, thus eliminating false alarms and increasing system reliability,” adds Fraser.

He points out that the company’s hydrogen analysers and leak detectors are based on patented, solid-state core hydrogen sensor technology exclusively licensed from the US Department of Energy, and are supported by 15 years of research and development, and field verification work. In terms of occupational health and safety certification, H2Scan’s instruments conform to the highest international standards.

For the past ten years, RTS Africa has been the agent – locally and pan-Africa – for H2Scan. Many Hy-Alerta instruments are currently being used to detect hydrogen leaks around power station generators.

“Ultimately, with the improved measurement capability provided by these solutions, industries such as mining and the petrochemical industry will be able to operate with the added peace of mind that the risk of hydrogen combustion has been eliminated,” concludes Fraser.

For more information contact RTS Africa Engineering, +27 (0)12 433 6335, www.rtsafrica.co.za




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Contactless energy transfer system for an automotive assembly line extension
April 2019, SEW-Eurodrive , Electrical Power & Protection
The Movitrans contactless energy transfer system from SEW-Eurodrive, in conjunction with its Movipro SDC decentralised drive, position and application controller, has played a critical role in an assembly ...

Read more...
VSDs drive cost saving in pumping systems
April 2019, Zest WEG Group , Electrical Power & Protection
WEG variable speed drives (VSDs) offer the agricultural sector the ability to reduce the operating cost on automated water collection systems with a reduction in motor energy consumption when the motor ...

Read more...
Power module with load sharing
April 2019, Accutronics , Electrical Power & Protection
TDK Corporation has announced the introduction of the DRM40 series of DIN rail mount redundancy modules. Two 10 30 V DC inputs are rated at 20 A each and the output at 40 A. A 150% peak load capability ...

Read more...
Cummins technology and innovation
April 2019 , Electrical Power & Protection
Powering a world that’s always on At the recent Middle East Electricity (MEE) exhibition held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, visitors could discover a range of the latest power products, systems and ...

Read more...
Stakeless earth ground loop testing
April 2019, Comtest , Electrical Power & Protection
Testing the grounding components of equipment in hard to reach spaces, including areas that are indoors or fully paved and do not permit driving auxiliary test stakes, is always challenging. Comtest is ...

Read more...
Let there be light
March 2019, RJ Connect , Electrical Power & Protection
Fuel cell system helps channel electricity to rural community.

Read more...
Convection cooled 600 W AC-DC supplies
March 2019, Accutronics , Electrical Power & Protection
TDK Corporation has announced the introduction of the GXE600 series of 600 W AC-DC power supplies, certified to the IEC 60601-1 medical safety standard as well as IEC 62368-1. In a 1U high package, these ...

Read more...
Dry-type transformers for water project
March 2019 , Electrical Power & Protection
Dry-type transformer specialist Trafo Power Solutions has secured an order for 13 custom-designed cast resin units for Rand Water’s large Zuikerbosch Wastewater Treatment Works near Vereeniging. The ...

Read more...
Converters for building technology
March 2019, Siemens Digital Industries , Electrical Power & Protection
Siemens presented a new converter series at last year’s SPS IPC Drives. The converters of the new Sinamics G120X series are especially suited for use in pump and fan applications in industries such as ...

Read more...
EM supplies smart building solutions
March 2019, ElectroMechanica , Electrical Power & Protection
The latest Hager smart solutions for automated building control have been supplied by ElectroMechanica (EM) of Cape Town for Swarovski Lighting’s new showroom in Green Point. The leading supplier specified ...

Read more...