Successful first test of Active Barrier for Suppressing Coal Dust Explosions
BMT WBM has been working in partnership with SkillPro for a number of years to develop an ‘Active Barrier’ for explosion risk mitigation in underground coal mines. The barrier is designed to detect an incipient explosion and discharge a quantity of water within milliseconds of the event occurring. A milestone in the development program has been to construct a prototype system for trialling in an explosion test gallery located in Pretoria, South Africa.
The prototype system has been constructed in Australia and has performed the first in a series of trial discharges prior to shipping for testing. The successful discharge sent 240 litres of water skyward in half a second through 180 spray nozzles. This discharge rate was achieved at 5 MPa driving pressure; the system is designed to operate at pressures of up to 20 MPa to achieve significantly faster discharge rates.
After the current series of operational tests are complete the prototype will be shipped for testing in the explosion gallery, where it is hoped that it will extinguish a coal dust explosion travelling at speeds of over 700 km/h. BMT WBM has been involved in this project for over 5 years, developing extensive and complex CFDs models of the barrier for the purpose of scoping the feasibility of the concept and providing initial specifications for the required performance of the prototype. Both BMT WBM and SkillPro wish to acknowledge the ongoing financial support of the Australian coal industry research body, ACARP, for this project.
For more information contact:
David Proud on +617 38316744,