System for monitoring and predicting hazards arising in long-walls and headings of high output deep coal mines

Development, laboratory and field tests, manufacturing and implementation of a system for monitoring and predicting dangers caused by natural and technological hazards which occur in long-walls and galleries during underground coal mining.

The purpose of the project is the study, applied testing, manufacturing and putting into use of the new product called System for Monitoring and Forecasting of Dangers Arising in Longwalls and Galleries during Underground Mining. The implementation of the new product is aimed at improving safety and efficiency of mining operations under conditions of especially high levels of natural and process engineering hazards in longwalls with high concentrations of output and development headings. Such conditions are in practically all mines in UKRAINE, the vast majority in POLAND as well as in other countries. The essence of the project is the following statement: safety in mines with high concentrations of output cannot be considered in relation to the process conditions as an independent term, because safety inherent in mining practice and its level depends not only on natural factors but also the state of machines and process engineering devices as well as the mining methods and mining operation control. The underground part of the system includes the local district control centres. The quantity of these centres corresponds to the number of active winning operations and development districts. The centres are fitted with the necessary technical facilities allowing a user to continuously observe the state of natural and technological hazards within the district, to visualise and analyse the data, to do short-term forecasting in the normal course and to control machines and devices in order to eliminate the causes of potential dangers. The operation of the district-based control centre is based on information sources from the sensors of environmental parameters and the state of the mining process, being located within the area of a winning operations district. The local mine control centre is therefore an autonomous monitoring/control system working in real time. The information chosen from individual centres is transferred to the surface by a high-speed reliable communication system and there it is used to make strategic decisions based on a long-range forecast. The surface part of the system is a mine control stand including visualisation / control desk and synoptic board connected to the mine-wide computer network. The system to be developed at this level may be coupled to other mine control / measuring, mine control and informatics systems allowing the underground mining conditions to be improved and more safe. Contemporary deep coalmines are characterised by a high concentration output. From the economic point of view, a number of faces working at the same time have been reducing aiming at maximal intensification of mining operations. Daily output from one face amounts to a dozen or so thousand tons a day. As so-called 'easy' seams have been extracted, the winning operations extend as far as deep seams with extremely high concentrations of natural hazards. The individual hazards like methane, fire, bumps and rock bursts occur simultaneously, influencing each other. Especially hazardous phenomena, occurring commonly in mines of UKRAINE, are coal-and-gas outbursts. Forecasts from R&D centres suggest that these phenomena may also occur in the coming years in Polish hard coal mines. The mines usually apply monitoring systems for individual natural hazards. In recent years there have been attempts to integrate these systems and to connect them directly to mine alarm/broadcasting systems. Despite use of better and better systems, methods of measurement and monitoring of hazards, accidents continue to occur in mines. For example, in Ukrainian mines over the last five years, up to 800 failures have been recorded each day, leading to forced stoppages. Every tenth failure has been related to injuries or fatalities. 294 miners were killed in Ukrainian mines in 2001; of them 74 miners were killed because of gas or coal-dust explosions, 49 because of geophysics events. In recent years also in POLAND, the events of methane ignition have been noticed causing extensive underground fires. The events happened in mines fitted with advanced, technically and functionally efficient monitoring systems, but the reasons for the events were within the limits of a coalmining district at spots of extreme intensity of coal winning technology, which were not directly supervised by the control/measuring network of a monitoring system. The events would probably have been avoidable, if distribution of methane concentration and of other parameters of safety within a longwall had been known before and the system had been fitted with safety measures for early detection of danger and for taking an optimal control decision to have an effect in real-time. The information on the state of natural and technological hazards in longwalls and coal faces, their dynamics and relationships, are also extremely valuable with reference to analytic works and forecasting of mining officers, as part of optimising a mine management strategy. Keywords: monitoring, control.
Project ID: 
3 943
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
4 200 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Hazardous Materials
Market Area: 
Coal mining

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