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MINEARC’S NEW COMPRESSED AIR MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: THE NEXT STEP IN REFUGE CHAMBER TECHNOLOGY

Air Quality_CAMS_Exploded View with Labels

MineARC is incredibly excited about the release of what we consider to be a ground breaking innovation in refuge chamber technology – the Compressed Air Management System (CAMS).

After more than a year of research, development and testing, MineARC’s engineering team have developed a breathable air system that is unique to the market; offering a range of new features aimed at reducing running costs and improving operational safety during an emergency.

The major benefits of CAMS include:

  • Smarter design for easier installation and faster service time
  • Flood protection in the event of water ingress
  • Air toxicity monitoring with automatic emergency shut-off
  • Optimisation of mine air usage, resulting in considerably reduced operational costs
  • Security against over-pressurisation of the refuge chamber

“We are excited to roll out this unique piece of equipment across all MineARC Refuge Chambers in the coming months,” says Paul Ness, Managing Director. “It marks the beginning of a new era of refuge chamber technology in the industry, with MineARC continuing to remain at the forefront of innovation.”

Smarter Design
The MineARC CAMS features a precision engineered quick release clipping system for easy filter change-out (see image opposite). This unique clip-in/clip-out design means no more screwing in filter elements and housings, and no damaged parts due to wear and tear. Compared to the current standard, service time will be reduced by approximately 80%; allowing personnel to service five chambers in the same time it would usually take to service one.

Air Quality_CAMS_Clip in System

Flood Protection
The CAMS flood protection valve automatically shuts down mine air to avoid catastrophic and costly chamber damage in the event of water ingress. Chamber flooding can occur due to human error, either by accidentally connecting the water supply to the compressed air intake, or when water infiltrates the mine air supply (Venturi effect).

In the event of significant water flow in the airline, the flood protection valve will seal shut until the water source is removed. Excess water is then released via the filter’s auto drain.

Gas Toxicity Monitoring
In the case of a mine fire, there is always a risk that Carbon Monoxide can be drawn through the compressed airline. The CAMS gas toxicity monitor automatically diverts mine air away from the chamber if Oxygen levels in the airline fall below an indicated level (19%), signifying air contamination.

The air toxicity monitor and shut off valve detect compressed smoke bursts, where Oxygen is displaced by toxins in the airline. Slow release contaminants such as CO2 can be detected by MineARC’s independent digital or manual gas monitoring systems within the chamber.

Air Quality_CAMS_Cost Comparison AUS Dollar

Optimisation of Mine Air Usage
CAMS optimises the efficiency of mine air services and guarantees against over pressurisation of the refuge chamber. The unit features an air pressure sensor and shut off valve, allowing it to regulate air flow into the chamber by automatically emitting periodic ‘bursts’ when internal pressure drops below 200Pa. This maintains a positive pressure ‘seal’; ensuring contaminants cannot enter the refuge chamber from the outside.

Over a 12 month period, this can equate to significant financial savings, as shown in the table opposite.

For our model we used a 50% flow rate as our base (MineARC’s recommended default setting), however your chambers could be set to much higher. Electrical costs are based on $0.13/kWh.

Beginning July 2015, all MineARC Refuge Chambers will feature the four-phase CAMS unit, replacing the current three-phase mine air filtration system.

Already own a MineARC Refuge Chamber? We can retrofit it with a brand new CAMS.

For further information regarding the MineARC Compressed Air Management System, please email service@minearc.com.au