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Mining Contract: Performance and Safety Investigation of Emergency Backup Batteries and Battery Charging Systems for Underground Mining Applications

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Contract DetailValue
Contract #254-2008-27024
Start Date9/4/2008
End Date9/8/2009
Research Concept

This contract will address issues associated with battery selection, use, and charging for the underground coal mining environment, specifically with respect to MINER Act requirements for mine communications and personnel tracking technology. Such technology will require battery use for primary and/or backup electrical power. Detailed analysis and recommendations will be reported for the following topics:

  • the length of time communications and tracking systems should and can remain in operation during an underground emergency with current battery technology,
  • extending operation time by better design and application of such systems,
  • the potential for fire or explosion due to failures of batteries or battery chargers,
  • improved design and construction of battery power supplies to reduce fire and explosion hazards, and
  • the overall effectiveness and safety of battery power supplies used underground.
Program Area

Contract Status & Impact

The contract is complete. To receive a copy of the final report, send a request to

The final report presents the results from analyses of mine emergencies, communications and tracking systems, and relevant battery technology, as well as recommendations for improved battery use in underground mine communications and tracking systems. The report includes the following:

  • The summary of a review of past mine emergencies and resulting conclusions and recommendations with respect to communications and tracking technology.
  • Suggested strategies and protocols for improving communication and tracking system operation time while under battery power.
  • A thorough review of relevant battery chemistries and battery charging technology, focusing on performance and safety.
  • An examination of battery technology for portable components of communications and tracking systems, including safety issues associated with lithium-chemistry batteries.
  • An examination of battery technology for stationary components of communications and tracking systems, including protection and hardening strategies.
  • Supporting and background information on mine emergencies, communications and tracking systems technology and approval, and battery technology.

Recessed Battery Installation

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