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Mining Project: Battery Safety Enhancements for Underground Coal Mines

Project DetailValue
Principal Investigators
  • Thomas H. Dubaniewicz, NIOSH, 412-386-6596
Start Date3/1/2011
Purpose

To conduct research needed to make recommendations and guide policy or program decisions regarding the safety of batteries used in underground coal mines.

Program Areas
Keywordsexplosions, fires, underground mining

Research Summary

This project will conduct research needed to make recommendations and guide policy or program decisions regarding the safety of batteries used in underground coal mines. The research objectives are addressed in the following project tasks: (1) to conduct experimental research of lithium battery ignition of flammable methane-air mixtures with the aim of demonstrating the potential ignition hazard of lithium batteries considered intrinsically safe, and then to identify potentially safer lithium chemistry alternatives based on comparative experimental evidence, (2) to gather information from large format lead acid battery manufacturers, refurbishment service providers, and equipment users with the aim of developing recommendations for enhancing battery assembly construction, charging cable protection, and providing ignition safe disconnects, and (3) to develop guidelines to improve battery safety for underground coal mine communications and tracking system equipment, focusing on battery selection, integration, use, and maintenance.

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