Mining Publication: Remote Gob Gas Venthole Monitoring and Cellular Telephone-Based Real-Time Data Transmission System
Many longwall mines rely on methane drainage to supplement traditional fan-based ventilation systems. However, the surface production facilities for methane drainage systems, including gob gas ventholes, are commonly located in remote locations, sometimes without convenient access to electrical power, and they may be monitored infrequently. The first evidence that a methane drainage system may not be operating efficiently, or not operating at all, can be an increase in methane concentrations at a return air shaft or underground where the workforce is exposed to the risk of a methane explosion. A solar powered, remote gob gas venthole monitoring and cellular telephone-based real-time data transmission system has been developed and successfully field tested by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to address this problem. With this system, individual methane drainage boreholes can be monitored from the mine office to determine current operational performance parameters, as well as review past data to anticipate maintenance needs and troubleshoot operational problems.