Mining Publication: Use of Infrared Sensors for Monitoring Methane in Underground Mines
Federal regulations require the use of methane monitors on all mining machines. All machine mounted methane monitors currently used in underground coal mines rely on catalytic heat of combustion sensors. As a comparison, although not currently approved for use on underground mining equipment, instruments with infrared sensors are evaluated in this study. Potential advantages of using infrared sensors include faster response time, long-term stability, and reduced maintenance needs. Tests conducted in the laboratory and at a full-scale model mine compare the performance of catalytic heat of combustion and infrared sensors operating under test conditions designed to simulate airflow conditions underground.