Mining Publication: In Mine Evaluation of Discriminating Mine Fire Sensors
A National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) mine fire detection research project was undertaken to evaluate multiple mine fire sensor types for nuisance alarm discrimination. The response of multiple fire sensor types to three small coal fires and three small conveyor belt fires in the presence of diesel emissions was evaluated in NIOSH's Pittsburgh Research Laboratory (PRL) Safety Research Coal Mine (SRCM). An array of fire sensors which included an optical and ionization smoke sensor, a chemical cell CO sensor, and Metal Oxide Semiconductor (MOS) sensors, was used to sample the diesel engine and fire source emissions. The mine fire detection experiments demonstrated the ability of a MOS sensor with a bimodal response to NOx and products-of-combustion (POC) to respond to the onset of smoldering combustion in the presence of CO and POC particulates from a diesel locomotive. As part of an in-mine evaluation in an operating coal mine, the MOS NOx responsive sensor and an ionization smoke sensor was demonstrated as a method to discriminate diesel emissions and cross-interference of H2 on a CO chemical cell fire sensor at a battery charging station. The reinforcement of mine fire sensor information with the use of multiple sensor types, such as an MOS sensor and ionization and optical smoke sensors, is shown to be important for nuisance alarm discrimination and early mine fire detection.