• December 18, 2020
  • Tim Wolstencroft
  • Blog

Mining coal underground presents unique and potentially life challenging circumstances; mining management always need to take into account multiple threats such as explosive methane gases leaking from coal seams and water management throughout the mine. During the coal mining extraction and development processes, coal seam gases such as methane with lesser amounts of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulphide and ethane may be present, especially in the tailgate and return airways where gases from the coal face itself can travel. Of course, these gases are of immense risk to mining personnel and the mining operation itself. Underground coal mining water management will invariably need to incorporate a dewatering process.

How to Avoid Explosion Risk During the Dewatering Process

During dewatering of a mine – the process of removing mine water from a given location to a designated storage or to another water transfer area – electric powered submersible pumps may be used. However, if using electrically powered pumps, it can present a potential spark hazard that may ignite explosive vapours.

Truflo Explosion Proof Submersible Pumps, provide a certified safe pumping solution to underground coal dewatering challenges in ERZ and hazardous classified zones. The pumps are designed for such applications as swilly water transfer along travelling roads, high flow and pressures for tailgate installations, conveyor dewatering sumps and applications where reliability is critical or where high volumes of silt and coal fines are present. These pumps are specially designed and engineered to provide reliability and long wear life with compliance to the world renown IECEx stringent manufacturing standards. Safety, reliability and performance summarise the excellence of these pumps.

How Do Explosion Proof Submersible Pumps Work?

Explosion proof submersible pumps work according to three basic principles:

  1. Spark free motor design
  2. Engineered flame paths
  3. Pressure containment.

These features work together to prevent the ignition of explosive gas vapours and gas pockets that are so commonly found in underground coal mine operations.

Spark Free Motor Design

Explosion proof submersible pumps incorporate a robust, tight casing to fully enclose the motor, windings and cable entry terminals, while embracing a zero-oriented flame path. This eliminates any possible electrical spark from igniting media or the surrounding atmosphere in a coal mine.

Engineered Flame Paths Designed to Control and Cool Exhausts

The casing surrounding the spark producing components of a mining pump doesn’t completely eliminate spark risk. Inbuilt flame or spark proof paths within the pump casing are designed to control the exit route of hot outputs, extinguishing potential risks along a predefined path. Heat is uniquely cooled by transferring heat energy during travel along this path, via the external casing, to surrounding natural cooling elements such as external surrounding water or internal water being pumped through the pump itself. Every Truflo IECEx pump is pressure tested to an excess of 1200kpa to guarantee the integrity and security of the flame paths.

Pump Pressure Containment

Explosion proof submersible pumps are also engineered to be able to withstand any explosion that occurs within their casing. The structure of the motor vessel is capable of containing the pressure generated by an internal explosion without fracturing. Each model has undergone extensive explosion testing and pressurisation of the motor housings. This results in an extremely high quality and integrity of our quality management systems.

IECEx Certification

If a non-explosion proof pump is used in an underground coal mining environment where flammable gases are present or classified as being potentially present, the operators will be in breach of the mining standard safety regulations. The process of manufacturing and supplying explosive proof pumps is very tightly regulated. Each manufacturer must meet and maintain strict globally recognized certification to manufacture such pumps. IECEx is an industry-recognised international electrical certification authority accepted by mines in over 34 countries. Truflo Pumping Systems has committed extensive resources to meet and embrace this certification in their submersible coal mining pumps because it is internationally recognised in the underground coal mining industry – it is the proof of industry compliance and that mining personnel are protected, and safety standards are adhered to.

Truflo Pumping Systems is known globally for their outstanding commitment both to our pump products and our customers. Truflo Pumps will never compromise its commitment to product quality and this can be seen in the Truflo Pumps Explosion Proof Submersible Pump series. Our extensive range of explosion proof submersible pumps allow mining confidence that the pumps they’re using are made to the highest standards and expectations being fully compliant with mining safety regulation and certification. Regardless of the size of your operation, by using the most advanced pump technology, you ensure the safety of your personnel and the longevity of the operation. Put simply, it’s the explosive proof submersible pump that provides a better, trusted solution to underground coal mining challenges.

Contact TruFlo

Standard business ours Monday to Friday 7:00am to 5:00pm. Call our friendly team today on (02) 6333 4500  or visit our web site on www.truflopumps.com.au to ask any questions and access the decades of experience our engineers and consultants bring to our team. Truflo Pumps has been well known in Australian coal mining for nearly three decades, with equipment on nearly every mine site throughout Australia, and have vast experience in some extremely challenging and diverse applications Our high quality products have become the product of choice by global mining companies and continue to provide unmatched reliability, quality and performance.