Cool Mine Mobile Chilled Air Solutions for the Mining Sector
Cool Mine is the developer and distributor of The Cool Tube®, a revolutionary rapid cooling device for the underground mining and heavy industry.
This compressed, air-driven, portable air-conditioner can deliver super-cooled air to the workplace to combat the environmental condition of heat stress. Portable and lightweight (6kg / 13lb), it offers low noise levels, no electrical energy requirement, no greenhouse gases and, no moving or maintainable parts.
When supplied with 7 Bar (5-8 Bar range) of compressed air with a nominal temperature of 28°C / 82°F, The Cool Tube® delivers on average 4°C / 39°F chilled air, at rates of 35-52L/Sec (US 540 – 824gpm), as currently sold online.
Cooling solutions for the mining sector
The Cool Tube® is suitable for a wide range of applications, with repeat customers defining the direction and application of the product in new and innovative ways.
The Cool Tube® is developed and manufactured for:
- Underground mining activities that are low ventilation or in hot / humid areas
- Additional cooled ventilation to frictional ignition areas
- Confined space locations such as vessels, dragline tubs and hoppers
- Concealed areas, tunnels and shafts
- Positive pressure air-conditioned refuge chambers and rest areas
- Marine engineering spaces and tank compartments
- Fixed equipment and infrastructure cooling: immersive-engineering (IE) transformers, electric motors, gearboxes, radiators and bearings
Innovative cooling devices for adverse environments
The Cool Tube® has been carefully designed to withstand adverse environments and treatment associated with underground mining equipment. Given the uncompromising controls and risk management placed in this industry, these devices can be readily introduced into all facets of the resource and heavy industry.
The Cool Tube® MKII will be available from Q2 2018. Models ranging from 60 cubic feet per minute (cfm) to 540cfm, with customised outputs, and variable mounting and cooling options.
Cool Mine director says: “By refining a phenomenon of thermodynamics, we have developed a mine-compliant, portable ‘air-conditioner’, capable of delivering super-cooled additional air to a workplace to help combat heat stress and or assist in controlling equipment overheating and radiant temperatures.”
Hot roller hazard management
Most high performing mining operations utilising conveyor belt systems for the transportation of bulk materials, have a reliance on the high availability of their conveyors. Unscheduled downtime on the conveyance systems can cost operations in the range of A$100,000 to A$500,000 per hour.
Unplanned downtime of a conveyor is generally attributed to the belting or rotating components such as idlers, rollers and pulleys. Often the failure or damage to the belting is a direct result of failed, damaged or seized idlers, leading to belt tracking and rubbing into structure and or belt sliced or shredded, post bearing failure from worn through idler casings.
The Hot Spots™ ‘predict-to-prevent’ approach to detect deteriorating idler bearings, aids not only in greatly improving the reliability and availability of the conveyance system, but more importantly assist in the early detection of conveyor mechanical components such as idlers, succumbing to frictional heating in an underground mining environment, leading to an unacceptable fire risk.
Of the more common causes of heating and potential ignition sources leading to fires in Underground Coal and Mineral Mines, is the frictional overheating of conveyor idlers / rollers internal bearings that are in the process of or have failed in service.
With these idlers / rollers constantly being in the presence of fuel sources such as accumulations of coal spillage and dust, other flammable dusts, flammable gas, accumulated lubricants or accumulations of combustible material (belt fabric, rags, paper, wood), the strict management of the potential heat source is not only paramount, but a legislated obligation to negate the unintended initiation of fires and or explosions.
Control measures that are risk ranked manage this identified hazard, yet recurrently fail. The primary control used to manage this potential ignition source is regular monitoring. This takes place in the form of suitably qualified and competent mine workers, maintenance personal and Statutory Officials carrying out specific periodic visual inspections along the conveyance system, ensuring varying levels of site and legislative compliance is maintained. Such inspections cover but are not limited to:
- Areas of material spillage at transfer chutes and along the conveyor
- Areas of conveyor belt rubbing on a fixed object
- Seized or failed conveyor idlers or pulleys
- Presence of heating
- Unusual noise or smell
Question – What happens when the primary Hazard Control Measure in the Hierarchy of Controls is Administrative, being regular inspections, and the expectation of that control is that it only becomes real when the hazard has realised into a risk being a ‘hot roller’?
Answer – The hazard control (inspection) has failed to stop the hazard becoming a risk. If there are signs of heating, then the hazard has already turned into a risk. You are now managing a risk that has variable Likelihoods of Consequence and will invariably introduce people to additional operational hazards during the control of the risk or incident, being an overheating (≥150°C), smouldering and or fire.
Such is the paradox of ‘hot idler / roller’ identification on bulk material handling conveyor inspections, that use regular inspections as the primary tool to manage the hazard becoming an incident, without any means to determine if the hazard has begun to escalate into the risk.
The concept of Hot Spots™ is to give the operation a ‘Simple – Affordable – Functional – Effective’ resource in which to empower people completing inspections and maintenance on conveyor belts, to discharge their obligations effectively and consistently, enabling practical decisions, based on a visual repeatable engineered solution.
Hot Spots™ give first visual indications of a failing idler bearing prior to the oxidisation, smoke or fire. First visual indication at ≥60°C and second final warning at ≥100°C. The Hot Spots™ predict-to-prevent approach, allows for an inexpensive proactive resilient inspection scheme, over a reactive inspection structure tolerating non-compliances to legislative and principled obligations and unplanned costly downtime.
Hot Spots™ have been designed by mining people for mining people. From the concept to the design, Hot Spots™ truly are a ‘Simple – Affordable – Functional – Effective’ solution to an everyday mining risk to both the health and safety of mine workers and operational stability of the mine.