Dynamic temperature measurement of overheated shuttle car trailing cables in underground coal mines

Kovalchik, P. G. ; Dubaniewicz, T. H. ; Duda, F. T. ; Scott, L. W.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 3
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
Recent research conducted by NIOSH's Pittsburgh Re¬search Laboratory showed that electrical current levels permitted under present regulations may not limit cable temperatures to less than 90°C in reeled trailing cables. Reeled cables, which are tightly wrapped with many turns and which carry current in an enclosed space, can become overheated due to poor heat transfer. This overheating can cause the cable insulation to soften, making them prone to damage. The damaged insulation reduces the life of the cable and can lead to shock, electrocution and mine fires. This paper describes a method of measuring the conductor tem¬perature of mine trailing cables during normal operation. The temperature is measured using a 50/125-, µm graded index multimode optical fiber located in the center of the metallic conductors. Distributed temperature measurements are made using an optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR). This system is capable of measuring temperatures with an accuracy of ± I °C over a length of 4 km at I -mintervals. With this unique way of measuring temperature, tests can be conducted that simulate actual mine conditions. The tests provide important data that allows MSHA's Approval and Certification Center to develop approval criteria for cycli-
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