Project Supervisor, BMA
The Broadmeadow Battery Electric Vehicle project was initiated to address the residual Similar Exposure Groups (SEG) exposure to Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM).
Over the last 3 years, Broadmeadow (BRM) has successfully completed a number of projects to reduce occupational exposures to DPM for the underground SEGs. These initiatives have resulted in ongoing improvement to the mine’s total exposure profile, which we understand is now approximately one third of most other underground coal mines in Queensland.
After exhausting all options for a suitable lower emissions diesel engine package options for underground personnel transporters BMA initiated an aggressive schedule for implementation of an underground battery electric personnel transporter.
With the local market opportunities exhausted, the BRM team sourced international suppliers with previous experience in manufacturing electric personnel transporters. A supplier was selected and a commitment to implement a surface trial was to commence in FY19.
Broadmeadow set up and implement a team to carry out the FAT testing and trial of the vehicle, the trial included but not limited to determining all required safety, legislative, performance and failure modes required by stakeholders for the trial to be successful. In the back ground the engineering team and supplier conducted the necessary detailed assessments and engineering modifications against current Australian Standards and legislation for the suitability of implementing an underground trial.
BRM has successfully completed surface and underground trials proving the safety, reliability and performance of a battery electric vehicle whilst also validating the extremely low operating cost.
The next phase of the project is to implement full production trials by removing all diesel powered personnel transporters from a development section of the mine to validate the DPM exposure reductions.
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- Post explosion atmosphere monitoring:– An industry study into available, low powered, sensors were conducted. The study was to identify commercially available equipment to sample the mine atmosphere post an underground incident.
- Ultra-resilient communication system:– An investigation was undertaken into the feasibility of components for a robust and resilient mine communication network. The network must survive an underground incident and be able to transmit information in and out of an underground mine environment.
- Blast protection (or blast resilience):– The blast protection was evaluated through subjecting different shapes of enclosures to actual blasts, in an explosion propagation tube.
- Navigational aids:– A series of test were undertaken to determine the suitability of using visible light, infra-red as well as radar to aid in self rescue. All test were undertaken in a “dusty”, or low-visibility, environment.