Research Papers

Temperature Rise Within a Mobile Refuge Alternative—Experimental Investigation and Model Validation

[+] Author and Article Information
Lincan Yan

The National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health (NIOSH),
626 Cochrans Mill Road,
Pittsburgh, PA 15236
e-mail: LYan1@cdc.gov

David Yantek

The National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health (NIOSH),
626 Cochrans Mill Road,
Pittsburgh, PA 15236
e-mail: DYantek@cdc.gov

Mark Klein

ThermoAnalytics, Inc.,
23440 Airpark Boulevard,
Calumet, MI 49913
e-mail: mdk@thermoanalytics.com

Peter Bissert

The National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health (NIOSH),
626 Cochrans Mill Road,
Pittsburgh, PA 15236
e-mail: PBissert@cdc.gov

Rudy Matetic

The National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health (NIOSH),
626 Cochrans Mill Road,
Pittsburgh, PA 15236
e-mail: RMatetic@cdc.gov

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received January 8, 2016; final manuscript received October 3, 2016; published online December 21, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Samuel Sami.This work is in part a work of the U.S. Government. ASME disclaims all interest in the U.S. Government's contributions.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 9(2), 021003 (Dec 21, 2016) (7 pages) Paper No: TSEA-16-1004; doi: 10.1115/1.4034963 History: Received January 08, 2016; Revised October 03, 2016

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) regulations require underground coal mines to install refuge alternatives (RAs). In the event of a disaster, RAs must be able to provide a breathable air environment for 96 h. The interior environment of an occupied RA, however, may become hot and humid during the 96 h due to miners' metabolic heat and carbon dioxide scrubbing system heat. The internal heat and humidity may result in miners suffering heat stress or even death. To investigate heat and humidity buildup with an occupied RA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted testing on a training ten-person, tent-type RA in its Safety Research Coal Mine (SRCM) in a test area that was isolated from the mine ventilation system. The test results showed that the average measured air temperature within the RA increased by 11.4 °C (20.5 °F) and the relative humidity approached 90% RH. The test results were used to benchmark a thermal simulation model of the tested RA. The validated thermal simulation model predicted the average air temperature inside the RA at the end of 96 h to within 0.6 °C (1.1 °F) of the measured average air temperature.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Topics: Heat , Temperature , Sensors
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Fig. 1

Schematic of test area in the SRCM showing RA and mine air and strata measurement locations

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Fig. 2

Deployed ten-person tent-type RA (a) and interior view (b)

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Fig. 3

Inside view of a simulated miner

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Fig. 4

Layout of simulated miners and heaters to represent carbon dioxide scrubber heat (all dimensions in inches). The strips are the air-pressurized tubes acting as a frame for the tent RA.

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Fig. 5

Sensor location of RTD ribbon, heat flux, and pyrgeometers: (a) top view, (b) left-side view, and (c) end view

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Fig. 6

Sensor locations of 72-in.-long averaging RTDs between tent bottom and mine floor strata, and 48-in.-long RTDs measuring mine floor strata temperature at various depths

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Fig. 7

Locations of 122-cm-long (48-in.-long) averaging RTDs measuring mine air temperature within the test area

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Fig. 8

Sensor locations inside tent (a) and RA internal air temperatures at various spots and average mine air temperature (b)

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Fig. 9

Mine floor strata temperatures under the tent during the 96-h test. The locations of the measuring sensors are shown in Fig. 6.

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Fig. 10

Cut-away view of mine shelter with ten barrels (simulated miners) and two auxiliary heaters

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Fig. 11

Simulated (solid line) versus measured (dot marker) temperature results for RA interior and mine floor under the RA

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Fig. 12

Infrared image of tent with hot spots due to warm air from barrels

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Fig. 13

Final RA surface temperature contour plot (simulated)




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