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Improving efficiencies with automated remote monitoring of coal mine tips

Published by
World Coal,


ITM Monitoring has successfully designed and installed monitoring systems for The Coal Authority to monitor five of its disused coal tip sites across South Wales, including Aberfan and Blaencwm. ITM’s approach to mine tip monitoring ensures access to quality data whilst reducing the time on site, and has a positive impact on helping to achieve both health and safety and environmental targets.

The monitoring systems installed are vital in alerting The Coal Authority’s engineers to any indication that change might be occurring and gives them better visibility of the factors that impact on the performance of their tip sites. In the case of the mine tips, the systems are designed to monitor factors including rainfall, wind speed and direction, water levels and flow in drainage features and to raise alarms when parameters are breached.

The data collected by the automated systems are analysed by the Coal Authority’s engineers through ITM’s data visualisation portal, Calyx OMS, to understand the relationship of the data to one another and therefore the identification of any potential issues. In addition to sensors providing continuous information, the system can also be supported by onsite cameras, which enable remote visual inspection of specific areas of interest, images from which can be vital in providing a second check when an alarm is raised.

Nick Slater, Head of Asset Monitoring, ITM Monitoring said: “We have had a long standing relationship with this key government organisation, having first worked with them in 2004, creating and installing the monitoring system for a landslide site in Wales. Our contract-winning approach was to create bespoke systems, which enable sensors to monitor the critical factors that affect the stability of the mine tips. The data is collected continuously and then visualised remotely through a centralised portal.”

Having successfully completed the monitoring system installs across the five sites, The Coal Authority is considering monitoring other sites in a similar way.

With their existing use of Calyx, visualising data from further sites will be easily accommodated and will allow for even greater comparison of data gathered through remote monitoring. Whilst it is difficult to beat a visual inspection from an experienced engineer, this complementary approach provides continuous data enabling with automated alarm notifications following changes of state. In addition to sensors providing continuous information, the system can also be supported by onsite cameras, which enable remote visual inspection of specific areas of interest, images from which can be vital in providing a second check when an alarm is raised and in proving confidence in the automated system is not misguided.

Edited from press release by Harleigh Hobbs

Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/27042016/improving-efficiencies-with-automated-remote-monitoring-of-coal-mine-tips-681/


 

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