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Hydrogen Ventilation Test Facility or Underground Mining and Tunneling


One of the focus areas in the heavy-duty transport industry globally is de-carbonization of trucks, dozers, shovels, semi-trucks, buses, etc. Hydrogen fuel cells (FCs) technology is one considered solution for the industry due to its zero-emissions, its MW scalability and capacity to store large amounts of energy for long duration continuous power operation. Underground deep mines is another option for deployment and operation of hydrogen FCs. Benefits include lower emissions, improved health, comfort and safety, as well as reduced operating costs. Underground mining trucks, loaders and other machines have power ratings up to 750 kW, which proves difficult for battery and tethered electric energy. Hydrogen FCs have the ability to overcome these power and energy storage limitations. The risks and technologies associated with delivering, storing and using hydrogen underground first need to be investigated and proven safe. This work presents the design, construction and operation of a mining ventilation test facility (VTF) at the North-West University in South Africa that aims to quantify the risk of hydrogen in confined ventilated environments. Initial work has been conducted on measuring concentrations of hydrogen released in the temporary ventilation site and is discussed.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: South Africa

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Hydrogen ventilation test facility or underground mining and tunnelling

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