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Jan Drenda, Józef Sułkowski, Grzegorz Pach, Zenon Różański and Paweł Wrona

Abstract

The results of research into the application of selected thermal indices of men’s work and climate indices in a two stage assessment of climatic work conditions in underground mines have been presented in this article. The difference between these two kinds of indices was pointed out during the project entitled “The recruiting requirements for miners working in hot underground mine environments”. The project was coordinated by The Institute of Mining Technologies at Silesian University of Technology. It was a part of a Polish strategic project: “Improvement of safety in mines” being financed by the National Centre of Research and Development.

Climate indices are based only on physical parameters of air and their measurements. Thermal indices include additional factors which are strictly connected with work, e.g. thermal resistance of clothing, kind of work etc.

Special emphasis has been put on the following indices - substitute Silesian temperature (TS) which is considered as the climatic index, and the thermal discomfort index (δ) which belongs to the thermal indices group.

The possibility of the two stage application of these indices has been taken into consideration (preliminary and detailed estimation). Based on the examples it was proved that by the application of thermal hazard (detailed estimation) it is possible to avoid the use of additional technical solutions which would be necessary to reduce thermal hazard in particular work places according to the climate index. The threshold limit value for TS has been set, based on these results. It was shown that below TS = 24°C it is not necessary to perform detailed estimation.

Open access

Paweł Wrona, Józef Sułkowski, Zenon Różański and Grzegorz Pach

Abstract

Greenhouse gas emissions are a common problem noticed in every mining area just after mine closures. However, there could be a significant local gas hazard for people with continuous (but variable) emission of these gases into the atmosphere.

In the Upper Silesia area, there are 24 shafts left for water pumping purposes and gases can flow through them hydraulically. One of them – Gliwice II shaft – was selected for inspection. Carbon dioxide emission with no methane was detected here. Changes in emission and concentration of carbon dioxide around the shaft was the aim of research carried out.

It was stated that a selected shaft can create two kinds of gas problems. The first relates to CO2 emission into the atmosphere. Possible emission of that gas during one minute was estimated at 5,11 kg CO2/min. The second problem refers to the local hazard at the surface. The emission was detected within a radius of 8m from the emission point at the level 1m above the ground.

These kinds of matters should be subject to regular gas monitoring and reporting procedures.

Open access

Jan Drenda, Ewa Kułagowska, Zenon Różański, Grzegorz Pach, Paweł Wrona and Izabela Karolak

Abstract

Considering different duties and activities among miners working in underground coal mines, their work is connected with variable metabolic rate. Determination of this rate for different workplace was the aim of the research and was the base for set up the work arduousness classes for the workplace (according to the standard PN-EN 27243). The research covered 6 coal mines, 268 workers and 1164 series of measurements. Metabolic rate was established on the base of heart rate obtained from individual pulsometers (according to the standard PN-EN ISO 8996). Measurements were supplemented by poll surveys about worker and thermal environment parameters. The results showed significant variability of average heart rate (from 87 bmp to 100 bpm) with variance coefficient 14%. Mean values of metabolic rate were from 150 W/m2 to 207 W/m2. According to the results, the most common class of work arduousness was at moderate metabolic rate (class 2 - moderate work), however, more intense work was found in headings, especially at “ blind end” workplace.

Open access

Paweł Wrona, Zenon Różański, Grzegorz Pach and Lech Domagała

Abstract

The paper presents the results of numerical simulations into the distribution of methane concentration at the intersection of two excavations with a fan (turned on) giving the air stream to the area of the crossing. Assumed case represents emergency situation related to the unexpected flow of methane from an excavation and its mixing with fresh air. It is possible when sudden gas outburst takes place, methane leaks from methane drainage system or gas leaks out the pipelines of underground coal gasification devices. Three options were considered - corresponding to three different speeds of the jet fan. They represent three stages of fan work. First - low air speed is forced by a pneumatic fan, when electricity is cut off after high methane concentration detection. Medium speed can be forced by pneumatic-electric device when methane concentration allows to turn on the electricity. Third, the highest speed is for electric fans. Simulations were carried out in the Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) belongs to the group of programs Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The governing equations are being solved in a numerical way. It was shown that proposed solution allows partial dilution of methane in every variant of speed what should allow escape of the miners from hazardous area.