RTS Africa Engineering is offering a highly versatile hand-held detection device to serve as a valuable safety aid in hydrogen (H2) gas detection within battery charging stations in underground mines.

Increasingly, mines are using battery-powered electric vehicles underground as they help eliminate the problem of air pollution from diesel exhaust emissions. However, there is also an inherent risk in having large multi-battery charging bays underground. The charging process generates H2, which escapes from the banks of batteries on charge to form a potentially explosive mix. This could result in a potentially catastrophic H2 gas explosion – constituting a very real health and safety risk in the process.

In addition, in a ‘fiery’ mine such as a colliery for example, H2 combustion may potentially trigger a more serious secondary coal-dust explosion.

RTS Africa Engineering is therefore offering the Hy-Alerta 500, able to detect the widest range of (H2) gas concentrations without the need for any peripheral equipment. RTS Africa Engineering has also launched the Hy-Alerta 600B/610B, from their international California-based principal H2Scan, for the use with many potential industrial applications – including the mining sector.

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RTS Africa Engineering Hy-Alerta 500

Source: RTS Africa Engineering

“The Hy-Alerta 500’s versatile H2 sensor probe has a unique visual LED array that will effectively help navigate to the source of a H2 leak where hydrogen gas is produced, used, transported, or stored,” explains Managing Director of RTS Engineering, Ian Fraser.

He continued, “With two sensing elements on the same semiconductor die, the Hy-Alerta 500 can detect H2 leaks as low as 15 ppm and will not saturate or be destroyed when detecting high concentrations of hydrogen up to 100%.”

The company says the H2scan’s Hy-Alerta 600B/610B fixed area (H2) monitors are better suited for area monitoring; and will provide H2-specific leak detection and measurement for (H2) concentrations as low as 4,000 ppm (parts-per-million). They can furthermore be scaled to any concentration up to 5% H2 by volume, a range representing 10% to 125% of H2’s low flammability limit.

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RTS Africa Engineering Hy-Alerta 600b

Source: RTS Africa Engineering

Fraser added, “This instrument can be connected to a flashing light or an alarm siren and, if need be, can communicate with a mine’s existing SCADA-type control system.”

Both the Hy-Alerta 600B and 610B models have been designed for either ceiling or wall mount; and have RS422 capability that extends the interface from the sensor to the controller to several hundred feet.