At the Yubileynaya mine (DTEK Energo), digital technologies were used to improve the safety of miners. For this, a new level of automatic gas protection, a degassing control and management system, as well as a unique mine ventilation monitoring system were introduced. This will allow you to carefully monitor the level of concentrations of harmful gases underground, which can lead to an accident, as well as monitor the air flow rate and temperature in mine workings. In addition to improving labor safety, new technologies can reduce equipment downtime and maintain the stable operation of the enterprise.
At Yubileinaya, coal is mined in difficult mining and geological conditions: here, one of the highest methane gas concentrations in mine workings in the Western Donbass. Therefore, it was at this enterprise that the digital transformation of the mine began in 2019 as part of the Digital Energy direction of the MODUS large-scale DTEK digital transformation program.
The first stage of digitalization of the mine was the deployment of a communication infrastructure based on Wi-Fi technology. For this, almost 130 kilometers of cable were laid in the mine workings, 120 communication stations and 400 access points were installed. Wi-Fi infrastructure became the foundation for the next innovative step - the creation of a personnel positioning system. More than 1,700 Bluetooth beacons were installed underground, covering about 80 km of mine workings. And 1,500 helmets of Yubileinaya miners were equipped with smart lamps, which not only illuminate mine workings, but also transmit in real time to the control room on the surface, where a person is located underground with an accuracy of up to 10 meters.
In 2021, the second part of the project was launched, within the framework of which a subsystem of automatic gas protection, control and management of degassing was introduced, as well as a subsystem for monitoring mine ventilation. The task of these subsystems is to ensure the maximum level of safety with the exclusion of the human factor. For this, highly sensitive sensors were installed in the sinking faces and directly in the degassing pipeline, through which gas is removed from the mine to the surface. Information about the gas concentration from the sensors is transmitted over a high-speed network to the mine control room. If the permissible limits are exceeded, an alarm is triggered and the equipment in the mine is automatically turned off immediately.
A number of other important projects have been implemented to digitize the mine at Yubileinaya. To reduce the accident rate of mining equipment and reduce downtime, mobile rounds and repairs are carried out. With the help of special smartphones, miners now transmit photos or videos of technical equipment malfunctions, as well as consult with specialists in real time and quickly exchange information between underground teams.
In addition, the mine carries out online monitoring of coal production. With the help of the latest conveyor scales with a minimum error, a record of the rock mass coming from the mining areas is kept. The scales are also equipped with a high-precision ash meter, which determines the quality of coal products.
“DTEK always prioritizes occupational safety, using the most advanced technologies and innovative developments. This allows us to make our miners' work safer and our coal mining more productive. The Yubileinaya mine has become a pilot among DTEK Energo's coal mining enterprises to introduce such technologies. Today we can already say that digitalization is yielding results. We have reached a new level of control over the development of highly gas-rich formations, we track in real time exactly where people are in production areas, the dispatcher and engineering staff are promptly notified of situations, emergencies and abnormal cases underground, ”said Ildar Saleev, CEO of DTEK Energy.
“Modern energy is IT energy: technologies make it possible to qualitatively change the industry, carry out its digital transformation, significantly improving the working conditions and efficiency of employees and increasing their level of safety. The project at Yubi-Lane has become indicative: in practice, digital solutions have successfully demonstrated their potential and capabilities. The future plans of the MODUS and DTEK Energo programs include the circulation of solutions for other mines, ”commented Dmitry Osyka, IT Director and Head of the MODUS Program at DTEK.