Connectivity Underground is Essential to Reducing The Energy Costs of Your Mine
Mining has always been a dirty, costly, and dangerous job. Workers in the coal mines have faced death rates that rival soldiers in wartime, with 1 miner dying for every 100 shifts at some points in history. The power cost of these mines varies depending on factors like access to electricity and whether the mine is extracting coal or other materials.
One solution to reduce these costs is to use renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. These alternative energy options could be a great improvement over those that use fossil fuels such as coal. Renewable power systems would require less maintenance and less wear and tear on the equipment, but they also need connecting cables to the electricity grid, which can be costly.
Fortunately, there exists a technology that is helping bring this energy source underground: drill-hole connectivity. While drill-hole connectivity technology has been available for decades, only recently has it become much cheaper and easier to install. This allows for a more reliable power supply and reduces the need for long cables running throughout the mine.
There are many types of drill-hole connectivity systems, but they all generally involve drilling a small hole into the earth’s surface (usually less than 300 feet [100m]) using an underground drilling machine or “drill” and connecting that small hole to another larger surface hole using a special connector or “brace”.
This allows miners to transport needed materials as well as electrical cables and other power equipment. These connectors are especially useful in areas that are difficult or impossible to access, such as in caverns or underground structures.
The need for drill-hole connectivity has grown significantly over the past few years with the increased use of coal mining. In fact, some studies estimate that drill-hole connectivity is a $1 billion industry. This is because reduced drilling costs have resulted in more efficient energy transfers, which in turn have increased coal mining operations, thus creating a demand for more drill-hole connectivity systems.
With the increased need for drill-hole connectivity comes an increase in innovation to improve the traditional designs that have existed for decades. The latest developments involve a system known as drill-less optical cable systems. Optical cabling offers many advantages over conventional electrical cables, including greater capacity and reliability.
In recent years, underground drill-hole connectivity has become a multi-billion-dollar industry. Optical cabling, especially fiber optics, is becoming the preferred method of connecting all types of data in mines across the world. Drill-less optical cabling offers many advantages over traditional electrical cabling, including greater capacity and reliability.
The adoption of drill-hole connectivity is expected to grow due to increased interest from customers and a growing network of providers ready to supply it.
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker Mining Communications! For over 15 years, Becker Communications has been the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical mining communication systems. As they expanded into surface mining, railroads, and tunneling they added wireless communication systems, handheld radios, tagging and tracking systems, as well as gas monitoring.