Pre-Built Refuge Bay Solution
– MineSAFE Portable Permanent

The MineSAFE Portable Permanent offers sites a built-in refuge option for up to 100 personnel that can be easily installed where needed. Later, as a mine is developed, the refuge chamber can be removed and relocated to where shelter is required most.

All componentry for safe refuge is housed within a standard framework of recommended equipment, vital to safe operation of the shelter in an underground emergency.

Once positioned at the entrance of a dedicated refuge bay, the MineSAFE Portable Permanent is built into to a bulkhead wall and then sealed. Drone scrubbers, booster fans and chairs are positioned within the refuge bay; then the refuge chamber simply needs to be connected to power and compressed air to be fully functioning. This eliminates the need for an intensive installation process.

MineSAFE Portable Permanent componentry can be scaled to provide safe refuge for 25 to 100 people. The allocated refuge can also double as break, rest and lunch areas during normal operation.

Portable Permanent – Components

Portable Permanent - Scrubbing Systems

MineARC’s patented Series IV Electrical Scrubbing System is designed to ‘scrub’ the build-up of harmful CO2 and CO from the air inside the permanent refuge shelter. For larger shelters with increased air space and higher intended occupancies, multiple scrubbing systems may be required to remove the excess CO2 and/or CO. Requirements for additional Drone Scrubbing Units, used in conjunction with the Series IV Scrubber, are calculated to provide the increase in scrubbing capacity when necessitated by high occupancy or large volume of space within the refuge bay.

Why are scrubbing systems required?

Carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) are expired by refuge shelter occupants as part of their normal breathing activity. Carbon monoxide can also enter the shelter via the compressed air intake if it becomes compromised, and as occupants enter and exit the refuge chamber. In high enough concentrations, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to a loss of consciousness and eventually, death. Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide removal is therefore a vital necessity for any refuge shelter.

Series IV Scrubber 

The MineARC Series IV Scrubber is the “Control Unit” of an expandable refuge shelter scrubbing system, that is capable of providing CO and CO2 removal while also providing cooling and heating to large-scale sealed environments. The Series IV scrubber utilises the same technology found in MineARC’s MineSAFE Standard Design Refuge Chamber and is capable of providing remote monitoring via GuardIAN (optional), self-diagnostics, 4-20mA monitoring, and voice prompt operating instructions with i.V.A.N.

Compressed Air Filtration System (CAFS)

Compressed Air Filtration Systems are fixed to a refuge chamber to remove traces of contaminants such as water, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other toxins. Most are equipped with a three or four-stage filtration process that allows safely filtered mine air to pass into the main refuge bay.

  • Water Separation: Prevents large amounts of water entering the chamber.
  • Preliminary Filter: Removes larger particles.
  • Coalescing Filter: Removes finer particles of water or oil.
  • Absorbent Filter: Removes diesel particulate, odours, volatile organic compounds, small levels of carbon monoxide and very fine oil particles.

Optional – Airlock Activation

The MineSAFE Portable Permanent Refuge Chamber features a two-door entry way (passive airlock) as standard. Clients may select from a range of activation options for the airlock.

An airlock is designed to act as a secure staging area between the safety of the permanent refuge shelter and the outside environment, significantly reducing the threat of contaminants being brought into the refuge bay on entry during an underground mine emergency.

MineARC offers a choice of a normal entry or high flow entry airlock, with a number of optional add-ons to further improve the flushing efficiency during personnel entry.

Comparison Table

Name Capacity * Advanced Digital Control System ** iVAN *** Aura-FX Gas monitoring Modular construction Powerless Portable System **** Air-conditioning 36hrs Battery Backup 5psi Blast Rating *****
  • * Capacity Every refuge chamber is built with a certain rated occupancy in mind. The life support systems are designed to safely house this number of people for the designated duration.
  • ** Advanced Digital Control System All refuge chambers with a Series IV Scrubbing System feature MineARC's unique Advanced Digital Control System.
  • *** iVAN iVAN is an on-board navigation assistant that guides occupants through operational procedures.
  • **** Powerless Portable System MineARC's Powerless Portable System means it can sit stand-alone for extended periods without requiring connection to mains (mine) power
  • ***** 5psi Blast Rating MineARC offers blast rating upgrades to all refuge chambers.

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