DYNAMIC conditions in underground coal mining may sometimes result in rapid changes in temperature and humidity. For reliable machine performance in these circumstances, accurate monitoring of CH4 levels is essential.

Most CH4 monitoring systems on the market are verified to work in STATIC conditions of extreme temperature or humidity. The NAUTITECH Methane Master with Hybrid Snout is the FIRST CH4 monitoring and shutdown system proven in the field to provide accurate readings in BOTH static AND dynamic conditions.

Watch the video HERE

In partnership with industry, NAUTITECH® developed the hybrid snout using an environmental chamber to replicate dynamic mine conditions. Over 300 hours of testing was conducted both in the field and in the chamber with environments ranging from 20oC with 30% relative humidity up to 35oC with 97% relative humidity. Identical spectral response to water vapour and CH4 allowed us to test for sensitivity to change in the mine environment – and identified condensation as the root cause of artificially high CH4 readings.

One of the most common industry scenarios of rapidly changing temperature and humidity is during machine movement between fresh-air side and return-air side of double-doors. Methane levels in the returns tend to be close to trip levels, which leaves a very small margin for accurate monitoring of CH4. In this situation, a standard methane monitoring system may incorrectly identify water condensation as methane, leading to potential shut down of machinery and expensive down time.

Another common mining scenario is when a machine parked overnight on the surface is started in the morning. Warmer air as the sun rises creates the same changes in temperature and humidity as the double-door scenario, leading to falsely high CH4 readings.

Inspections by deputies with handheld gas detectors and correlation with fixed gas monitoring infrastructure indicates that methane readings by standard CH4 monitoring systems in both scenarios are erroneous.

Fluid dynamics studies were used to develop the unique shape of the Hybrid Snout and since 2022, the Methane Master with Hybrid Snout has been installed at various coal mines throughout Australia where it has been proven to prevent erroneous CH4 readings in conditions where rapid changes in temperature and humidity may occur.

For applications including general environmental monitoring and safe start-up or shut-down on mobile plant such as diesel-powered vehicles and other mining machinery – the Methane Master CH4 monitoring system with Hybrid Snout is best in class.

For more information email or speak to your area representative about how NAUTITECH® harnesses technology to keep miners safe.

NSW – David McCloskey

QLD – Bruce Reilly