Underground » Maintenance
Since a high profile incident in 1998, where two widely deployed IS certified power supplies failed an intrinsic safety retest (Bell and Hookham, 1999), ACARP has funded numerous research projects investigating options for improving IS certification and testing procedures - especially with a view to replacing or supplementing the IEC 60079.11 Annex B Spark Test Apparatus for intrinsically safe circuits.
Since 2011, Mining3 (formerly CRCMining), in collaboration with German metrology institute Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), have undertaken a research project to develop an Electronic Spark Test (EST) Apparatus- a wholly electronic test apparatus which does away with the mechanical spark contacts and hazardous explosions of the STA. The first phase of this research was completed in 2013. The second phase of research was completed in 2015 and this the third phase of research is now complete.