Ground-Probe slope monitoring radar systems powered by Yanmar

Thursday, 06 October, 2016


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Ground-Probe has selected Yanmar industrial diesel engines as its power source for slope monitoring radar systems. As the technology is required for 24/7 operation in open-cut mining sites where solar power is limited, this necessitates the use of batteries which are automatically charged by the engine driving an alternator.

The slope stability radar is a system which monitors and warns of ground movement in open-cut mines. A radar beam is emitted from the unit, scanning the mine slope from a distance of up to 4500 m. The technology is very sensitive and is able to measure the movement of the walls in open-cut mines to within one tenth of a millimetre, allowing the early warning before a collapse occurs.

With this information, a decision can be made by mine management about whether an area is stable enough to be mined, or alternatively, whether an area being mined should be evacuated of people and equipment. The first unit was built in 2000 and currently there are more than 200 operating in 24 countries.

Ground-Probe’s radars typically operate in a hostile environment. The equipment is mostly in remote locations, where the climate is either hot and frequently humid, or very cold. In the first years of operation, it is estimated that more than 20 lives have been saved by Ground-Probe technology.

“This is highly sophisticated equipment where precise levels of power are required,” said Tony Brimble, global procurement and supply manager at Ground-Probe.

“We use Yanmar engines, as we know that Yanmar is a reliable and dependable brand which we can put into our slope stability radars and then ship with confidence worldwide.”

The company has used Yanmar diesel engines in their radars for the last five years. The Yanmar models supplied to Ground-Probe are the 2TNV70 and TF70.

The 2TNV70 diesel engine develops 13.3 hp at 3600 rpm. It is a compact, two-cylinder engine with quiet operation and low fuel consumption. The fact that it is a water-cooled engine assists in keeping the noise levels low and well within the required OH&S standards. The TF70 is a single-cylinder, water-cooled industrial engine which develops 7.0 hp at 2400 rpm. Both Yanmar engines are programmed by Ground-Probe to operate at 65% load.

“The application of Ground-Probe SSRs can vary enormously, from a when-needed situation to constant 24/7 monitoring. The engines are required to work long hours, or be ready to operate after a time in storage,” said Brimble.

“We have some Yanmar engines which have logged 15,000 hours and these are still running as reliably as the day we installed them.”

It is important to maintain a regular service schedule of Yanmar motors. Medium-term maintenance involves replacing oil and filters every 4–6 weeks, while the long-term maintenance schedule is set at a 6- to 8-month cycle. Yanmar engines are swapped out and the Ground-Probe unit repowered on a 4-5 year cycle, depending on the operating environment and hours logged.

Image courtesy of Ground-Probe.

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