Meandu Trial HV Cabinet Dust Prevention

Meandu Trial HV Cabinet Dust Prevention

Komatsu 830E HV Field Trial


Ongoing trial of BreatheSafe Dust Mitigation for a QLD Coal Mine

In November 2020, BreatheSafe consulted Meandu Mine of Stanwell Corporation concerning airborne mine dust in their high voltage cabinets. A High Pressure HEPA Filtration system was specifically designed and installed on a Komatsu 830E HV cabinet with four TL pressurisers.

Last Updated: 26/10/2021


The HV Cabinets are designed to use the unfiltered air from the alternator fan to cool the heat sinks on the inverters.

As the air is unfiltered the cabinets are prone to mine dust ingress requiring cleaning leading to potential mine dust exposure for maintenance staff.

Its our understanding that most site maintenance crews use compressed air to clean cabinets, which is a source of generating airborne dust inside the workshop area with potential risk for peak dust exposure for workers near the plant.


To develop an engineered solution to eliminate the requirement to clean the cabinets at all.

Komatsu 830E HV Cabinet 2800 hours

The Problem

Dust in the high voltage cabinet

Dirty HV Cabinet
Dirty HV Cabinet

Dust and health

Exposure to high concentrations of respirable dust will lead to the development of a range of serious irreversible lung diseases such as silicosis.


Issues with high and low voltage cabinets

  • Cabinets subject to unfiltered air introduced via the alternator fan to cool heat sinks.
  • Hazardous dust is forced though unsealed duct seams / deteriorated component gaskets into the main compartment requiring maintenance and cleaning.
  • Cleaning of these compartments typically occurs every 500 hours and presents risk of hazardous dust exposure to workers.


Dust and electronics

There are several good reasons to keep dust off and out of electrical components.

  • Cooling – if a component is covered by dust its core temp will slowly rise due to the dust acting as an insulator.
  • Some components are not as sealed as we would like so conductive materials can settle on/in the components leading to failure.
  • A lot of dust can become corrosive when moisture is present so if we keep the dust off & out of the component the you will not get the corrosion.
  • By maintaining pressure in the compartment, we are reducing the amount of moisture being forced through it by the cooling system.
  • Less wiring connector damage both by the dust & by the service team having to force the plugs apart as fine dust is locking them together reducing.
  • The aim is to ensure that we are safely circulating enough cleaned fresh air through electrical enclosures to keep the clean side duct free and cool.
  • Improve machine up time as they will not have to be stood down for cleaning.
  • We believe that if the cabinets are kept clean you will get an improvement on the reliability of each component.
Dirty HV Cabinet

The Solution

Engineering Control

  • We feel that the BreatheSafe solution should be ranked as the highest level of protection our engineering control has eliminated the requirement to clean the compartment using compressed air.
  • Dramatically reducing potential exposure to all personal in the area.
  • We recommend that the compartment is cleaned prior to installation of the system.
  • Note we will still have the requirement to change the filters.
  • We feel that PPE and RPPE when blowing out cabinets is not enough protection. It is the least reliable control measure.
    Engineering Control Heirarchy

    BreatheSafe Design

    High Pressure HEPA Filtration

    • Cabinets have been cleaned out prior to installation.
    • The Main HV cabinet has been fitted with 3 High Pressure TL unit.
    • Arc Shoe cabinet has 1 standalone High Pressure TL unit.
    • These systems are variable speed pressurisation and HEPA H14 filters.
    • Max pressure achieved with the engine off: 1200 Pa above ambient.
    • Auto pressure setpoint at 400 Pa above OEM engine-driven fan pressure.
    • TL units force air into HV cabinets creating positive pressure.
    High Pressure Hepa Filtration units positively pressurise cabinet pushing against dust ingress from unsealed ducts, gaskets and door seals, preventing dust-laden air from entering the cabinet.

    Click images to expand

    2800 Hours BreatheSafe HV Cabinet Komatsu Pressuriser
    2800 Hours BreatheSafe HV Cabinet Komatsu Pressuriser
    2800 Hours BreatheSafe HV Cabinet Komatsu Pressuriser
    2800 Hours BreatheSafe HV Cabinet Komatsu Pressuriser


    • Easy installation in one day
    • Everything provided for installation in the install kit
    • 3 x 76mm & 20mm power supply aperture from top of the cabinet to accommodate pressurisers.
    • Controller mounted to top of centre access door – also pressurised through HEPA filtration.
    3715 Hours BreatheSafe HV Cabinet Komatsu Pressuriser

    The BreatheSafe High Pressure Filtration Unit is the only pressuriser on the market capable of producing the pressure required to maintain a dust-free cabinet

    BreatheSafe HV Cabinet Komatsu Pressuriser
    BreatheSafe HV Cabinet Komatsu Pressuriser
    2800 Hours BreatheSafe HV Cabinet Komatsu Pressuriser
    3715 Hours BreatheSafe HV Cabinet Komatsu Pressuriser

    The Result

    The BreatheSafe variable speed high-pressure system is proving to significantly reduce/eliminate dust loading in the high voltage cabinet. One comment was that the cabinets are getting cleaner. As time goes by, we feel the dust in the cabinet will very slowly be forced out of the cabinet = so it will gradually get cleaner.

    The system is 11 months in operation, and components, including serviceable filters, have withstood harsh weather and mining conditions whilst maintaining efficiency.


    Cleaning with compressed air has ceased/worker exposure to mine dust diminished! The cabinet is maintaining a significantly reduced dust load. Internal temperature maintained relevant to ambient. Components/wiring easily visible for fault finding. Minimised static dust on components – Extended component life. Heavily reduced downtime for maintenance/repair costs. The system was installed in November 2020 and has done over 3715 hours of service. The system has been inspected at 1000, 1500, 2230 and 2800 hours and is still running the original filters. System capacity maintains a 57% load with no drop in sealing efficiency after 3715 hours. Max pressure test dropped 390 Pa to a total of 810 Pa– consistent with filter loading/truck voltage & door seals.

    2800 Hours BreatheSafe HV Cabinet Komatsu Pressuriser
    2800 Hours BreatheSafe HV Cabinet Komatsu Pressuriser
    2800 Hours BreatheSafe HV Cabinet Komatsu Pressuriser
    2800 Hours BreatheSafe HV Cabinet Komatsu Pressuriser

    Meet and exceed ISO23875 with INPRESS TS Controller

    Meet and exceed ISO23875 with INPRESS TS Controller

    Meet and Exceed ISO23875

    INPRESS TS Controller
    Learn More About the INPRESS TL system

    The new ISO 23875 standard places a greater emphasis on the air quality inside the operator cabin than has been previously addressed.

    BreatheSafe has always focused on air quality

    INPRESS TS unit
    INPRESS TS unit

    ISO 23875 for the Mining Industry

    BreatheSafe systems meet and exceed this standard with our new INPRESS TS.

    There are 5 performance requirements in ISO 23875

    1. Higher filter efficiency requirements
    2. Defined maximum CO2 level
    3. Recirculation and fresh air system requirements
    4. Established cab pressurisation levels
    5. Real-time operator cab monitoring

    Learn more about BreatheSafe Cabin Air Purification Solution


    INPRESS Auto Pressure Control

    The INPRESS TS is the latest touchscreen monitor controller of the BreatheSafe system. It provides automatic control over the air filtration system and utilises a simple interface for a user-friendly experience.

    ISO23875 Performance Requirements

    The BreatheSafe High Pressure HEPA Filtration system meets and exceeds ISO23875 requirements

    Filter Efficiency Requirements

    BreatheSafe uses HEPA H14 filters at 99.99% efficient of particles 0.3 microns in size. This is more efficient and safe than the standard of H13.

    Maximum CO2 Levels

    Using maximums outlined in the standard, the TS alerts the operator when CO2 levels reach and pass acceptable levels, and increases airflow to minimise CO2.

    Recirculation and Fresh Air

    BreatheSafe systems are integrated into the OEM aircon system. Both the fresh and recirculated air are filtered through HEPA filters for optimal protection.

    Pressurisation Levels

    The TS automatically controls pressure levels to remain at a pre-set pressure by adjusting blower speed of the pressurisation unit.

    Real Time Monitoring

    The TS is equipped with live charts, auto-recording of events, and auto data logging to ensure prolonged safety.


    Automatic Pressure Monitor

    The INPRESS TS (TLUCPMCO2) automatically controls the blower speeds to maintain preset cabin pressure. It does this by monitoring the pressure through its built-in pressure transducer.

    Industry minimum standard is between 20 and 50 Pa from new. Our systems are preset to remain at 50 Pa but can be changed through system settings.

    The TLUCPMCO2 measures the pressure inside and outside the clean air compartment and calculates the error based on the pressure setpoint. An algorithm applies these values, and the controller calculates a proportional output that adjusts the speed of the pressuriser motors.

    Automatic Alarms

    The BreatheSafe TLUCPMCO2 automatically sounds alarms at pressure drops, alerting the operator to the potential of hazardous air.

    Optionally, the unit can distinguish if a door or window is not sealed correctly and alert the operator. At the same time as this alert is sounding, the blower power will increase to keep the operator as safe as possible.

    CO2 Sensor option (ISO 23875)

    With the option to add TLUCPMCO2 BreatheSafe CO2 sensors, operators will be alerted when unsafe air quality conditions are present by providing real-time CO2 data and audible/visual alerts.

    Automatic Data Logging

    The BreatheSafe INPRESS automatically records and stores recorded data, depending on sampling requirements this can be up to 12 months.

    The TLUCPMCO2 controller is designed to start data logging as soon as it is powered up. Data samples time, date, motor capacity, and current pressure readings. This is additional to standard alarm logging, which occurs at every alarm instance.

    Service Test Mode

    Service test mode easily shows cabin sealing effectiveness and filter lifecycle capacity tests.

    INPRESS TS sticker

    Something new is always on the horizon at BreatheSafe

    We are dedicated to innovation in technology to

    protect workers and machinery.

    Our systems can be customised for any machine and any environment

    Cabin Pressurisation

    Electrical Enclosure

    Clean Room

    Build your Solution

    Safe Work Month 2021

    Safe Work Month 2021

    Safe Work Month 2021


    Safe Work Month 21 starts today with the theme think safe, work safe, be safe. As a provider of health and safety equipment, we truly know how important it is to keep safe at work.

    At BreatheSafe, we are committed to providing for the health, safety and welfare of all staff, employees, contractors, volunteers, customers, and visitors to a workplace. This commitment extends to ensuring that our operations and activities do not place members of the public, the local community or the environment at risk of harm, injury, illness, or damage.

    Keep an eye on our social media for Safe Work Month content


    Five Common Misconceptions about Air Filters

    Five Common Misconceptions about Air Filters

    Five Common Misconceptions About Air Filters

    September 20, 2021

    There’s lots of information out there about air filters, particularly in the time of COVID-19. But for industrial air filtration and pressurisation in hazardous environments, we find the same misconceptions popping up repeatedly.

    1) Cabin pressure is enough to protect operators

    Positive pressure does keep hazardous dust from entering into the cab through tiny openings. However, it doesn’t stop hazardous dust from entering the cabin. Ambient air is pumped into the cabin to create a positive pressure difference between inside and outside. This ambient air, however, still contains all of the harmful airborne particulates outside!

    By filtering this fresh air, purified and clean air enters the cabin and blows into the operator breathing zone.

    2) Air filters will restrict airflow in the vehicle

    In traditionally designed pressurisers, the higher the efficiency class of your filter, the less airflow entered the cabin. This is why many brands market MERV-16 or EPA filters as the optimal combination between airflow, price and filtration efficiency.

    However, BreatheSafe High Pressure Filtration systems can maintain appropriate airflow, even with higher classes of filtration. As standard, we sell HEPA H14 filters in our pressure systems. We believe that filtration is a significant factor in protecting the enclosed area from hazardous dust. This airflow is capable because of the brushless motors and advanced intelligent motor power control of in-cabin pressure.

    3) HEPA air filters are only 99.99% effective

    HEPA classification works on its effectiveness in filtering particles at the Most Penetrating Particle Size (MPPS). Particles of approximately 0.3 μm – the MPPS – are the hardest to catch. The size at which the air filter has its lowest arrestance value and penetrates through filtration processes at the most common rate. For this reason, the European standard EN 1822 assesses the filtration performance of the filter by measuring the penetration of 0.3 μm sized particles. Much smaller nanoparticles are easier to catch.

    Tests conducted by NASA showed that HEPA filters are highly effective in capturing up to 100% of nanoparticulate contaminants and larger particles greater than 0.3 μm. However, for particles around the MPPS, there is a tiny drop in filtration efficiency.

    Classic Collection Efficiency Curve with Filter Collection Mechanisms

    According to EN 1822, a HEPA filter must remove at least 99.95% of particles sized 0.3 μm or larger. US government standards require a filter to remove 99.97% of particles sized 0.3 μm to qualify as HEPA.

    That is why HEPA filters are actually more than 99.99% effective at removing hazardous particles from the air but are rated as so. These MMPS particles are still dangerous, which is why the higher the %, the better it is for your health.

    4) Replace air filters when they look dirty

    A common question we receive is, isn’t replacing filters expensive?

    We’ve found that many customers are replacing their filters well before they are full. It is particularly worrying because the fuller a filter is, the more effective it is. Our INPRESS system includes automatic motor power control that increases when pressure within the cabin decreases. Cabin pressure decreases over time due to the filter filling up, and when the INPRESS sees it getting lower, it increases blower speed to maintain the pressure setpoint. In addition, the INPRESS will let you know when the filter is too full when the motor is going at excessive speeds. This extends filter life and prevents early changing, saving you money.

    With motor control, it also blows through lower volumes of air to maintain that pressure, meaning less debris and the particulate matter goes through the filter, filling it up slower. We have introduced a new touch screen display that shows in real-time the capacity of our pressuriser, which means sites will know when to replace filters! That’s a cost-saving that can be multiplied by all the machines equipped with BreatheSafe systems.

    BreatheSafe HEPA filter after 2800 hours of use, and still effective

    5) An air filter will heat up the cabin

    Traditional pressuriser designs run their motors at 100% consistently to maintain airflow, resulting in a noisy, hot machine and atmosphere. An uncomfortable operator enclosure can result in untrained operators winding down windows for fresh air, letting all the hazardous particles inside.

    However, we design BreatheSafe High Pressure Air Filtration systems to blend with the machines pre-existing airconditioning system, so the fresh, clean air is cooled before entering the cabin. Beyond that, our motors run with minimal power and still provide substantial airflow, maintaining a comfortable enclosure in even the hottest environments.

    How many of these misconceptions did you believe? Let us know!

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    Meandu Trial HV Cabinet Dust Prevention

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    BreatheSafe consulted with Meandu Coal Mine concerning airborne mine dust in their high voltage cabinets. A High Pressure HEPA Filtration system was specifically designed and installed on a Komatsu 830E HV cabinet with four TL pressurisers.

    Safe Work Month 2021

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    Data Monitoring: The Key to Success in Minimising Exposure to Dust

    Data Monitoring: The Key to Success in Minimising Exposure to Dust

    Data Monitoring: The Key to Success in Minimising Exposure to Dust

    August 31, 2021 (Photo updated October 19, 2023)

    Remote data monitoring is the way forward for site operations—real-time warnings and long-range data to review help set risk management plans to prevent lung disease.  Having fully automatic data logging and alerting removes many opportunities for human error and is cost-effective in the long term. Access to this data provides convenient visibility and allows managers to make informed decisions to increase safety and productivity in the workplace.

    Monitor System Performance

    The greatest asset of a risk management plan is to have actual proof that an installed system is performing as designed; to the required level and outcome.

    Long-term data log values assist in evaluating the gains in performance. Data on the filter’s efficiency and potential events leading to exposure risks helps evaluate the installed filtration system. If there are many exposure events or the filter is filling quickly, it allows maintenance extra access to understanding where performance hindering lies. However, if performance is recorded as being successful and efficient, it can justify the costs of the filtration system and allow calculations of value provided.

    The performance gains are significant when utilising innovative technology such as the extended service cycle of brushless motors and filtering the correct volume of fresh air. BreatheSafe High Pressure Air Filtration systems automatically control these important performance aspects and record data for downloading to ensure optimal performance.

    Real time data monitoring graph from INPRESS TS of pressure change over time to minimise exposure of dust

    Monitor Operator Training Effectiveness

    The most crucial factor is keeping the working environment clean and free from airborne particulate matter, which can only be achieved with operator involvement.

    Training must be part of the respirable dust risk management plan to engage operators. Training requires measures that must be encouraged and kept, such as always keeping doors and windows closed. Minimising and controlling all potential events that can introduce contamination inside the cabin with respirable particulate.

    By recording the number of events and the reason behind the event, supervisors can identify individuals requiring further training or finding areas of improvement in the training program. 

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    BHP Autonomous Cabinet Field Trial

    BHP Autonomous Cabinet Field Trial

    Caterpillar 793F Autonomous Field Trial


    BHP Trial

    In 2018, BHP consulted with BreatheSafe concerning airborne mine dust mitigation for their Autonomous 793F trucks. A field trial was started to deliver a full system to mitigate airborne dust, heat and water ingress with their Caterpillar fleet of Autonomous Trucks – electrical cabinet.

    The Problem

    The ongoing issue is airborne mine dust: there is dust build-up inside the electrical cabinet. This is causing electrical systems to run hot due to dust accumulation and electrical connections to corrode and fail when contaminated with abrasive particles. Airborne mine dust can comprise different materials that affect components with abrasive and corrosive properties.

    Also, temperature control issues are critical in enclosure design. When temperature increases, it will affect electrical components. The optimal temperature for most electrical equipment is between 40⁰C to 50⁰C. Thus, when the internal temperature of electrical components rises above the optimal range, then their lifespan will decline. Further complication is OEM electrical cabinet has a small opening door which makes servicing difficult and time consuming


    The Solution

    BreatheSafe custom design insulated cabinet enclosure: equipped with HEPA fresh air pressurisation integrated with temperature sensing and active cooling plus large access door; the key features are:

    • Keeps electrical components dust free.
    • Dramatically reduced maintenance costs.
    • Active cooling maintains enclosure internal temperature below 50⁰C.
    • Automatic Pressure Control (positive pressure is always maintained).
    • Remote monitoring: ongoing data for temperature and positive pressure.
    • Long life brushless electrical motor.
    • HEPA filters mitigate dust particulate down to submicron level.
    • Large door makes easy access to internal components.
    • No tools required for all dust mitigation system servicing.
    • Full service back up

    The Result

    BreatheSafe autonomous cabinet enclosure can effectively control airborne dust down to submicron level with active cooling program. As soon as temperature rises above 45⁰C then pressuriser motor goes into high speed to cool enclosure effectively maintaining below 50⁰C.

    Remote monitoring data has assisted with maintenance schedule routine with real time data for dust loading calculation.

    Auto pressure control maintains positive pressure inside enclosure regardless of wind speed or as vehicle moves forward. Engine air pre-cleaner ejects coarse dust to successfully extend HEPA filters lifecycle.

    Trial success, BHP has placed order to convert fleet to BreatheSafe custom enclosure.