Low- and medium-voltage power circuits serving three-phase alternating current equipment shall be protected by suitable circuit breakers of adequate interrupting capacity which are properly tested and maintained as prescribed by the Secretary. Such breakers shall be equipped with devices to provide protection against undervoltage, grounded phase, short circuit, and overcurrent.
Circuit breakers used to protect low-and medium-voltage circuits underground shall be located in areas which are accessible for inspection, examination, and testing, have safe roofs, and are clear of any moving equipment used in haulageways.
The following circuit schemes will be regarded as providing the necessary protection to the circuit required by § 75.900:
(a) Ground check relays may be used for undervoltage protection if the relay coils are designed to trip the circuit breaker when line voltage decreases to 40 to 60 percent of the nominal line voltage.
(b) One undervoltage device installed in the main secondary circuit at the source transformer may be used to provide undervoltage protection for each circuit that receives power from that transformer.
(c) One circuit breaker may be used to protect two or more branch circuits if the circuit breaker is adjusted to afford overcurrent protection for the smallest conductor.
(d) Circuit breakers with shunt trip, series trip or undervoltage release devices may be used if the tripping elements of such devices are selected or adjusted in accordance with the settings listed in the tables of the National Electric Code, 1968.
Circuit breakers protecting low- and medium-voltage alternating current circuits serving three-phase alternating current equipment and their auxiliary devices shall be tested and examined at least once each month by a person qualified as provided in § 75.153. In performing such tests, actuating any of the circuit breaker auxiliaries or control circuits in any manner which causes the circuit breaker to open, shall be considered a proper test. All components of the circuit breaker and its auxiliary devices shall be visually examined and such repairs or adjustments as are indicated by such tests and examinations shall be carried out immediately.
The operator of any coal mine shall maintain a written record of each test, examination, repair, or adjustment of all circuit breakers protecting low- and medium-voltage circuits serving three-phase alternating current equipment used in the mine. Such record shall be kept in a book approved by the Secretary.
(a) Low- and medium-voltage three-phase alternating-current circuits used underground shall contain either a direct or derived neutral which shall be grounded through a suitable resistor at the power center, and a grounding circuit, originating at the grounded side of the grounding resistor, shall extend along with the power conductors and serve as a grounding conductor for the frames of all the electrical equipment supplied power from that circuit, except that the Secretary or his authorized representative may permit ungrounded low- and medium-voltage circuits to be used underground to feed such stationary electrical equipment if such circuits are either steel armored or installed in grounded rigid steel conduit throughout their entire length. The grounding resistor, where required, shall be of the proper ohmic value to limit the ground fault current to 25 amperes. The grounding resistor shall be rated for maximum fault current continuously and insulated from ground for a voltage equal to the phase-to-phase voltage of the system.
(b) Diesel-powered electrical generators used as an alternative to power centers for the purpose of moving equipment in, out, and around the mine, and to perform work in areas where permissible equipment is not required, must comply with the following:
(1) The diesel engine powering the electrical generator must be approved under 30 CFR part 7, subpart E.
(2) A grounding resistor rated for the phase-to-phase voltage of the system must be provided to limit the ground-fault current to not more than 0.5 amperes. The grounding resistor(s) must be located:
(i) Between the wye-connected generator neutral and the generator frame; (see Figure I in Appendix A to subpart J of this part) or
(ii) Between the wye-connected generator neutral and the generator frame and between the wye-connected transformer secondary and the transformer frame when an isolation transformer(s) is used and the generator is supplying power to the other equipment; (see Figure II in Appendix A to subpart J of this part) or
(iii) Between the wye-connected generator neutral and the generator frame when an auto-transformer is used. (see Figure III in Appendix A to subpart J of this part)
(3) Each three-phase output circuit of the generator must be equipped with a sensitive ground fault relay. The protective relay must be set to cause the circuit interrupting device that supplies power to the primary windings of each transformer to trip and shut down the diesel engine when a phase-to-frame fault of not more than 90 milliamperes occurs.
(4) Each three-phase output circuit that supplies power to equipment must be equipped with an instantaneous sensitive ground-fault relay that will cause its respective circuit interrupting device(s) to trip and cause shutdown of the diesel engine when a phase-to-frame fault occurs. The grounded-phase protection must be set at not more than 90 milliamps. Current transformers used for the ground-fault protection must be single window-type and must be installed to encircle all three phase conductors. Equipment safety grounding conductors must not pass through or be connected in series with ground-fault current transformers.
(5) Each three-phase circuit interrupting device must be provided with a means to provide short-circuit, overcurrent, grounded-phase, undervoltage, and ground wire monitoring protection. The instantaneous only trip unit for the circuit interrupting device(s) in use must be adjusted to trip at not more than 75 percent of the minimum available short circuit current at the point where the portable cable enters the equipment or the maximum allowable instantaneous settings specified in § 75.601-1, whichever is less.
(6) The equipment portable cable length(s) must not exceed the length(s) specified in 30 CFR part 18, appendix I, table 9, Specifications for Cables Longer than 500 Feet.
(7) Permanent label(s) listing the maximum circuit interrupting device setting(s) and maximum portable cable length(s) must be installed on each instantaneous trip unit or be maintained near each three-phase circuit interrupting device. The permanent label(s) must be maintained legibly.
(8) The circuit interrupting device that supplies three-phase power circuit(s) to the equipment being powered must be limited to the use of only one circuit interrupting device at a time when equipment is being moved in, out, and around the mine.
(9) The grounding system must include an MSHA-accepted ground wire monitor system that satisfies the requirements of § 75.902; or have a No. 1/0 or larger external grounding conductor to bond and ground the frames of all equipment to the frame of the generator.
(10) All trailing cables extending from the generator to equipment must comply with § 75.907.
(11) A strain relief device must be provided on each end of the trailing cables that extends between the generator and the piece of equipment being powered.
(12) Prior to moving each piece of equipment or performing work, a functional test of each ground fault and ground wire monitor system must be performed by a qualified electrician who meets the requirements of § 75.153. The ground-fault circuit must be tested without subjecting the circuit to an actual grounded phase condition. A record of each test must be maintained and made available to authorized representatives of the Secretary and to the miners in such mine.
On or before September 30, 1970, low- and medium-voltage resistance grounded systems shall include a fail-safe ground check circuit to monitor continuously the grounding circuit to assure continuity which ground check circuit shall cause the circuit breaker to open when either the ground or pilot check wire is broken, or other no less effective device approved by the Secretary or his authorized representative to assure such continuity, except that an extension of time, not in excess of 12 months, may be permitted by the Secretary on a mine-by-mine basis if he determines that such equipment is not available. Cable couplers shall be constructed so that the ground check continuity conductor shall be broken first and the ground conductors shall be broken last when the coupler is being uncoupled.
The maximum voltage used for such ground check circuits shall not exceed 40 volts.
Ground check systems not employing pilot check wires will be approved only if it is determined that the system includes a fail safe design causing the circuit breaker to open when ground continuity is broken.
In grounding equipment frames of all stationary, portable or mobile equipment receiving power from resistance grounded systems separate connections shall be used when practicable.
Disconnecting devices shall be installed in conjunction with the circuit breaker to provide visual evidence that the power is disconnected.
Circuit breakers shall be marked for identification.
Single-phase loads shall be connected phase-to-phase.
Trailing cables for mobile equipment shall contain one or more ground conductors having a cross-sectional area of not less than one-half the power conductor, and, on September 30, 1970, an insulated conductor for the ground continuity check circuit or other no less effective device approved by the Secretary or his authorized representative to assure such continuity, except that an extension of time, not in excess of 12 months may be permitted by the Secretary on a mine-by-mine basis if he determines that such equipment is not available. Splices made in the cables shall provide continuity of all components.
Trailing cables for medium-voltage circuits shall include grounding conductors, a ground check conductor, and grounded metallic shields around each power conductor or a ground metallic shield over the assembly, except that on equipment employing cable reels, cables without shields may be used if the insulation is rated 2,000 volts or more.
[70 FR 77737, Dec. 30, 2005]