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1. WO2020117383 - HOSE FOR PROVIDING AN EMERGENCY FRESH AIR SUPPLY TO AN UNDERGROUND VAULT AFTER AN EXPLOSION

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS

The invention claimed is:

1. A system for use with an underground vault after an explosion has been initiated, the underground vault having a manhole opening, the system comprising:

a blower; and

a hose comprising first and second ends, the first end being connected to and receiving fresh air from the blower, the hose conducting the fresh air to the second end, which is positioned inside the underground vault, the fresh air providing sufficient breathable air to any personnel present in the underground vault, the hose being blast-resistant, arc-fiash-resistant, and fire-resistant.

2. The system of claim 1 , further comprising:

a first hose anchor anchoring the hose at or near the manhole opening and holding the hose in place with respect to the underground vault.

3. The system of claim 2, further comprising:

a second hose anchor anchoring the hose at or near the second end of the hose.

4. The system of claim 1 , further comprising:

a hose anchor anchoring the hose at or near the second end of the hose.

5. The system of claim 1 , wherein the explosion is at least one of an electrical arc flash and a chemical explosion.

6. The system of claim 1 , wherein a worst case arc flash has a magnitude of at least at least 15 kA, and

the hose is constructed from a hose material configured to withstand effects of at least the worst case arc flash occurring in the underground vault.

7. The system of claim 6, wherein the hose material includes one or more of the following materials: poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide (“para aram id”) fibers, ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, polycarbonate, a carbon fiber composite, steel, and titanium.

8. The system of claim 1 , wherein the hose is constructed from at least one hose material configured to self-extinguish in less than a predetermined amount of time from an end of an arc flash event.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein the predetermined amount of time is 30 seconds.

10. The system of claim 8, wherein the at least one hose material includes one or more of the following materials: polybenzimidazole, poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide (“para-aramid") fibers, poly-meta-phenylene isophthalamide (“meta-aramid”) fibers, flame retardant cotton, coated nylon, carbon foam, polyhydroquinone ~ dimidazopyridine, melamine, modacrylic, and leather.

11. A hose for conducting fresh air from a blower to an underground vault after an explosion has been initiated, the underground vault having a manhole opening, the hose comprising:

a first end connectable to the blower and configured to receive the fresh air from the blower; and

a second end configured to be positioned inside the underground vault and to provide the fresh air to an interior of the underground vault, the fresh air providing sufficient breathable air to any personnel present in the underground vault, the hose being constructed from at least one hose material that renders the hose blast-resistant, arc-fiash-resistant, and fire-resistant.

12. The hose of claim 11 , wherein a worst case arc flash has a magnitude of at least at least 15 kA, and

the at least one hose material is configured to withstand effects of at least the worst case arc flash occurring in the underground vault.

13. The hose of claim 12, wherein the at least one hose material includes one or more of the following materials: poiy-paraphenyiene

terephthalamide (“para aramid”) fibers, ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, polycarbonate, a carbon fiber composite, steel, and titanium.

14. The hose of claim 1 1 , wherein the at least one hose material is configured to se!f-extinguish in less than a predetermined amount of time from an end of an arc flash event.

15. The hose of claim 14, wherein the predetermined amount of time is 30 seconds.

16. The hose of claim 14, wherein the at least one hose material includes one or more of the following materials: polybenzimidazole, poiy-paraphenylene terephthalamide (“para-aramid”) fibers, poly-meta-phenylene isophthalamide (“meta-aramid ) fibers, flame retardant cotton, coated nylon, carbon foam, poiyhydroquinone - dimidazopyridine, melamine, modacryiic, and leather.

17. The hose of claim 1 1 , wherein the at least one hose material comprises an outer layer constructed of a flame retardant material.

18. The hose of claim 1 1 , wherein the at least one hose material comprises:

an inner layer constructed of a first material that is both blast resistant and are-flash-resistant; and

an outer layer constructed of a flame retardant material.

19. A method comprising:

connecting a first end of a blast-resistant, arc-flash-resistant, and fire-resistant hose to a blower configured to supply fresh air to the first end of the hose;

dropping a second end of the hose through a manhole opening of an underground vault, the hose conducting the fresh air to the second end, which discharges the fresh air into an interior of the underground vault;

entering, by a human worker, the interior when dangerous gases inside the interior are at a safe level; and

allowing the hose to continue discharging the fresh air into the interior of the underground vault after an explosion occurs and while the human worker is inside the interior, the discharged fresh air providing sufficient breathable air to the human worker in the interior of the underground vault after the explosion.

20. The method of claim 19, further comprising: anchoring the hose at or near the manhole opening to hold the hose in place with respect to the underground vault.

21. The method of claim 20, further comprising:

anchoring the hose at or near the second end of the hose.

22. The method of claim 19, further comprising:

anchoring the hose at or near the second end of the hose.

23. The method of claim 19, wherein the explosion is at least one of an electrical arc flash and a chemical explosion.

24. A flow restrictor for installation in a connection comprising a terminus opening into an underground vault, a flow comprising one or more gases flowing through an annulus of the connection, the flow restrictor comprising:

an annular restriction device configured to be installed in the annulus near the terminus opening of the connection, the annular restriction device being configured to restrict the flow through the annulus of the connection; and

a concentration member configured to concentrate the flow, the concentration member comprising a through-channel configured to allow the concentrated flow to flow between the underground vault and the annulus.

25. The flow restrictor of claim 24, wherein the flow has an annular velocity, and

the annular restriction device is configured to restrict the annular velocity to less than 0.5 m/sec.

26. The flow restrictor of claim 25, wherein the annular restriction device is configured to restrict the annular velocity to less than 0.1 m/sec.

27. The flow restrictor of claim 26, wherein the concentration member is configured to concentrate the flow by at least 2-fold.

28. The flow restrictor of claim 27, wherein the concentration member is configured to concentrate the flow by at least 10-fold.

29. The flow restrictor of claim 25, wherein the concentration member is configured to concentrate the flow by at least 2-fold.

30. The flow restrictor of claim 29, wherein the concentration member is configured to concentrate the flow by at least 10-fold.

31. The flow restrictor of claim 24, wherein the concentration member is configured to concentrate the flow by at least 2-fold.

32. The flow restrictor of claim 31 , wherein the concentration member is configured to concentrate the flow by at least 10-fold.

33. The flow restrictor of claim 24, wherein the concentration member is a tube.

34. The flow restrictor of claim 33, wherein the tube is constructed from a polymeric or metallic material.

35. The flow restrictor of claim 33, wherein the tube has a nominal outer diameter of 3/8 inches and a nominal inner diameter of 1/4 inches.

36. The flow restrictor of claim 33, wherein the tube is positioned in a bottom portion of the annulus of the connection.

37. The flow restrictor of claim 33, wherein the tube extends beyond the annular restriction device and into the annulus of the connection

38. The flow restrictor of claim 33, wherein the tube is generally horizontal, and

the through-channel is configured to allow liquid to drain freely from the annulus of the connection through the through-channel.

39. The flow restrictor of claim 33, wherein the tube includes at least one antifouling feature.

40. The flow restrictor of claim 39, wherein the antifouling feature is a conically shaped screen.

41. A system for use with a connection comprising a terminus opening into an underground vault, the system comprising:

a perturbation detector configured to detect values of each of one or more properties and transmit a signal encoding the values; and

a system controller configured to receive the signal, use at least one of the values to determine whether a fire is occurring or has occurred, and alert a user when the system controller determines that the fire is occurring or has occurred.

42. The system of claim 41 for use with a flow comprising one or more gases flowing through an annulus of the connection, wherein the perturbation detector is configured to detect a gas property of at least one of the one or more gases, and

the one or more properties comprise the gas property.

43. The system of claim 42, wherein the gas property is a concentration of the at least one gas.

44. The system of claim 43, wherein the perturbation detector is positioned at or near the terminus opening and the concentration of the at least one gas is measured in-line.

45. The system of claim 43, wherein the perturbation detector is positioned remotely with respect to the terminus opening and the concentration of the at least one gas is measured remotely.

46. The system of claim 42, wherein the gas property is a temperature of the at least one gas.

47. The system of claim 41 for use with a cable extending through an annulus of the connection, wherein the perturbation detector is configured to detect a current flowing through the cable, and

the one or more properties comprise a magnitude of the current

48. The system of claim 41 for use with a cable extending through an annulus of the connection and a flow comprising one or more gases flowing

through the annulus of the connection, wherein the perturbation detector comprises a first sensor configured to detect a current flowing through the cable and a second sensor configured to detect a gas property of at least one of the one or more gases, and

the one or more properties comprise both a magnitude of the current and the gas property.

49. The system of claim 41 for use with a flow comprising one or more gases flowing through an annulus of the connection, wherein the perturbation detector is configured to detect a flow vector of the flow, and

the one or more properties comprise the flow vector.

50. The system of claim 49, wherein the flow vector comprises at least one of a direction and a flow rate.

51. The system of claim 41 for use with a flow comprising particulates flowing through an annulus of the connection, wherein the perturbation detector is configured to detect a concentration of the particulates, and

the one or more properties comprise the concentration.

52. The system of claim 51 , wherein the perturbation detector is positioned at or near the terminus opening and the concentration of the particulates is measured in-line.

53. The system of claim 51 , wherein the perturbation detector is positioned remotely with respect to the terminus opening and the concentration of the particulates is measured remotely.

54. The system of claim 51 , wherein the concentration of the particulates is detected by the perturbation detector using at least one of deposition or filtration.

55. A method comprising:

receiving, by a system controller, first and second current measurements collected from a cable at opposite first and second ends,

respectively, of a connection;

calculating, by the system controller, a difference between the first and second current measurements;

determining, by the system controller, the cable is leaking current when the difference is non-zero; and

alerting, by the system controller, a user that the cable is leaking current when the system controller determines the cable is leaking current.

56. A method comprising:

obtaining, by a system controller, an estimated temperature of a cable within an annulus of a connection to an underground vault, the connection having a terminus and a flow restrictor installed at or near the terminus, the flow restrictor comprising a open-ended through-channel interconnecting the annulus of the connection with the underground vault;

obtaining, by the system controller, a channel temperature inside the open-ended through-channel;

determining, by the system controller, an exothermic event is likely occurring when the channel temperature is greater than the estimated temperature by more than a threshold amount; and

alerting, by the system controller, a user when the system controller determines the exothermic event is likely occurring.

57. A method for use with an annulus of a connection interconnecting first and second underground vaults, the connection having a first terminus and a first flow restrictor installed at or near the first terminus, the first flow restrictor comprising a first open-ended through-channel interconnecting the annulus of the connection with the first underground vault, the connection having a second terminus and a second flow restrictor installed at or near the second terminus, the second flow restrictor comprising a second open-ended through-channel interconnecting the annulus with the second underground vault, the method comprising:

obtaining, by a system controller, a first flow direction of one or more gases flowing inside the first open-ended through-channel;

obtaining, by the system controller, a second flow direction of one or more gases flowing inside the second open-ended through-channel;

determining, by the system controller, a gas-creating-event is occurring in the annulus of the connection when the first flow direction is toward the first underground vault and the second flow direction is toward the second underground vault; and

alerting, by the system controller, a user when the system controller determines the gas-creating-event is occurring in the annulus of the connection.

58. The method of claim 57, further comprising:

obtaining, by the system controller, an estimated temperature of a cable within the annulus of the connection;

obtaining, by the system controller, a first channel temperature inside the first open-ended through-channel;

determining, by the system controller, the gas-creating-event is an exothermic event when the first channel temperature is greater than the estimated temperature by more than a threshold amount; and

informing, by the system controller, the user that the exothermic event is occurring when the system controller determines the gas-creating-event is the exothermic event.