Wind Turbines Choose Coltraco for Fire Safety
Why has the world’s leading turbine operator chosen Portalevel® MAX to improve their fire safety?
Fires cause turbine failure. Turbine fires are expensive. They attract negative publicity. It is estimated that 0.3-0.5 fire incidents occur per 1000 power stations (onshore and offshore) every year. What is more, wind turbine fires tend to cause losses equal to or above the original cost of the wind power plant - especially offshore!
As electricity generation becomes more reliant on renewable energy, wind power is becoming increasing important in the energy mix. As the country becomes more reliant on this form of generation, keeping them fully operational and at reduced levels of risk is going to become ever more important, and we think requires a fresh look at best practice maintenance and safety management.
ONCE FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEMS ARE INSTALLED, INSPECTIONS ARE NEEDED.
There is a clear trend toward including fire suppression in newer units, but with systems, comes the requirement of maintenance. Gas extinguishing systems are located at the base of the tower of a wind turbine. Introducing fixed fire extinguishing systems to afford fire protection is becoming more prevalent because of the increase rate of fire incidents and the value of turbines increasing. We need to address how fire systems themselves can be constantly monitored to ensure operational efficacy and to reduce risk, saving costs and increasing revenues.
A CALL FOR CONSTANT MONITORING OF WIND TURBINES
There is a call for remote fire alarms in the turbines due to the lack of easy fire servicing stations, so why not also for the gaseous systems? Why have an alarm system to alert fire services of the fire if the protection system cannot secure the nacelle? A dynamic system needs monitoring. The reality is that gaseous systems are checked for contents annually because they are pressurised and anything that is dynamic offers risk of loss of contents, but this fails to deal with the probability of discharge or leakage for the 364 days per annum in the interim between certification checks.
SOLUTIONS PROVIDED BY COLTRACO ULTRASONICS
Coltraco Ultrasonics provide smart Safesite® solutions which enable wind turbine owners and operators to improve their fire safety management and reduce the risks to human life, business continuity caused by any downtime and thus minimise risk to reputation.
- For 24/7 monitoring – ideal for remote, unmanned locations: Permalevel™ Multiplex a fixed fire suppression monitoring system, designed for continuous contents verification.
- regular inspection: Portalevel® MAX is a handheld ultrasonic liquid level indicator, which can service a cylinder in 30 seconds (in contrast to 15minutes by traditional manual weighing) with accuracy of up to 1.5mm off the true liquid level.
Published December 2017
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