Fire Detection for Energy Storage
Industry | Hydrogen Fuel Cell Industry
Fuel cells are usually powered by the highly flammable and abundant gas hydrogen. Hydrogen is lighter as air and very diffusive. It can diffuse quickly when it escapes into the air. However, if the hydrogen accumulates in a confined space without sufficient ventilation, such as under a ceiling, it may ignite or cause explosions. It is therefor vital to ensure that specific solutions for fire detection are put into place in the energy storage.
Hydrogen fires present specific risks, as they are almost invisible to the naked eye during daylight hours. If a worker believes that there is a hydrogen leak, it should always be presumed that a flame is present. In addition, they have low radiant heat, so the fire may not be detected until a person is actually close to or inside the fire itself. Without a detection system in place, a hydrogen fire could go entirely undetected.
Hydrogen must be handled properly to prevent fire. High expertise, together with fast and reliable hydrogen emissions monitoring, and early fire detection, are required in fuel cell production facilities, storage and shipping areas, and when integrating fuel cells in various automotive vehicles or industrial sites.
Fire Detection for Energy Storage
Industry | Wind Turbines
Wind turbine fires can occur due to lightning strikes, which are more common due to the turbine’s height, as well as its exposed, high-altitude location. Another significant percentage of fires are caused due to mechanical or electric malfunctions. As the turbine’s nacelle contains up to 200 gallons of flammable hydraulic fluid and lubricants, and the nacelle itself is made from flammable resin and glass fiber, the risk of ignition is high. This risk is increased by the presence of internal insulation that may be contaminated by oil deposits. Learn more about how to mitigate these risk and implement fire detection for energy storage and wind turbines.
Electrical equipment, such as capacitors, transformers, generators, electrical controls, and transmission equipment all have the potential to catch fire, as do Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. Loose or broken electrical connections or overloaded electrical circuits are also a cause for concern.
Braking systems are also a high fire risk, as they may overheat. In this process, hot fragments of brake material may break off, and become combined with expelled hydraulic fluid from ruptured hydraulic hoses. Hydraulic pumps and connections can also fail, allowing the fluid to ignite when it meets a hot surface.
Due to the many fire risks present, a flame detection system is a critical component of every wind turbine configuration. The system must be able to detect and suppress flames at the earliest stage, before a large fire erupts.
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