With such a large presence of combustible material in one place the biomass conveyor required a fire-detection system that could quickly and efficiently detect fires.
The FFE Talentum IR3 was chosen as the ideal detector for this environment due to its false-alarm immunity and speed of flame detection.
- FFE Talentum IR3 provides rapid and reliable flame detection for the biomass conveyor system at Gladstone Dock in Liverpool.
- IP66-rated Exd casing was used to prevent ignition of any explosive dust present, and to protect the detector from water and dust ingress.
- The high-pressure water-mist system was activated by Talentum within 15 seconds of a test flame being ignited.
Protecting a critical link in the renewable-energy supply chain
As the world grapples with dwindling fossil-fuel reserves and the threat of climate change, developing alternative means of generating energy is of critical importance.
Initial steps in reducing fossil-fuel dependency are being taken by the development of ‘waste to energy’ schemes across Europe and North America. These burn non-recyclable domestic and industrial waste (including plastic) in specialist incinerators to produce heat and power. This reduces the amount of such waste in landfill sites where it can take decades to decompose.
Another alternative to fossil fuels is biomass, plant-based material that is not used for food.
One form of biomass comes in the shape of small pellets created as by-products of the wood and agriculture industries, and there is a growing market for using these as fuel for electricity generation.
A number of Britain’s remaining coal-fired power stations, such as Drax in Yorkshire and Lynemouth in Northumberland, are being converted to accept biomass, and this requires the development of infrastructure to transport and store the pellets. FFE were recently selected to provide fire detection for a new biomass conveyor at Liverpool Docks.
The conveyor is part of a biomass handling depot constructed at Gladstone Dock in Liverpool by energy supplier E.ON. It actually consists of three separate conveyors with an overall length in excess of 700 metres, which carry the biomass pellets directly from the hold of the cargo ship to either a storage building or to a train for transporting to a power station. The presence of such a large quantity of combustible material in one place demanded a detailed and comprehensive fire and safety plan for the whole site, and it was decided that the conveyor needed a dedicated fire-detection and suppression system. Fireworks Fire Protection was commissioned by E.ON to recommend and install a system.
Due to the nature of the fuel, which can support both smouldering and flaming combustion, a high-pressure water-mist system was installed, with pipework and nozzles designed to apply water at a specific flow rate and spray pattern. To improve the efficiency and speed of response of the system, the conveyor is divided into zones, each equipped with a flame detector, control panel, valve and set of spray nozzles. Each zone panel is linked in turn to a site- wide addressable panel which triggers the water mist to operate in zones around the location of an alarm, and immediately stops the conveyors – essential if the fire is to be contained quickly. Rapid and reliable flame detection was a critical design requirement, and so Fireworks selected FFE’s Talentum detectors to be used in the system.
For more information, go to www.ffeuk.com