The FIRETRACE automatic fire suppression system from Firetrace International is on display in Booth 11948. The device was developed for the fast and reliable protection of critical components in onshore and offshore wind turbines. The system operates without need for external power so it can activate automatically around-the-clock without requiring manual activation or monitoring. What’s more, it needs almost no maintenance.
FIRETRACE is a cylinder filled with an extinguishing agent attached to proprietary Firetrace Detection Tubing by a custom-engineered valve. This leak-resistant polymer tubing is a linear pneumatic heat and flame detector immune to vibration and shocks. The tube was developed to deliver a required temperature-sensitive detection and delivery characteristics in wind-turbine equipment. When the tubing is exposed to heat and radiant energy from a fire, it bursts and instantly directs the suppression agent at the source of the fire, precisely where it starts and before it can take hold and do extensive damage to the turbine.
Instead of trying to protect the entire turbine, individual FIRETRACE systems protect critical areas most prone to fire, such as electrical enclosures, near generators, and adjacent cabinets housing controls or electrical transmission equipment. The system can also protect braking systems, generator enclosures, SCADA [Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition] systems, and hydraulic systems with potential to rupture near points of potential ignition.
FIRETRACE is said to overcome major drawbacks of traditional flooding suppression systems. Vibration can loosen connections on traditional systems, rendering them useless, while dirt, dust and temperature extremes are known to cause false alarms and false suppression discharges. This can result in the unwarranted disabling of the detection and suppression system, leaving the expensive turbine vulnerable to damage or destruction by fire, or the wholly unnecessary additional cost incurred accessing the turbine.
Other challenges with traditional systems include the fact that most turbine housings have several openings that let air circulate to reduce the internal temperatures, and any gap between housing and support tower is typically an open space. The openings keep from providing the “designated agent concentration” in traditional systems. Also, such challenges typically add hundreds of pounds to the turbine.
FIRETRACE is the only UL listed and Factory Mutual approved tube-operated system in the world that is tested for automatic fire detection and suppression. It is available only from ISO 9001:2008 registered Firetrace International’s global network of authorized distributors, trading partners skilled in hazard analysis, agent and system selection, installation, commissioning and support.
Filed Under: Safety