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Wind Turbines

Fire protection for wind energy turbines

Wind turbine fire protection from Firetrace is a crucial safety measure. Wind turbines manufactured today incorporate the highest quality and safety standards, but the potential for a fire always exists when electronics, flammable oils and hydraulic fluids exist in the same enclosure. Electrical fires can also result from both shorts in equipment and surges due to lightning strikes. Additionally, secondary wind driven brush fires originating from wind turbine fires can result in significant additional damage.

The Problem

With the height of many wind turbines nearing 300 feet (91 meters) and a cost of roughly $1 million per MW, when a fire occurs the only option is to wait patiently for the fire to burn out. This is very expensive and dangerous for employee safety, equipment down time/replacement and debris management.

The ever-increasing awareness on the renewable energy sector has made it more important than ever to be prepared and protected against known fire hazards. As of January 1, 2010 NFPA 850 includes wind turbine and out building fire protection recommendations identifying typical hazards specific to the wind industry. Frequency of reported fire incidents are on the rise and with the renewable sectors continued growth it is important to take the first steps in being proactive versus reactive to fire safety.

Until now, there have not been good fire suppression options available to the industry. Traditional fire suppression systems have been impractical due to the complexity, weight of the system and environmental impacts including vibration, temperature extremes, dust and airflow. The result — ineffective detection and suppression of a fire.

The Firetrace Solution

Firetrace offers a fully automatic fire suppression system ideal for the wind industry. In the nacelle and base of the tower there are specific areas Firetrace recommends protecting, which are also identified by NFPA 850 including:

  • Control Cabinet
  • Converter Cabinet
  • Hydraulic Station
  • Transformer
  • Brake
  • Capacitor Cabinet

Firetrace protects these areas with targeted fire suppression solutions. As these areas are considered micro-environments within the larger nacelle or tower, much smaller amounts of agent are required, resulting in systems that add a few pounds, minimal space requirements, and safety for equipment and staff in the event of a fire.

Firetrace solutions are installed on some of the most popular wind turbines globally and are able to be fit on new or existing wind turbines. Firetrace will conduct a fire assessment and provide a customized method of protection, required combination of systems and the most cost-effective fire suppression solution available on the market.