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An electricity company distributes 97 percent of all electricity in their country. In 2014, they reported 5 percent (2 percent in rural areas) of the country has electricity.  They have since improved that number to 26.7 percent of the total population (8 percent in rural areas) that has access to the national electrical grid. They have seen their customer base grow significantly as the company builds more power plants and substations in the country. Even with that growth, this electric company is still troubled with power outages that last days and sometimes even weeks before the power is back on.

Fire Incidents

Over the last ten years, the electric company has had several fires at substations throughout the country. The fires originated in switchgears, motor control units (MCUs), electrical panels, and transformers. Electrical arcing, electrical faults, and poor maintenance caused the fires. The company needed a way to protect the valuable equipment and reduce power outage times that resulted from these fires. Action was necessary to address the fires and the disruption of service. The company reached out to Firetrace for help.

Fire Suppression System Solution

Firetrace installed several direct low pressure (DLP) fire suppression systems on switchgears, MCUs, and electrical panels at three different substations around the country. Throughout the electrical panel in areas where electrical fires are more likely to occur, the Firetrace detection tubing is strategically installed. When a fire starts in the enclosure, the flame comes in contact with the pressurized detection tubing, which bursts within seconds of flame exposure. This triggers the cylinder to release a clean fire-suppressing gas, dispersing it through the burst hole at the source of the fire.  The Firetrace DLP system quickly and effectively suppresses the fires within enclosures.

Money Saving Results

In six months, the electricity company had three different fires. The fires were suppressed by Firetrace systems, minimizing damage and downtime.

  Fire Incident No. 1 Fire Incident No. 2 Fire Incident No. 3
Equipment 25 switchgear panels 5 switchgear panels 1 large electrical panel
Potential Loss $1,500,000 $300,000 $60,000
Total Potential Equipment Damage/Loss: $1,860,000

The cost of damages to the panels alone would have been $1.86 million.
However, the biggest cost savings comes from eliminating downtime, which could have been between 6 to 12 months. The unplanned downtime from the fires would have cost $1 million in Service Level Agreement violations and lost revenue from energy customers.


Learn more about Fire Suppression Systems