Fires are organized into classes that describe either their primary cause or the type of material that burns. The unique danger posed by a Class C fire, by definition, involves energized electrical equipment—more specifically, “appliances and wiring in which the use of a non-conductive extinguishing agent prevents injury from electrical shock.”
Oxygen, heat, fuel—that’s all a fire needs to burn. Electrical rooms can pose a fire hazard because they have all these ingredients in abundance. Electric currents create the heat, especially those flowing through damaged cords or wires because that current can escape. Dust, paper, and any other supplies used can act as the fuel.
Power transformers are critical—and expensive—parts of the power grid. These devices convert electricity to higher (or lower) voltages so it can be used appropriately. Transformers are generally classified by the cooling systems that allow them to dissipate heat as they run. Some use oil as an insulator and coolant, while others use gas or even dry powders. But all types require transformer fire protection.
Wind turbine installations are set to soar in regions such as South America, India, the Caribbean, and Africa. Projects in such regions are often characterized by hot climates, a focus on limiting costs, and turbines located in remote areas meaning addressing fire risk is essential. There are a number of emerging wind markets around the world where turbine installations are expected to increase dramatically.
In addition to keeping the building occupants safe, most codes require electrical fire protection of some kind. When it comes to electrical cabinet fire protection, organizations like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have laid out guidelines for contractors and occupants alike. Learn about some essential building codes for electrical fire safety, and how an electrical room is laid out to promote a safer work environment for everyone.
There’s no way around it: transformer fires are highly dangerous, and they can be very expensive. And although they don’t occur frequently, it only takes one catastrophic event to put lives, property, and businesses at great risk. That’s why effective fire suppression systems are so important. With that in mind, how do you protect a transformer from fire? We will briefly explore the essentials of transformer fire protection—including key causes and best practices for preventing transformer fires.
The vast majority of wind farm owners and operators only consider fire risk after a fire event, and many make assumptions that insurers will cover all fire-related losses. A total of 75% of renewable energy companies that own or operate wind farms only begin to seriously consider fire risk after they’ve actually experienced a fire, according to statistics from Firetrace International. By addressing this issue so late, companies could run the risk of not being able to insure assets or experience significant rate increases at a location where there has already been a fire.
Transformers are essential to safely provide power to businesses, infrastructure, and neighborhoods. A transformer is designed to reduce the voltage before it enters the structure or panel, because power lines transmit energy at a very high voltage. The possibility of electrical fires and short circuits are diminished since transformers are made to offer voltage stability and overload tolerance.
Wind farms located offshore are difficult to access and harder to repair. Consequently, the financial impact of offshore turbine fires can be much more significant than onshore incidents.