To combat dwindling fossil fuel reserves and the ongoing threat of climate change alternative methods of generating energy are increasingly being sought. One such alternativeis biomass fuel which is being utilised by energy supplier E.ON who have developed a purpose built biomass depot at Liverpool Docks.
At this site a large conveyor belt is used to transport the biomass fuel from the cargo ships into storage. With such a large quantity of combustible material in one place a comprehensive fire and safety plan was devised for the site which highlighted the need for the conveyor to have its very own dedicated fire detection and suppression system.
However this project came with distinctive challenges that only a specialised detector would be able to cater for such as:
- High levels of flammable dust that could potentially ignite or obscure the view of flames from detectors.
- Rapid fire detection was needed to quickly activate the suppression system and prevent the fire from being carried further along the conveyor.
- Vents and gaps in the housing of the conveyor could allow for natural and artificial light to penetrate the interior potentially causing false alarms.
The flameproof Talentum IR3 flame detector is designed to cope with all of these challenges. With three IR sensors and an inbuilt algorithm specially designed to identify flames it is capable of quickly detecting flames through dust, steam and smoke. Additionally, the sensors each respond to different wavelengths in the infrared region of the spectrum meaning the Talentum IR3 can distinguish between a flame and other sources of both ambient and artificial light. Finally with the flameproof ( or Exd) version selected the potential for ignition of the flammable dust caused by a spark from the detector was eliminated.
When tested in the conveyor the Talentum was capable of detecting a small burner flame at a distance of 7 metres away and within 15 seconds of the flame being ignited the water mist was activated which demonstrated the Talentum detector as the ideal detector for this high risk application.