Using Video Smoke Detection Technology In Power Stations

28th April 2015

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A Power Station, or Power Plant, is a facility in which electricity is generated by converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. Typically consisting of one or more generators, power plants use energy, such as that created by burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas or nuclear power, to rotate and create relative motion between a conductor and a magnetic field.

Renewable power sources including wind, solar, wave and hydroelectric are also now becoming more widely used. Thermal power stations that produce waste heat are often required to incorporate cooling towers to reduce the temperature of the waste before it is released into the atmosphere.

The Risks

Given their complex nature and large areas, power stations pose an plethora of challenging environments when it comes to the installation of fire detection. On top of this, power stations are home to a number of combustible materials and are prone to build ups of dust, dirt and grease making them a considerable fire hazard.

False alarms are common resulting in costly clean ups after suppressants are released and, of course, a fire can have a devastating effect on equipment, revenue and most importantly, human life. Therefore, the need for a reliable smoke detection system is great.

The Challenges

  • Colossal ground areas and high ceilings create the perfect environment for smoke stratification and increase the time it takes smoke to reach detectors.
  • High levels of dirt, oil, dust and grease mean that fire detection systems require regular maintenance.
  • Fires can be difficult to detect as the shell of a turbine can enclose and conceal flames hindering early detection.
  • The risk of false alarm is high with costly consequences.

Taking all these factors into consideration the chosen fire alarm system needs to be easy to maintain, operate efficiently in dusty and greasy environments and provide an early warning of fire yet be impervious to false alarms.

The Solution

Although there are a number of solutions that are available for protecting such a challenging environment, an aspirating smoke detection system combined with a secondary video smoke detection solutions would be our ideal choice.

Aspirating smoke detection (ASD) has the ability to provide an early warning of fire, has the capacity to deal with capacious areas and can be installed to reliably monitor areas that are concealed or have restricted access.

In addition to ASD, video smoke detection (VSD) can be installed as a secondary solution to provide visual confirmation of fire, therefore increasing the performance of the system and reducing the risk of false alarm.

VideoFyre - Video Smoke Detection

VideoFyreVSD, in particular VideoFyre, is a highly flexible smoke detection solution that is capable of detecting smoke from anywhere within a camera’s field of vision, minimising the issues caused by smoke stratification and assisting in the reliable monitoring of large areas.

One VideoFyre detector is capable of covering a larger area than most point detectors can handle, reducing the number of devices that are needed and not only reducing maintenance time but installation time, the number of devices needed and therefore the overall cost.

VideoFyre is a self contained unit that can be integrated with existing analogue surveillance cameras, allowing for real time monitoring. This provides visual confirmation before emergency services are contacted or suppression systems are activated and therefore greatly reduces the risk of costly false alarms.

To summarise: with it’s capacity to detect fire at its source, VideoFyre is unaffected by smoke stratification and the diffusion caused by high ceilings and high airflow areas, it can detect smoke patterns and is able to differentiate between smoke and dust. When used together with an aspirating smoke detection system (or any other type of fire detection system) VideoFyre allows for alarms to be visually verified thus reducing the risk of false alarm.


For more information on video smoke detection or to discuss any of our other products please feel free to get in touch either by phone on +44 (0) 1329 835 024, by email to sales@eurofyre.co.uk or via the online enquiry form situated on our Contact page.

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Mark Redfearn

Posted by Mark Redfearn

Mark is the technical services manager at Eurofyre.

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