World’s Largest Solar Power Plant Set for Australia

solar power plant

Australia has approved the biggest solar thermal power plant in the world.  A 150-MW structure is set to be built in Port Augusta, Australia.

The project will provide 650 construction jobs for the local economy, and provide electricity needs for the state government.

The plant will begin being built in 2018, and will cost $510 million.  It is planned to be finished in 2020.

“The significance of solar thermal generation lies in its ability to provide energy virtually on demand through the use of thermal energy storage to store heat for running the power turbines,” said Wasim Saman, a University of South Australia Professor of Sustainable Energy Engineering.  “This is a substantially more economical way of storing energy than using batteries.”  As you may recall, Elon Musk offered to use Tesla batteries to help with the South Australia energy crisis.

Renewable energy sources account for more than 40% of the energy in South Australia.  Solar power is becoming more stable and reliable, and solar plants are cheaper to build than coal-fired power plants.

This will be the first large scale solar thermal generation plant in Australia; however, they have been successfully operating in Europe, USA, and Africa.

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WWII Bomb Found During Construction, German Prison Evacuated

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Regensburg, Germany -- A World War II era bomb was recently unearthed during excavation work at a Germany construction site in Regensburg.  Regensburg is a city with a 140,000 population and home to a prison.

Construction in this area has unearthed undetonated munitions throughout the area.  The bomb was found during a construction project a few yards from Regensburg prison.  The prison is home to 109 inmates.

Authorities were forced to organize a large-scale evacuation of the area, including of the inmates and the prison.  Approximately 1,500 local residents were evacuated while the bomb was diffused.  Specialists defused one bomb and had two controlled explosions of bombs found with still-intact detonators.

Bombs and other munition is found throughout Germany during construction excavation.  Since the beginning of 2017, five bombs have already been found in the area.

About ten minutes from the site, another bomb was found near a kindergarten.  The bomb was a 250 lbs American pilot bomb.  It was safety defused.

"There are bombs everywhere.  This is nothing unusual in Germany," said Biopark Physicist Dr. Robert Mertzig.

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Wind Turbine Fires are Costing as Much as $2 Mil in Damage: Is NFPA 850 being ignored?

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Karatsu -- A wind turbine near a nuclear power plant caught fire.  This caused serious difficulties for firefighters who had to worry about falling parts.

A nearby resident reported the conflagration at 2:55pm.  One of the turbine blades and the base of the blades caught fire at the wind-generating power plant.  The blaze was extinguished at 6:50am the next morning. 

No one was injured. 

Firefighters had a difficult time fighting the fire.  They were unable to point water at the blades because of falling debris.

The fire is under investigation.

The wind generating power plant has been in operation since 2004.  They sell their energy to Kyushu Electric.

NFPA 850

Wind turbines are part of NFPA 850:  Recommended Practice for Fire Protection for Electric Generating Plants and High Voltage Direct Current Converter Stations, 2010.  Since 2002, 184 wind turbines have been damaged by fire.  This has cost between $750,000 to $2,000,000 each time.

 

What is causing wind turbine fires?

Wind-generated power plant fires start from a number of causes.  The most common is lightning strikes.  Wind turbines are exposed and tall, making them an easy target.

Another cause of fire in wind turbines is mechanical failure or electrical malfunction.  The hundreds of gallons of hydraulic fluid and lubricants fuels the fire.  An added fuel source is internal insulation.

Wind-generating power plants have other high-risk areas too.  Capacitors, transformers, generators, electrical controls, and transmission equipment is also susceptible to fire.

Fire Protection for Wind Turbines

Water-mist systems are an option; however, they have the potential for hurting electrical equipment.  Compressed air foam systems are also used, but the storage needs can be problematic with the remote location of most wind turbines.

Clean agent systems are a good solution.  When discharged, it vaporizes into a colorless, odorless gas.  The suppressant takes up less space to store than other solutions.  It also has a low environmental impact.

While wind-generating power plants have their pros and cons, the fact that it is an environmentally friendly energy solution is bringing more and more wind farms into the energy industry, so properly protecting them from fire needs to become a priority.

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10 Refineries Close in TX, Hurricane Harvey Hurts Energy Hub

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If you're interested in donating to Hurricane Harvey relief, here is a link to Global Giving.  All funds given using this link will go directly to serving Hurricane Harvey victims.

Gulf Coast, TX -- Hurricane Harvey (now downgraded to a tropical storm), is hurting the Gulf Coast energy hub as major refineries are forced to close.

At this point, ten oil refinery plants have closed in Houston and Corpus Christi.  When weather is normal, these refineries refine 2 million barrels of oil a day, on average.  The S&P estimated that approximately 2.2 million barrels per day of oil capacity were offline due to the tropical storm.

The Gulf Coast is home to 1/3 of the country's capacity to turn oil into gas, diesel , and other products.  F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems has a Gulf Coast office that serves this sector in La Porte, TX. 

Last Friday, Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4.  By mid-Saturday, it was down-graded to a tropical storm.  While it was downgraded to a tropical storm, it continued to impact Texas.  Houston, TX saw severe flooding with ten-feet of water in some parts.

On Sunday, 105 workers from oil and gas production platforms were evacuated.  About 22% of the oil produced in the Gulf was shut down that day.  

The last hurricane to negatively impact the oil industry was Hurricane Gustav in 2008.

You can read more about Hurricane Harvey's effect on the oil and gas industry at CNN Money.

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3 Reasons to Outsource Your Fire Protection Specification Writing

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Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractors have a lot on their plates.  Writing a fire protection spec doesn’t need to be on their to-do list.  F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems has been writing fire sprinkler and fire protection specifications since 1979.  They know how to coordinate with insurance companies, AHJ’s, and building codes to write a spec that meets all of their needs.

Here are the top three reasons that outsourcing fire protection specification writing is the way to go.

1.     Power plants and other energy storage facilities are complicated.

Power plants don’t have the same hazards that a commercial facility might have.  On top of this, each part of the plant has different hazards that are unique and require different types of fire sprinklers and alarms.

 

2.     Insurance companies and AHJs don’t always agree on how to protect power plants.

Power plants and other facilities need to get approval from both their insurance company and the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).  Oftentimes, the two do not agree.  F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems is experienced in working with them to come to an agreement and write a specification that will meet everyone’s needs.

 

3.     We specialize in fire protection spec writing.

EPC contractors cannot specialize in everything. It would be in the EPC’s best interest to have a very detail-orientated fire protection specification to eliminate the need for contractors to include contingency money in their quotations. Bottom line; it saves the EPC money and there is no confusion or misinterpretation of the specification.   That is why fire protection specification writing should be outsourced.  If it is done incorrectly, it will slow down the progress of the project.  Instead, hire someone who specializes in writing fire protection specifications for power plants.

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems was recently contracted by an EPC to address issues that had occurred when they had tried to write the spec for a power plant.  Once we were hired, we did a site visit, and wrote a detailed specification.  The specification had everything that bidders would need, and the power plant was able to receive competitive, accurate bids.  Because F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems wrote the spec, the power plant saved money because they received accurate bids.  The next time they needed a fire protection spec written, they came to us first.  If power plants want to save money on their fire protection project, it starts with a detail-oriented, thorough spec.

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How to Make Toolbox Talks More Interesting

interesting toolbox talks

Toolbox talks are important, but they can get repetitive or boring if you aren’t making an effort to spice them up.  Here are four tips to make toolbox talks more interesting and engaging.

1.     Keep it Fun

Just like any public speaking, you want to draw your audience in.  One way to do that is to make it fun.  You can run a contest to increase participation, make the toolbox talk into a game, and keep interesting through real life examples.

 

2.     Make your team feel like a community

Toolbox talks are a great time to build a community with your workers.  Invite them to share experiences related to the topic.  Give other workers the opportunity to lead a toolbox talk with your guidance.  To build a community, we go straight into number three, have a common goal.

3.     Work towards a common goal

To build a community within your team, have a common goal you can work on together.  Maybe your goal is to reduce your EMR.  At the end of each meeting, wrap up with something you can do that week to accomplish the goal.  If you reach your goal, decide on an incentive like a company-paid happy hour or catered lunch.

 

4.     Photos, Videos, and Real Life Experiences

Attract the attention of all learning types.  Use elements of visual, audio, and hands-on to keep your team’s attention.  As an example, a visual learner might respond to images or video best.  An audio learner might enjoy a verbal presentation, podcast recommendations, or a video.  A hands-on learner would learn best by physically doing part of what your toolbox talk is about.  Adding in stories of real life experiences will keep people intrigued and will bring more perspective to the toolbox talk.

Keep your workers’ attention by adding some extra interest into toolbox talks.  They will no longer be something people have to do, but rather, something they look forward to.

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Why do gas turbines need efficient compressors?

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Natural gas power plants need to run efficiently so the plant doesn’t use more of the energy that it produces than necessary.  It takes a lot of energy to run a power plant, but the more energy the power plant uses to run the facility itself, the less it has to sell.  While natural gas power plants use a fair amount of the energy it produces, it would need to use much more energy if their compressors weren’t efficient enough, reducing profits.

 

Gas combustion turbines in natural gas power plants have three elements:

1)      A compressor draws air into the engine.  It becomes pressurized and goes into the combustion chamber.

2)     The combustion system has a ring of fuel injectors that inject fuel into combustion chambers where it mixes with the pressurized air.  Both the gas (fuel) and the air have been compressed.  They are then heated to 2,000+ degrees and sent to the turbine section.

3)     In the turbine section, the gas/air mixture expands, rotating the blades inside the turbine.  The rotating blades serve two purposes:  pulling in more air and spinning a generator, which produces electricity.

By having efficient compressors in a gas turbine, natural gas power plants can produce more energy while using less.  This increases their production and their profit.

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A Closer Look at Clean Agents

clean agents

Special hazards can be complicated when it comes to fire protection.  The property is not the only thing considered.  A very important element of fire protection is the assets that are inside the property.  We’re taking a closer look at when clean agents are the appropriate fire protection solution.

Answer these questions honestly:

1.     Can the items in the property be easily replaced?

2.     Can your company afford the downtime a fire would cause?

3.     Do you have redundant fire protection systems?

4.     Can the business still operation if the system goes down?

If you answered no to these questions, you need to take a closer look at your fire protection system to ensure that you are not only protecting the property, but also the assets INSIDE the property.

What is a clean agent?

Much like Halon 1301, clean agents inhibit the chemical interaction of free radicals and use a cooling effect to extinguish fires.  Clean agents reach the level to extinguish a fire in 10 seconds or less.  FM-200 is a clean agent and Halon replacement.  It is gaseous, leaves no residue behind, safe to use around humans, and is safe for the environment. 

See FM-200 discharge.

 

What are clean agent alternatives?

The main clean agent alternative is inert gas.  Inert gas removes oxygen from the fire triangle (heat source, fuel, oxygen), which extinguishes the fire.  While inert gas is effective in snuffing out a fire and is safe for the environment, it is deadly to humans.  It removes the oxygen from the space, so inert gas should only be used in a space that is enclosed and where people can easily evacuate.  Extra safety measure are taken when inert gas is used as the fire protection agent.

Inert gas is less expensive than a clean agent; however, storage cost is more for inert gas and additional safety measures need to be made for inert gas.

See an inert gas discharge.

 

What types of facilities should use a clean agent?

Clean agents are generally seen in battery storage areas, computer rooms, and control rooms with electronics.

FM-200 is a great alternative to traditional fire suppression when a vulnerable area needs to be protected from fire. 

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Case Study - Stat-X System Protects CNC Machines

stat-x system

An industry-leading manufacturer turned to F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems for a fire protection solution that would protect their valuable equipment. When a fire occurred, the robust suppression system extinguished the fire before the delicate machinery could be damaged.

Seeking an Effective Fire Protection Solution for a High-Risk Environment

One of the industry's most established providers of specialized precision machined parts is headquartered in the Midwest, providing products to a worldwide customer base from their head office and manufacturing facility. Through the use of Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines, they provide parts and pieces from bar stock that are machined to exacting tolerances. Their manufacturing methods are highly efficient but there are also high-risk fire hazards associated with the process.

 

Because of the hazardous nature of their machinery, the manufacturer decided to implement a robust, cost-effective fire protection system that would protect lives and assets without causing damage to valuable electrical equipment. The manufacturer reached out to F.E. Moran Special Hazard systems to implement a comprehensive fire protection system, which included Stat-X aerosol fire protection systems, manufactured by FireAway, Inc.

Robust Protection without Damage to Sensitive Equipment

After performing a thorough analysis of the facility's fire protection needs, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems designed a comprehensive system that consisted of a dedicated, stand alone Stat-X Fire Protection Aerosol Generator and bracket, accompanied with a local fire alarm/releasing control panel with a local detection and release system. The Stat-X generator releases a fine potassium based aerosol that attacks a flame's free radicals, effectively slowing and extinguishing the fire. This was an ideal system for the application because the facility was afforded the peace of mind that their equipment would not only be safeguarded in the event of a fire, but additionally would not suffer any damage as a result of system discharge.

Overcoming Installation Challenges through Expertise and Experience

During the installation of the system, F. E. Moran encountered an obstacle that was related to the wiring of the CNC machines. Synchronizing the CNC shutdown wiring from the fire protection system's control to the point of interface was an intricate process, but F.E. Moran's experienced installers were able to navigate the wiring for an effective result. Upon completion of the installation, F.E. Moran performed thorough testing of the equipment to ensure that every aspect of the system would be fully operational in the event of a fire.

When Put to the Test, F.E. Moran's Systems Kept Equipment and Personnel Safe

In less than a year after the installation, the fire protection system was activated when a fire started in one of the CNC machines. The system's advanced detection system, which included sensitive Protectowire linear heat detection cable, sent a signal to the control panel at the first sign of the fire, which subsequently triggered the Stat-X system's discharge. 
It was critical that the detection system sensed the fire as soon as it ignited and it was essential that the control panel activated the system without delay because of the potential risks involved with the CNC machines. A key element to the manufacturing process is the cutting oil that CNC machines use to lubricate and cool the cutters and transport waste. These oils create an elevated risk for high intensity fires because of their flammability.

Beyond the hazards associated with the CNC machines, there were many intricate components of the equipment that were highly susceptible to fire damage. Within the machines there is control wiring to the internal parts of the system as well as an abundance of flexible plastic hoses that support the drilling and carving operations, carry cooling substances and lubrication elements.

Remarkably, the CNC machines endured the fire unscathed because of the effectiveness of the alarm/detection system and the Stat-X suppression system. Employees who were in the vicinity of the fire when it began indicate that it was a substantial event that had the potential for severe consequences. However, damage to the equipment was nonexistent because of the efficiency of the fire protection system. F. E. Moran Special Hazard Systems was able to replace the Stat-X generator and Protectowire cable within less than two working days, resulting in minimal downtime for the manufacturer.

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Case Study - Oak Creek Power Plant AQCS Area

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Twenty miles south of Milwaukee, the third-largest power generating station in Wisconsin can be found along the shore of Lake Michigan. The coal-fueled Oak Creek Power Plant is the most thermally efficient generating station in the state, generating 1,135 MW. Committed to environmentally responsible power generation, We Energies, recently installed new Air Quality Control Systems (AQCS) at its Oak Creek Power Plant. The AQCS consists of two wet limestone forced oxidation flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems and two selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems to reduce emissions.

URS, the EP&C firm providing their services for the installation, has a long-standing relationship with F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems from previous projects they have worked on collaboratively. Additionally, over the years F.E. Moran has done extensive work for We Energies making them a natural choice as the contractor to install a comprehensive fire protection solution for the new FGD and SCR areas.

With an extensive background in FGD projects, including a similar installation at the neighboring Pleasant Prairie Power Plant (another We Energies facility that is the largest generating station in Wisconsin), F.E. Moran's experienced team had a thorough understanding of the nuances of the application. Implementing a complete fire protection system in this environment from beginning to end requires a great deal of expertise and first-hand experience; F.E. Moran knew exactly how to execute the project, even when encountering complex challenges.

 

Many fire protection contractors do not have the proficiency to perform the underground portion of a fire protection system but F.E. Moran has carried out countless underground installations, which has provided them with the knowledge that was necessary to perform the intricate project. The environmental conditions posed a number of challenges for F.E. Moran, demanding that they call upon their expertise to complete the underground.

With temperatures frequently falling below freezing during the winter months, F.E. Moran had to overcome the obstacles of working outdoors in extremely cold weather and installing pipe in frozen ground. Additionally, the soil contained a high concentration of sand, requiring them to excavate trenches that were larger than average to compensate for potential cave-ins.

Another unique hurdle that F.E. Moran faced was installation of the underground system on a steep slope. The solution required special installation methods in which a 100' boring was made parallel to the slope face and the underground pipe was subsequently slid through the hollow to reach its destination. This method dramatically reduced the cost and disruption that would have been created if typical excavation methods had been used.

Beyond the complications presented by the plant site, many other factors had to be considered when installing the underground to ensure that the system would function optimally. F.E. Moran's skilled installers used their knowledge of equipment such as post indicator valves (PIV's), control valves and thrust blocks to install a system that was in accordance with NFPA 24 Standard for Private Service Mains. Using their expertise, F.E. Moran utilized the appropriate materials for this particular application according to factors such as soil condition, pump type, water source and levels of corrosion in the environment. The accomplished installers used their skill and experience to properly restrain the pipe for a durable and reliable system.

Upon completion of the underground portion of the project, F.E. Moran immediately began the above ground work, with a scope that included a wide array of suppression, alarm and detection systems. FGD systems are inherently complex, with varying risks posed by a vast range of equipment. Scrubbers, oxidation blowers, limestone drive pulleys and other FGD-related equipment demand specialized fire protection solutions that address their unique hazards. The high temperatures that occur within FGD areas necessitate high volumes of water as well as specific protection for limestone and gypsum dewatering areas.

In addition to the host of suppression systems that F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems installed, they also implemented an extensive alarm and detection system for the plant. In FGD applications it is critical that a highly effective alarm system is in place to mitigate the risk of a potentially high-intensity fire. F.E. Moran not only installed the fire alarm panels, manual pull stations and strobes and horns but they also employed a Very Early Smoke Detection Alarm (VESDA) air sampling system for optimum detection. Through continuous air sampling, the VESDA system can detect trace amounts of smoke in the environment, allowing the facility to respond appropriately before a fire has the opportunity to escalate.

Despite some of the challenges presented by the underground installation at an operating facility and the complexity of the equipment that was being protected, F.E. Moran's Project Manager and his team completed the job on time and on budget, with expert precision. Their experience and unparalleled knowledge of the application allowed them to foresee potential issues before they interfered with the progress of the project and respond appropriately. Additionally, their relationship with the local Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ's) streamlined the approval process, facilitating the smooth progression of the project. The end result is a reliable, wide-ranging fire protection system that meets industry requirements and provides We Energies with the peace of mind that their valuable assets will be protected.

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Case Study - Fire Protection for Coal Plant Transformers

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F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems used their expertise, resources and efficient project management to successfully install a comprehensive fire protection system for one of the most prominent power generating stations in the Midwest.

Experience, Expertise and an Established Network

In the heart of the Midwest lies an award-winning power generating station, which has generated millions of MWh of electricity since its coal units have been put into service in the 80's. When the plant decided to replace the deluge systems that were protecting four of their transformers, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems was a natural candidate for the job because they had a previous working relationship with the plant's owner. Their past performance during preceding jobs with similar scopes and synergy with the owner's engineering group helped F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems secure the job, giving them the opportunity to deliver another quality solution for the esteemed power plant.

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems' experienced designers used their expertise to meticulously perform all of the hydraulic calculations, ensuring that the system was discharging the appropriate amount of water in every aspect of the system. The team utilized their advanced AutoCAD-based system to design a robust fire protection system that was in accordance with the owner's specifications.

Having acquired an extensive network of fabricators throughout the country, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems immediately began working with a local trusted fabricator who was able to expedite the delivery of the pipe and fittings. Because the design called for exclusive items, such as pipes with special grooved fittings and other obscure parts to retrofit with existing components, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems had to tap in to their wealth of resources to obtain the parts in a timely manner.

 

An Effective Solution for Protecting Powerful Transformers

The team of skilled installers replaced four existing deluge valves that were associated with the facility's transformers. All of the existing deluge piping and supports around the transformers, including the pipe stands, were removed while retaining the current buswork protection system.

New piping was installed in a horseshoe header design, mounted above the top of the transformer shell and was supported by the steel blast fire walls. F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems utilized Elkhart 1 ½" nozzles to provide the high level of coverage and flow density that is required to adequately protect transformers. The nozzles were positioned in a manner that the discharged water sweeps across the top of the transformer casing, creating a spray pattern that is effective and all-encompassing.

As is often an issue in these types of applications, the existing feed mains needed to be considered when designing the project. Feed mains were relocated as to shelter them from damage that could be incurred from the failure of adjacent transformers.

Efficient Project Management for Expedited Project Completion

The owner had slated the installation of the systems protecting the three transformers to occur during a scheduled outage, with the work associated with the fourth auxiliary transformer to occur at a later date. It was imperative that the project be complete before the end of the outage, which meant that F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems must design, stocklist, order, fabricate, install and test the system within the given timeframe.

Installers were also faced with the challenge of installing the sprinkler system in an environment that presented structural obstacles that impeded their work. The spaces between the transformer equipment and blast walls were quite restrictive, demanding that the installation crew be well-prepared and skilled enough to perform the work within confined areas.

Despite the environmental factors, the crew seamlessly installed the systems with time to spare. Furthermore, because F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems was ahead of schedule, they also installed the deluge system for the auxiliary transformer that was initially planned for the future.

Following completion of the installation, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems conducted testing of all of the sprinkler systems to ensure that every component of the system was functioning properly. In addition to the typical hydrostatic testing that is typically executed post-installation, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems also performed a flow test of the nozzles for added reassurance that the system was operating at peak performance. Upon completion of the tests, there were still two days remaining in the outage, meaning F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems finished the installation, as well as the additional auxiliary transformer, two days before their deadline.

 

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Case Study - North Anna Nuclear Generating Station

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North Anna Nuclear Generating Station needed to find a resource that had the experience to implement a fire protection solution for their new transformers. The plant scheduled a two-week outage during which the installation was to occur. F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems got the job done in half the time.

An Essential Source of Power to the Region

Located in Mineral, Virginia, the North Anna Power Station has been providing Virginia with power for more than thirty years. The site produces 1,806 megawatts of electricity from its two pressurized water reactors to provide electricity to 450,000 homes in the region. It is essential that the station operates at maximum uptime, as it serves as a major power source in the area. Any business interruption results in a major financial impact for the plant.

The Plant's Valuable Assets Demanded a Quality Fire Protection System

As the plant's transformers began to age, North Anna made the decision to replace three of its transformers during a scheduled two-week outage. High voltage transformers are inherently susceptible to fires due to insulation problems or lightning. These problems can result in volatile fires that can damage equipment, stop production and put lives at risk. Implementing a high-quality fire protection system is the best way to safeguard a power plant in the event of a transformer fire.  

Seeking a Swift but Reliable Solution

Installing a reliable deluge sprinkler system was deemed the best fire protection solution for the plant. North Anna was faced with the challenge of finding a resource that had the expertise to install the system so that it would function optimally in this high-risk environment. In addition, they needed to find a reliable resource that could also install the system within the rigid two-week timeframe. It was necessary that the contractor be experienced and knowledgeable enough to design and fabricate the system in a way in which it could be quickly and efficiently installed.

 

Meeting Timelines to Avoid Financial Losses

With more than thirty years of experience providing power generating stations with comprehensive fire protection solutions, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems was a natural choice for North Anna. The knowledge that F.E. Moran has accumulated over the past three decades offered the proficiency needed to design and install fire protection systems quickly while still upholding the highest standards.

From the onset of the project, F.E. Moran's project management team carefully planned every facet of the installation to ensure that the project progressed efficiently and did not interfere with the coinciding work related to the transformers. 

F.E. Moran's expertise gave them the ability to foresee potential issues before they resulted in subsequent labor delays.

The Solution

The configuration of the deluge system that F.E. Moran implemented forms a protective ring around the transformers with nozzles every five feet. Protectowire Linear Heat Detector is used to detect fire, which in turn triggers the sprinkler system.


Exceeding Expectations

As the project progressed, the installation was well organized and was being implemented seamlessly. 
Because of F.E. Moran's proficiency, the plant staff was able to devote their attention to the additional maintenance needed during the outage rather than being preoccupied with the sprinkler system installation.

The project manager and design team were intimately familiar with the application and synchronized well with the loss prevention team, which allowed them to finish the job in one week- only half the time that they had been allotted. North Anna did not have to worry about the enormous financial implications associated with extending their outage.

The system installed by F.E. Moran passed the extensive testing done onsite, which meant that plant staff were not sidetracked by the hassle of conditional reports.

 

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Case Study - Chemical Plant Cooling Tower

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F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems had been providing fire protection solutions for a number of years at a cutting-edge silicon chemical plant. The facility recently discovered that the fire protection system in the cooling tower needed replacement. In a week's time, the piping was removed and replaced during an outage, providing the plant with the protection they needed to keep their facility safe.

A Solid Track Record of Providing Robust Protection for the Plant's High-Risk Hazards

As chemical processing continues to develop, the facilities in which products are manufactured must progress as well. One of the leading silicon chemical plants in the solar power industry has relied on F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems over the years for effective fire protection solutions for their developing plant. Their systems and services have proven to effectively protect the plant's valuable assets from the high-risk hazards that exist within the environment. As several phases of expansion have taken place, F. E. Moran Special Hazard Systems has designed and installed detection and suppression systems for areas such as vessels, distillation and hot oil areas, pipe racks, superheaters and silane loading areas.

F.E. Moran's Experience Enables Them to Uncover Issues Before They Escalate Into Big Problems

While doing maintenance work within their cooling tower, the plant had discovered an air leak on the pilot line of the fire protection system and asked F.E. Moran to repair it. It was discovered that corrosion at the joint of the pilot line had caused the leak, which led F.E. Moran to suggest inspecting the water piping. Experience told F.E. Moran that if the pilot line had sustained corrosion from the harsh environment, the water piping was probably in need of maintenance as well. F.E. Moran's speculation proved to be accurate and the plant's commitment to safety led them to make the decision to replace all of the piping in the cooling tower. The facility could recognize the expertise and precision of F. E. Moran's work over the four years that they had performed services at the plant, which made it an easy decision for them to select F. E. Moran as the contractor to perform the replacement.

 

Flexibility, Knowledge and a Vast Network of Resources

The time frame within which F. E. Moran was given to finish the project presented a challenge that required tapping into their extensive network of resources. Fire protection equipment utilized in cooling towers, such as the specialized nozzles, are typically made to order. F. E. Moran called upon a dependable and efficient fabricator they had worked with in the past to supply the pipe so that the project could be completed within the scheduled outage. Part of the F. E. Moran crew arrived a couple of days before the start date of the project to receive the materials and tools and prepare for the project so that they could begin work as soon as the facility could allow them access to the tower.

Another obstacle that F. E. Moran faced involved the design input referenced for pre-ordering and fabricating the materials used in the system. Some of the older drawings that were used as "as-builts" for the project required amending, which required experience and flexibility to make the necessary adjustments in the field while still meeting the target date.

F. E. Moran installed Schedule 40 galvanized pipe to constitute the new deluge system, which is designed to withstand severe elements to a higher degree than standard pipe. Additionally, F.E. Moran installed stainless steel nozzles for a higher degree of corrosion resistance. Another measure they took to counter the high rate of corrosion was the utilization of stainless steel hangers, which are even more durable than the galvanized hangers that previously supported the system.

Efficient Project Management and Effective Labor Allows F.E. Moran to Complete Projects in Remarkable Time

As a highly productive chemical plant, they aimed to minimize the down time of any part of its facility. They had given F.E. Moran one week to complete the work during the scheduled outage and any delays in the completion of the project would have resulted in losses for the facility. On Monday, July 11th, F.E. Moran began the onsite work at the plant, with a deadline of Monday, July 18th for the tower to resume operation. F.E. Moran worked efficiently and skillfully and put in the necessary overtime hours so that on Saturday the 16th the system had been fully installed and the pipe had been hydrostatically tested to ensure optimal operation, making the project fully complete with time to spare. The Emergency Response Coordinator for the facility says "F.E. Moran's Project Management team is very professional, experienced and helpful in making sure a quality project that meets the customer's needs is completed." Of the work completed by F.E. Moran, he says: "I would recommend and use F.E. Moran for future projects that I have, they have the ability to complete large and small projects within a short duration."

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Case Study - Combined Cycle Generating Station

Combined Cycle Generating Station.jpg

Varying requirements from the AHJ and the insurance provider complicated the design and installation of a comprehensive fire protection system at a natural-gas fueled combined cycle power plant whose production exceeds 600 mw. In the eleventh hour, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems dispatched a team to the site to arbitrate, redesign and hand-deliver revised drawings for approval so that the project would be completed correctly and on time.

 

One of the Region's Most Efficient and Environmentally Conscious Plants

 

Originally built as a simple cycle power plant that was designed to operate during peak usage times, this natural-gas fueled combined cycle power plant is located outside of one of the Western region's largest cities. In 2011 the plant added two combustion turbines, increasing its production to more than 600 mw to meet growing demand.

 

Unparalleled Experience Implementing Systems for Combined Cycle Plants

 

Implementing alarm and detection systems for combined cycle facilities requires a high level of expertise and experience with the nuances associated with the application. Challenges such as complex turbine underfloors and determining the most effective alarm and detection systems for varying types of fuel means that the contractor who is designing and installing the fire protection systems must have in-depth knowledge and firsthand experience.

 

The EPC firm that was selected for the construction of the combined cycle plant had relied on F. E. Moran Special Hazard Systems to provide fire protection systems for many of their projects in the past. Over the past several decades F.E. Moran has successfully completed dozens of combined-cycle projects, which gave the EPC firm the peace of mind that they had the expertise necessary to effectively implement the appropriate systems for the project.

The scope of the project included the design and installation of a wide array of alarm and detection systems for the new plant, including: electrically actuated deluge systems for the lube oil tank and seal oil skid; a dry pipe system, preaction systems and a dry standpipe system for the turbine areas, and alarm/detection systems throughout the plant facilities. F.E. Moran had also been tasked with the installation of the CO2 systems for the combustion turbine enclosures, with the design to be provided by the combustion turbine manufacturer.

 

Solutions that Satisfy the Conflicting Requirements of AHJ's and Insurance Companies

 

As with every project that F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems undertakes, the drawings for the system were created in accordance with NFPA requirements such as NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems. However, as the project progressed, it became evident that it was going to be a challenge to satisfy the specific regulations set forth by the Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) in conjunction with those required by the facility's insurance company.

There were several aspects of the design that necessitated modification in order to fulfill these requirements. In particular, the AHJ called for an elevated hose flow and higher water pressures than were originally calculated. They also stipulated that a unique fire department connection be added to the system, which called for unconventional design tactics. From the insurance company's side, they demanded higher density systems, additional sprinkler heads and more stringent earthquake requirements. Designing and installing a system that complied with all of these criteria demanded careful arbitration among those involved and F.E. Moran's expertise allowed them to navigate the increasing complexity of the project.

 

When Problems Arise F.E. Moran is Ready to Step in and Use Their Expertise

 

As the project was approaching its final stage, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems was confronted with yet another challenge that arose as a result of the turbine manufacturer's CO2 system designs being incompatible with the AHJ's requirements. The CO2 system drawings that were provided by the turbine manufacturer were generic designs which were not produced distinctively for the facility. Upon the AHJ's review of the drawings it was determined that the design must be customized for the site, which meant redesigning the system on short notice in order to meet an impending performance milestone for the turbines. Based on their superior performance throughout the project thus far, F.E. Moran was entrusted the responsibility of making the necessary design and installation alterations to the drawings to meet the imminent deadline.

To ensure that the designs were completed efficiently and accurately, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems immediately dispatched a crew out to the facility to design the system. Their designers and technicians remained on-site until the drawings were complete and then hand-delivered them to the AHJ for approval. Following the AHJ's authorization of the drawings, they installed the system and tapped into their resources to obtain a CO2 concentration meter on short notice to complete testing of the system.

Despite the onslaught of obstacles that F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems faced throughout the project, they were able to design and install a comprehensive fire protection system that met the rigorous demands of all those involved. Through their flexibility, their profound knowledge of the systems and their tremendous commitment to the customer, F.E. Moran was able to deliver an effective system that met all relevant codes, within the given timeframe.

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Case Study - LNG Import Facility

LNG fire protection

Contributor:  Paul Felch,  Project Manager of F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems
Writer:  Sarah Block, Marketing Director of The Moran Group


What started as a fairly standard project, turned complex when Mother Nature turned on it. F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems used their expertise, resources, and perpetual objective for customer satisfaction to skillfully complete a project despite continuous adversity.

One of the Nation's Largest Liquefied Natural Gas Import Facilities


Located on the Chesapeake Bay in Lusby, Maryland, this Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import facility connects to one gas pipeline and two gas transmissions to provide 1.8 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of LNG a day, making this facility the largest LNG importer in the country. One Bcf alone is capable of supplying 3.4 million homes with energy. As an LNG import facility supplying energy to millions of homes a day, a fire could be catastrophic.

Protecting People, Plant, and Production


This LNG import facility understands the importance of preeminent fire protection. To prevent any fire protection risk, the plant chose to find a solution to reduce the odds of an underground fire main leak in the aging fire main piping at the first stage pumps and cold blower buildings. These structures are an integral part of operating five of seven LNG tanks. An underground leak in that area would risk the LNG lines and impair fire protection. It was prudent to find a fire protection solution provider with expertise in high risk environments.

The Need for Paramount Fire Protection


Recognizing the need for paramount fire protection, the LNG import facility chose F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems to provide solutions to their fire protection needs. To guarantee successful fire protection at the first stage pumps and cold blower buildings, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems redirected the existing underground fire water mains, which included divorcing and capping existing mains and providing one new hydrant and water monitor. Additionally, they replaced two aging deluge valves and converted the dry pilot deluge detection system into a linear heat detection system. The facility required welded pipes, as opposed to the typical industry standard use of PVC-based piping, and, to ensure quality control, x-rayed each weld.

Complete Project Despite Unusual Events

With a working facility, production is at risk during a fire protection solution installation. It was imperative to keep installation time to a minimum. Paul Felch, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems Project Manager said, "We had to get the system back up and running ASAP so the customer was fully protected." F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems ably completed the project, despite the unusual circumstances.

The nature of an underground installation is innately more involved than standard installations. An excavation contractor needed to be hired to dig trenches for the underground installation. Whenever a project has an underground component, there are always unforeseen obstacles that arise. Upon excavation, it was noted that on-site customization was needed. This was the first of several unexpected issues that would take place during the project.

 

It could not have been predicted that following the excavation, three natural disasters would follow. To begin, on August 12, 2011, torrential rains pounded Maryland, with some areas getting as much as 6 inches of rain in one day, caving in the trenches. Following the downpour, on August 23, 2011, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit the east coast and Mid-Atlantic regions. It was tied as the highest magnitude earthquake east of the Rocky Mountains. Only a few days later, on August 27, 2011, Hurricane Irene struck, grossing the highest damage costs, $7 billion, on record and taking the lives of 56 people.

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems Finds Solutions in Extenuating Circumstances

The unusual circumstances of this project were unforeseen, but with thirty years of experience, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems took each problem in stride and completed the project.

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems first had to resolve the obstacles that were found underground. They cut 10" pipe runs to miss the various underground obstacles that were encountered, quickly resolving the issue.

Underground hindrances were minor issues compared to the three natural disasters that plagued the project. The first, a torrential downpour, caved in the trenches for the underground installation. F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems had to re-dig the trenches, adding reinforced walls, keeping safety as a priority.

Only eleven days later, an earthquake hit Maryland followed four days later by Hurricane Irene. F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems personnel camped out, waiting to resume the project, resulting in only a short suspension of installation.

Despite the surge of barriers F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems faced throughout the project, they completed the project and delivered an impeccable result. Due to F.E. Moran Special Hazard System's perseverance, expertise, and professionalism, the LNG import facility now has a solution to their fire protection needs.

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Case Study - Merom Generating Station

Merom Generating Station case study

Contributors:  Mike Kelly, Project Manager of F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems and Andrew Aleksich, Senior Designer of F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems
Writer:  Sarah Block, Marketing Director of The Moran Group

An operation failure had the potential for disaster when the transformer became suddenly unusable, forcing the fire protection solution to be disabled. With numerous obstacles, but quick action, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems and Merom Generating Station overcame adversity, turning over the project in only three weeks.

Small town with far-reaching energy

Located in a town that could fit the entire population in one square mile of Indianapolis, with nearly a quarter of that mile to spare, Sullivan, Indiana's Merom Generating Station has been providing energy for over a million homes in southwest Indiana since 1982. On Thursday, May 17, 2012, an operation failure occurred, rendering the transformer disabled. Merom Generating Station and F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems acted quickly to keep the outage to a minimum.

Operating failure causes snowball effect

While operating, the transformer failed near the bottom, causing the oil to drain. The loss of oil pressure shut down the transformer, rendering it out of service. A transformer is essential for the transmission of energy to the millions of homes that rely on Merom Generating Station to provide their power.

Merom Generating Station acted quickly to resolve the issue by replacing the out of order transformer with one that was already on site. However, to transfer transformers, it was necessary to demolish the existing fire protection system that protected the transformer. Although necessary, this caused a cascade of alterations.

 

First, the transformer was housed in a gravel pit with the pipe stand piers built into the cement. The piers were permanent, forcing the fire protection designer to design a system that utilized the already determined pier locations. This proved to be difficult with a different sized and shaped transformer than the original.

The unusual size and shape of the replacement transformer posed its own concerns. The odd shape made it impossible to run a simple looped sprinkler system. The chosen designer would need to customize the sprinkler to fit the odd configuration.

Quick action results in quick resolution

Merom Generating Station had a positive working relationship with F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems after hiring them for their yearly fire protection system inspection. This yearly activity turned into service work, replacing five deluge valves in the crusher house. After experiencing a positive working rapport through the inspection and resulting service, Merom Generating Station knew they wanted to work with F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems on the transformer fire protection replacement project.

On Friday, May 25, 2012 Merom Generating Station contacted Mr. John Bridgman, F.E. Moran Service Manager, informing him of the incident. Mr. Bridgman then contacted Mr. Andrew Aleksich, Senior Designer, to begin the process of designing the custom sprinkler system. Mr. Nicholas Kordecki, Designer, and Mr. Aleksich, Senior Designer, worked together to design a system that used the previously installed piers and was customized to fit the unusual size and shape of the replacement transformer. Within a work week, the drawings were complete and stock listed. In less than two weeks, the sprinkler system and detection layout was approved by the insurance agency, installed, tested, and turned over to Merom Station. Mr. Aleksich said, "I love these quick turn around jobs. They are fun and challenging."


Three decades of earned relationships with a stellar reputation

Within three weeks, Merom Generating Station went from the potentially devastating loss of a transformer to a new transformer with a fully functioning fire protection system. Mr. Ken LaMont, Production Engineer for Merom Generating Station said, "F.E. Moran stepped up to the plate for us.... [They] did an outstanding job working with us on this job and have done great work on other jobs as requested."

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems knows the importance of treating clients with respect and fairness while understanding the needs of their businesses. That is why F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems is depended upon in critical situations where time is of the essence. For over thirty years, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems has established itself as a reliable leader in the high-risk, high-value industry. It is a tightly connected industry with interwoven relationships that has enabled F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems to earn their reputation over the past three decades.

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Joliet Generating Station - Case Study

Joliet Generating Station.jpg

Challenging conditions could not hold back F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems' fire protection solutions.  A fire event and unusual product specifications were no match for F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems' dedicated project managers and quick response time.

Generating Station with a Long History of Energy Distribution

 

In 1917, the United States was evolving.  The nation declared war on Germany, the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded, and energy generation was growing.  It was the year Joliet Generating Station was originally erected.  Forty-two years later, it was updated to the station that stands in Joliet, Illinois today.  Joliet Generating Station is operated by Midwest Generation, a subsidiary of Edison Mission, a part of the Edison International family of companies.  Edison International has a long history of bringing new and innovative technology to the energy generation industry.  In fact, they built the first storm-resistant transmission lines in the late 1800s.  Edison International, along with Joliet Generating Station, has an extensive record of supplying Americans with energy.  On the weekend of April 14-15, 2012, a fire erupted at Joliet Generating Station, testing how prepared the station truly was against fire.

The Necessity of Supreme Fire Protection Solution Services

 

For the past three decades, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems has serviced the fire protection solutions for Joliet Generating Station 29.  On the weekend of April 14-15, 2012, an explosion tested their fire protection solutions.  This fire was generated from Powder River Basin (PRB) coal in the breaker building.  The fire erupted where two conveyors joined.  When a coal-fired power plant combustion event occurs, this is a common cause because the conveyor easily creates friction, a heat source, generating a fire and possibly even an explosion.

 

On Monday, April 16, 2012, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems received a call from the facility to service the sprinklers that activated during the fire.  Because the original system was installed in 1979, the sprinkler orifices were no longer the standard, making the replacement a difficult task. 

PRB coal-fired power plants are extremely susceptible to fires.  In January, 2007, ten people were injured in an Ohio coal-fired power plant fire.  In November, 2007, three people were killed in a Massachusetts coal-fired power plant fire, and in February, 2009, six people were burned in a Wisconsin coal-fired power plant explosion.  PRB Coal is volatile.  It was imperative that F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems found a solution to quickly reduce the outage time and protect people, plant, and production.    

   

Fire Protection Solutions Prevent Catastrophe 

 

It is crucial for a coal-fired power plant to have functioning fire protection solutions at all times. That is why Joliet Generating Station chose F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems as their fire protection solution provider of choice.  This proved to be a life saving decision when an explosion erupted thirty-three years after the initial installation and was immediately contained with the use of their wet-pipe sprinkler systems in the breaker building.  Joliet Generating Station was meticulous about inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM), ensuring their solution was in peak condition when needed.  Brian Harding, Regional Sales Manager said, "When you have a customer for over thirty years, it says a lot about your work ethic and knowledge without saying a word."

 

Equally important to quick sprinkler activation is having the fire protection solution back in premium working condition swiftly.  Project Manager, Mike Kelly made it his priority to keep the outage time to a minimum.  It is a priority for F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems to keep detailed records of past drawings.  When Kelly learned an explosion erupted, he was able to quickly find the original drawings and predict the difficulty of finding a replacement for the non-standard sprinkler head, enabling him to quickly begin the search process.  To resolve the issue with the unusual orifice size, Kelly called supplier after supplier until he succeeded.  He found a merchant in Texas that had a match.  Kelly quickly ordered an overnight delivery and had a fitter at the plant the very next day, Tuesday, April 17, 2012, with the unique sprinkler heads in hand. 

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems evaluated the system, locked it down, and discovered which sprinklers operated immediately.  The activated sprinkler heads were replaced and back in working order promptly, resulting in minimum outage time.

 

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems Provides Solutions in Arduous Situation

 

With three decades dedicated to fire protection solutions for the high-risk, high-value industry, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems knew the importance of quickly alleviating the risks of a fire protection outage.  With a quick response and endless dedication to fire protection solutions, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems and Joliet Generating Station worked together to ensure the station's fire protection solution was back in working condition promptly.

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Case Study - Coal-Fired Power Plant Turbine Building

Coal-Fired Power Plant Turbine Building.jpg

When standard fire protection installation and design proved dated, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems and a Texas coal-fired power plant chose to think outside of the box with the intention of increasing the site safety for construction crews, property, and equipment.  The surprising added benefits were just a bonus.

 

Small Town Plant with Big Ideas

 

With a population of 1,007, Riesel, TX has a smaller population than many high schools, yet it is the home to a coal-fired power plant that towers higher than the Taj Mahal.  This coal-fired power plant and F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems chose to innovate instead of proceed with the dated standard procedure and took a chance on a new method of fire protection installation and design for the purpose of protecting construction crews and plant equipment from fire, with a surprising added benefit.

 

4,800 Construction Site Fires a Year

 

Since the discovery of convection currents, we have known that heat rises.  Consequently, fire protection is installed above all other systems.  Because fire protection systems must run throughout the facility, the systems also have more piping than many other systems within the building.  Given these facts, it is illogical that fire protection is installed last when erecting a turbine building. 

 

An additional problem stemming from the standard installation schedule is the lack of protection for construction crews and property.  According to the U.S. Fire Administration, an estimated 4,800 construction site fires cause $35 million in property damage per year.  This Riesel plant and F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems worked together to take matters into their own hands and protect the construction site crews and property from fire.   

   

Precise Design with 3D AutoCAD

 

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems utilizes technologically advanced 3D AutoCAD software to design fire protection systems that precisely map out the necessary space and lay-out of fire protection piping.  With this capability, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems designed a system that worked around the other systems that would be in place.  However, if the design was even slightly off then conflicts and delays would result.

To protect the plant from risk, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems took complete responsibility.  If F.E. Moran Special Hazard System’s design was incorrect, they were financially responsible for mitigating conflicts. 

 

Project Completed Six Weeks Early

 

With F.E. Moran Special Hazard System’s faith in their design team’s capabilities, they took responsibility for the risk of installing fire protection first.  They began construction before many other plant systems were installed, allowing them the flexibility to complete the project without the need to constantly coordinate with other systems and crews.  With this flexibility, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems finished the project six weeks earlier than estimated.  The design was sound and no complications arose with the installation of other systems. 

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems has been providing fire protection solutions for the high-risk, high-value market since 1979.  With their focus on the power, chemical, and heavy manufacturing industries, they have expert knowledge of the fire hazards, solutions, and code requirements for this highly specialized market.

Comments and/or questions can be directed to Sarah Block at s.block@femoran.com.

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Case Study - Underground Fire Main Installation

Underground Fire Main Installation.jpg

Contributor:  Mike Warmington, Project Manager of F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems
Writer:  Sarah Block, Marketing Director of The Moran Group

When F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems was tasked with the job of completing an underground installation and upgrade with a strict deadline, Mother Nature attempted to impede their plans. However, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems persevered, and finished earlier than the original deadline.

 

Plant's Sale Results in Tight Deadline

 

A small town in Will County, Illinois with a population that barely reaches 2,000 is the home to a "peaker plant" that supplements the electrical needs of local homes and businesses. This plant was in a tight position when it was sold to a new owner with the stipulation of updating the fire protection before the 12 week close date. In comes F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems, who not only finished on time, but early despite numerous obstacles.

 

Mother Nature Provides Unique Challenge

 

A Will County peaker plant was sold with the condition of updating the underground fire mains and adding new tie-ins to the existing fire pump house before the close date, providing a unique challenge. The parent company had to find a contractor who had a reputation for completing projects with high quality while under a tight deadline. Originally, the bid was for a twelve week turnover, but once the contractor was chosen, the timeline needed to be reduced to eight weeks.

The timeline alone would be a difficult challenge for any contractor, but during installation, torrential downpours wreaked havoc on Illinois. In 1 day, the Chicago area saw a record setting 5 inches of rain, 600 flooded streets, 1,200 flooded homes, and 1 massive sinkhole that swallowed several cars. This state-wide disaster took place during the underground installation stage of an already difficult project.



F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems Overcomes Obstacles

 

With several tight timeline projects under their belt, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems was chosen as the fire protection contractor for the peaker plant project. With this project, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems was required to replace the existing underground fire mains and new tie-ins to the existing fire pump building in two months.

 

The massive downpours caused another hurdle for the installers. For safety reasons, excavation needed to halt during the rains. If it had continued, the trenches may have collapsed, seriously injuring someone. Once the rain had ended, the installers used pumps to remove the water from the trenches. Due to the record-setting rain, the ground absorbed so much water that each morning the trenches were full of the water that had seeped through the trench walls and into the excavation site. The F.E. Moran Superintendent ordered extra pumps to accommodate the flooding and arrived at 5:30am each morning to pump before the work could begin.

In order to finish the increasingly more difficult task of completing the project in eight weeks, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems' installers worked weekends and evenings to complete the project to specifications.

Within the revised eight week timeline, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems completed the project, despite the barrage of obstacles. Through hard work and a dedicated team of installers, this peaker plant had their underground fire mains and fire pump house completed in time for the closing of the sale.

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems has been providing turn-key fire protection solutions for power plants, chemical processing facilities, and heavy industrial plants since 1979. Through this targeted experience, they are able to utilize their expertise to conquer seemingly impossible tasks under extreme pressure.

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Case Study - Fertilizer Plant

fertilizer plant fire protection

Written By:  Sarah Block, Director of Marketing & Education

When a nitrogen fertilizer plant experienced an explosion in an unprotected area of their plant, they quickly called F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems to remedy the issue and keep their plant safe.

 

Illinois Fertilizer Plant Explosion

 

A nitrogen fertilizer plant in East Dubuque, IL is a primary producer of nitrogen fertilizer in the heart of the Midwest. They have been producing nitrogen fertilizer since 1965, providing low cost, environmentally conscious product.

When an explosion rocked the plant only two weeks before Christmas, they called F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems to get the plant back in working condition. Before Christmas, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems accomplished that.

 

 

Christmas Deadline Creates Challenge

 

In early December, a gas leak in a 6-story vessel caused a major explosion. It was a wake-up call for the company. Wanting to prevent any future incidents, they called F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems to install a deluge fire sprinkler system around the vessel.

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems designs and installs deluge systems often, but this time the obstacle arose to begin and end the project within two weeks. A nitrogen fertilizer plant needed the project to be wrapped up before Christmas, creating a challenge that F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems was excited to take on.

 

Tight Timeline, Quick Turnaround

 

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems knew they had a tight timeline to maintain; Christmas was only a few weeks away. The nitrogen fertilizer plant requested a quote and by December 13, 2013, they provided it. The plant approved it and December 16, 2013, the PO was sent. The design began December 16, 2013 and was turned over December 18, 2013. The material was ordered the same day and installation began. The plant was mobilized December 20, 2013 and by December 23, 2013 the project was completed.

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems turned over the plant with two days to spare. Project Manager Mike Warmington said, "We had a Christmas deadline to complete a package design, materials, and labor. We dropped everything to meet their schedule, and managed to finish in seven days, getting everyone home for the holiday."

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