Case Study - Coal-Fired Power Plant Turbine Building

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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

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