How to Protect Turbine Areas

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how to protect turbine areas from fire

Turbine areas often fall victim to fires.  These areas of power plants are difficult to protect with intricate piping and equipment.  The fire protection design needs to be precise, and the fire protection provider must have experience in the power industry.  These systems are much more complicated than a commercial facility or retail space.

Turbine areas have three main fire hazard areas:  turbine underfloor, turbine bearings, and oil-related issues.

Turbine Underfloor:  How do you protect such a complex area?

  • Combine flows - Use a combination of large water volume and combined flows to suppress these intense fires.
  • Don't forget about the small spots - Deep beam pockets in structural beams can be a commonly missed area.  Fire sprinklers must reach these pockets.
  • Smart Design - Use 3D AutoCAD to model the congested turbine underfloors accurately. 
 

Turbine Bearings:  How do you plan fire protection with so many obstacles? 

  • Plan around obstructions - Turbine bearings are complicated areas.  The design and installation teams need to work together to ensure that the systems fully protect the area.
  • Choose the RIGHT system - Turbine bearings have two things against them:  oil spray and high heat.  Because oil spray fires are so common in this area, preaction systems are used most often.  However, the right fire protection designer will take each individual space into consideration when choosing a fire protection system.
 

Oil-related Fire Hazards:  How do we keep oil hazards in check? 

  • High risk fires - oil is everywhere in turbine areas.  You need to mitigate the risk with high density discharge fire sprinkler systems.  Oil fires are high energy and they need to be put in check quickly.
  • Different oil, different solution - Lube oil, turbine skirt, hydrogen seal oil, and oil storage areas require different fire protection solutions.  Choose a company experienced in special hazards who have enough understanding of this hazard that they can make informed decisions (like us!). 
 
While turbine areas have fire hazards around every bend (literally), there is a way to protect them.  With thoroughly designed systems that take into account obstructions and hazards, a turbine building can be protected from fire. 

 

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