Power utility fires can cost millions of dollars.
They happen quickly and may spread fast, destroying critical company assets. Even worse, fires endanger utility workers and first responders. Effects are far-reaching and can impact the supply of power to customers, disrupting businesses and lowering public trust.
Designing with passive fire protection may lower risk but ignition sources and fuel supplies remain. Remote and unoccupied spaces with indoor and outdoor switchgear, transformer equipment, cable trays and vaults, turbine rooms, and electrical cabinets are real fire hazards where active fire protection is needed.
Power utilities strive for reliability goals of 99.9% or more, so quick response is essential. Expert risk managers know that robust, reliable, and effective fire protection can help support utility performance goals. They value technology that suppresses fires quickly but realize it must also have low capital cost and recurrent maintenance expense.
These performance elements are all found in Stat-X® advanced technology. It’s why more power utilities are turning to Stat-X for their fire protection needs.
Stat-X aerosol fire suppression is a versatile and cost-effective solution for power utility fire protection. Each sealed, stainless steel generator contains a solid, stable, and specially formulated fire suppression compound unmatched in the industry.
When a fire occurs, the Stat-X generator activates, producing and releasing an advanced aerosol fire suppression agent.
Agent fills the protected space and chemically interrupts the combustion process. Fire is suppressed, and the micron-sized agent particles remain suspended to help prevent possible re-flash.
Stat-X generators come in a range of compact, rugged, non-pressurized units. Modular design allows versatile configuration by mixing and matching units to protect a variety of spaces, from small to large.
Electrically actuated models work with popular linear, aspirating, or spot detection and control systems. Thermal and manual actuation models require no external power source to operate.
Compared to expensive water deluge, gas, or dry chemical piped systems, Stat-X technology is economical to install and own.
Stat-X units do not need piping. What’s more, no special catch basins are required to collect any waste water and oil mix after a fire, which could overflow and make soil remediation necessary.
When discharged, Stat-X aerosol agent remains suspended, protecting the space longer. Afterwards, it’s easily vented out for clean-up. Spent Stat-X units are simply replaced so the system can be restored to continue protecting the asset.
Stat-X agent is also safer for people, equipment, and the environment. Unlike many conventional systems, it doesn’t work by depleting oxygen, or by releasing ozone-harming chemicals.
And since Stat-X agent is stable and generated only when the system actuates, there’s no need for periodic agent level inspections or container hydro-testing.
The advanced technology used by Stat-X products is covered by NFPA® 2010 Standard for Fixed Aerosol Fire-Extinguishing Systems.
Ground power supply is a vehicle used for supplying power to aircraft parked on the ground. The electric energy is carried from a generator to a connection on the aircraft via 3 phase 4-wire insulated cable.
Due to the compactness of these vehicles it’s hard and not cost effective to install conventional fire suppression systems.
The traditional method of fighting fires in this type of equipment is a handheld extinguisher, which is not effective for these kinds of applications because they are not automatic. The delay gives time for the fire to spread and sometimes makes it harder to extinguish.
Fire Risks in this Application:
Anytime current flows, whether during generation or transmission, a byproduct of that flow is heat. The greater the current flow, the greater the amount of heat created. When this heat becomes too great, protective coatings on wiring and other electrical devices can melt, causing shorting, which leads to more current flow and greater heat. This heat can become so great that metals can melt, liquids vaporize, and flammable substances ignite.
Carbonization of insulation can also lead to fires on aircraft wiring called wet tracking. Wet tracking takes place due to the combined effects of moisture and pollutants on the surface of wiring. The same can happen if there is a considerable amount of aging on the wiring.
Personnel who attempt to work with electrical equipment and have no knowledge of the principles of electricity can also be responsible for a fire accident. Since these power generation units use flammable liquids as a fuel to generate electricity, there is also a Class B fire risk also involved, which is caused mostly due to operational activities.
Scope of Stat-X FIRE Suppression for this Application:
The majority of fires in this application are a result of flammable liquids and electrical wiring, which fall into
Class B & Class C (as per NFPA). Stat-X has passed the rigorous testing for Class B and Class C fires by Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) as a suppression technology for fighting these fires by using a total flooding technique by breaking the chain reaction of combustion without any depletion in the normal levels of oxygen.
As an environmentally-friendly product, Stat-X generators can withstand temperatures more than 100º C and operate normally with less installation and maintenance costs.
Stat-X electrical activation systems are installed in many of these ground support generators as a perfect alternative for the conventional systems and handheld extinguishers. And because of their compactness, Stat-X can be installed inside this equipment, which gets activated by a linear heat detection cable when there is a fire. Stat-x generators can also be operated manually.
Since the equipment is mobile, the installed systems can remain intact during transport. If the system is removed it can be installed easily since it doesn’t require any piping or floor space.
The following picture is an example of the Stat-X system installed in a ground power supply vehicle.
Utilities are facing growing problems with manhole and underground vault fires throughout their network. They are encountering significant losses both in equipment destruction as well as in public relations as these fires lead to extended down time for customers in the network.
Stat-X fire suppression offers solutions for various types of manholes and underground vaults. This solution will be designed to meet the size and condition based on the environment.
Stat-X First Responder® Emergency Fire Suppressor
Most utilities have service trucks on the road with a crew of two underground workers. These workers are not active fire fighters but will respond to manhole fires to try to restore service. The Stat-X First Responder® is designed to be tossed into the burning manhole to suppress the fire and eventually restore service.
In the event the underground workers are on site when a fire breaks out and by chance one of the workers is in the manhole when this occurs and becomes incapacitated and trapped in the burning manhole, the partner worker will immediately deploy a Stat-X First Responder in the manhole. The fire will be immediately suppressed and /or extinguished. Since Stat-X aerosol is not harmful the trapped worker will not be harmed in the manhole while awaiting rescue.
Stat-X fixed fire suppression system for manholes and vaults NOT subject To Flooding
In the event of a fire in the vault, the Stat-X® thermal generators automatically activate by heat. The size of generator is determined by the cubic volume of the manhole/vault. The largest thermal generator is 1000 grams, covering a manhole or vault up to 565 cubic feet. The generator will be bracketed near or at the top of the vault aimed down to discharge and totally flood the manhole/vault, immediately extinguishing the fire.
Stat-X fixed fire suppression system for manholes and vaults subject to periodic flooding
This fixed Stat-X system utilizes the appropriately sized Stat-X electric aerosol generator, a self-powered control panel, a discharge circuit disable toggle switch with cover, a NEMA 6P enclosure for the panel, Fenwal heat detector, prefabricated uni strut support, and a seal tight conduit with fittings.
Use of a panel controlled system provides verification during inspection that system circuit continuity is present without having to disassemble connections and meter the circuit to insure no connections downstream are loose or disconnected. If there is a problem the panel will indicate which circuit requires corrective action. It also indicates if the battery is too weak and requires replacing. The panel can also actuate multiple generators for volumes that require more than one.
Automatically actuated systems where personnel may be present require a physical means of disconnect for the discharge circuit. This is accomplished using a covered toggle switch installed in the discharge circuit. The switch is mounted inside the enclosure on its back panel. Initiating this switch will create a fault / trouble condition in the panel. The audible indication and illuminated yellow fault light from the panel will serve as a reminder to the end user personnel to enable the discharge circuit by actuating the switch prior to leaving the area. This also simplifies this process because it requires no tools to accomplish.
The NEMA 6P rated enclosure and seal tight conduit is used to protect the panel from water intrusion due to occasional full submersion in the man hole.
A wide range of heat detector temperature settings are available. Temperature settings would be chosen based upon the end user needs. For example, proximity of underground steam lines to the manhole.
Prefabricated uni strut support with enclosure, control panel, heat detector, and generator bracket reduces installation time for the following reasons.