– Performance of active fire protection systems for wind turbines
Fire is an important cause of accidents in wind turbines. Incidents regarding fire affect nearly 0.5 per cent of the turbines worldwide every year. The main causes are lightning strike, electrical malfunction, mechanical failure, and maintenance errors.
A wind turbine costing approximately 3 million Euro is generating an estimated income of more than half a million Euros per year. Any loss or downtime is crucial for wind parks productivity. It is assumed that active fire suppression systems would improve the protection against fire in wind turbines and reduce the damages. Results from active fire suppression systems installed in engine compartments of buses are showing that carefully designed and tested systems are reducing the damages caused by smoke and heat.
Wind parks installed in arctic climates will face special challenges related not only to the harsh weather conditions but also to accessibility. Furthermore, fire suppression equipment installed in these environments will have to withstand and operate in extreme low temperatures with high reliability. It is needed to carefully study the factors which can affect the reliability of the equipment by testing its performance against fires in cold environments, but also and how extreme temperatures affect it in stand-by mode.
This project aims to test the effectiveness of active fire suppression equipment in cold environments.
It will include:
• Testing of fire suppression capabilities of equipment using a mock-up of a nacelle where temperature and fire load can be controlled.
• Durability and reliability tests of the fire suppression system and auxiliary components under temperature cycles.
Financing for this project will be as follows:
• Funding will be requested for financing the construction and operation of the mock-up.
• Each manufacturer will contribute “in-kind” with the equipment to be tested.
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