By 2030, 205GW of new offshore wind capacity is expected to be added globally, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). Though this growth is essential for the energy transition, it presents new and heightened challenges to the industry. From getting the energy to shore, the sea-bound commute for operations and maintenance (O&M) teams, or preventing and rapidly responding to a turbine fire in order to reduce the financial, environmental, and reputational impacts, the offshore wind industry has a new set of challenges that it must rise to.
Among the types of electrical fires, electrical panel fires can be some of the most concerning and damaging. The National Fire Protection Association reports that fires involving electrical malfunctions or failures contribute to the most deaths and property damage each year, especially from November to February, when the weather becomes colder. Electrical panels and their associated circuit breakers become a fire hazard when they aren’t well-maintained, when they aren’t installed correctly, or when they just plain wear out. As the center of the building’s electrical system, the more an electrical panel is damaged by a fire, the greater the downtime, need for repair and risk to people who are on the premises.
Fires in both on and offshore wind turbines can have a devastating impact on developers, investors, and all advocates for clean energy. Whether it’s the reputational damage caused by a visible and photographable incident or the immediate environmental risks like the potential spread of wildfires, it’s clear that the sector must take fire risk seriously.
A container yard is a busy place. In August of 2021, the Port Authority of Los Angeles released numbers showing that over 900,000 containers were handled in that month alone, bringing the yearly tally to just over 6 million containers. Container handlers, such as cranes and reach stackers, are critical to meeting these types of productivity demands for ports everywhere. However, unpredictable equipment fires happen frequently, significantly impacting productivity.
The answer here is relatively straightforward: not long at all. But there are various types of damage to consider in the aftermath of a wind turbine fire. It includes physical damage – the tangible, visible burnt-out shell of a multi-million dollar wind turbine. And the conceptual, reputational damage that is invisible but has the potential to become so deep-seated that it is increasingly difficult to fix.
If you own a business, you know how devastating a fire can be. Not only do fires reduce profits by damaging property and equipment as well as increasing downtime, but they are a serious safety risk for you and your employees. And while not all fires are entirely preventable, there are many steps you can take to increase your chances of preventing fires and reacting quickly when one does occur.
The exact industry-wide risk for wind turbine fires is hard to pin down. Statistics vary between sources from 1 in 2,000 to 1 in 15,000. As the number of operating wind turbines grows, the total number of wind turbine fires per year will increase unless owners and operators fully manage fire risk. The wind industry takes fire risk very seriously, but often, owners and operators don’t always know where to start when it comes to evaluating their wind turbine’s fire risk.
Wind farm owners and operators retrofit their wind turbines with fire suppression systems for a number of reasons. Some retrofit after losing a turbine to a fire incident, others because of internal risk analysis, and some after receiving a significant increase in insurance rates. There are both pros and cons of retrofitting fire suppression systems. We’ll help you understand if the benefits outweigh the risks of installing fire suppression systems on your fleet.
Wind turbines are multi-million dollar pieces of equipment with sensitive electronics, and from time to time, employees working inside and outside the turbine. In the case of a fire starting in the wind turbine, a fire suppression system can prevent the risk of fire loss in your turbines, but only if properly designed and with a suitable fire suppression agent. Deciding on the best fire suppression agent is important in order to protect your equipment, employees, and the environment.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a clean agent is an electrically non-conducting, volatile, or gaseous fire extinguishant that does not leave a residue upon evaporation. A clean agent fire suppression system uses either a chemical or inert gas to suppress a fire at the inception stage before it can grow and is incredibly effective in extinguishing Class A, B, and C fires.
Nearly 60,000 fires a year occur due to electrical fires. Electrical fires have several causes and understanding the reasons why fires start and the preventative measures to take will reduce the fire risks. This includes properly maintaining your electrical panel, circuits, and wiring.
Businesses looking to safeguard critical equipment and assets from fire need to understand the basics of a fire suppression system. Automatic fire suppression systems can detect and suppress fires in as little as 10 seconds. Watch the slow-motion video of a system detecting and suppressing a fire that ignited in an electrical server rack.