Siemens' fire detection and extinguishing system is certified

Tuesday, 23 July, 2013 - 10:45

The Active Fire Fighting System (AFFS) from Siemens has been certified by VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH and Germanischer Lloyd and is now officially approved for the protection of offshore wind turbines. By its own account, Siemens is the first company to be recognized by both testing and approval bodies with a combined system of fire detection and extinguishing systems for wind turbine equipment.

The AFFS detects fires in wind turbines and extinguishes them automatically - without delay and elaborate fire fighting operations at sea. The first systems will be used in the North Sea wind farm Riffgat.

This is how it works: AFFS combines ASA (Advanced Signal Analysis) fire detectors with a Sinorix gas fire extinguishing system. If AFFS detects a fire in the nacelle or the tower - caused by a short circuit in the switch cabinets, for example - it triggers the automatic extinguishing system. The wind turbine is shut down and the fire is extinguished.

The system does not produce false alarms, is low-maintenance and resistant to weathering, which is an advantage in the case of difficult-to-access offshore wind turbines, says the manufacturer. Costs for the operator are minimised, since things like fire helicopters are unnecessary. Further damage, caused by the fire spreading, is also prevented.

Siemens engineers developed the fire detection and extinguishing system in the last year and a half, and tested it during a pilot phase in wind turbines in Brande (Denmark) and in Flensburg (Germany). After certification by VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH and Germanischer Lloyd, the first systems were installed at the Riffgat wind farm, north-west of the island of Borkum. AFFS is in operation in 30 wind turbines, which the Wind Power Division of Siemens installed for the North German utility company EWE and the project developer ENOVA Energiesysteme.

Katharina Garus

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