Intelligent Spark Detection and Extinguishing

SPOTLIGHT: Fagus GreCon delivers smart technology that identifies and squelches potential sources of fires and explosions before it’s too late. The system can differentiate between dangerous sparks and harmless incidences of extraneous light.
By Pellet Mill Magazine | May 27, 2020

According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 37,000 industrial and manufacturing fires break out each year in the United States. Fire and explosion protection for manufacturing facilities is of extreme importance for companies. Common causes of these fires are heat, sparks, embers and hot particles.

One of the most efficient measures to prevent fire or dust explosion is the early identification of ignition sources. With the new Intelligent Detection Technology (IDT), Fagus GreCon offers a high-performance detector to wood pellet producers. The new DLD 1/9 detector identifies ignition sources in every environment, and it is able to differentiate between sudden interfering light and ignition sources such as sparks or embers.

Sparks and embers are often the source of larger fire and explosion events. Statistics clearly show that such fires and explosions in production facilities often destroy much more than the flames actually reach. Companies incur significant financial losses. And not all consequences of a fire can be insured. This is why a fire often indirectly results in insolvency.

Preventive fire and explosion protection is an important measure, not only to protect production, but also the company and the people working within. Innovating for more than 40 years, Fagus GreCon, headquartered in Alfeld, Germany, with offices worldwide including Charlotte, North Carolina, is bringing enhanced safety to U.S. pellet mills with its spark detection and extinguishing systems equipped with IDT. 

Deployed in the DLD 1/9 detector, IDT not only identifies hazardous moving ignition sources before a fire breaks out, but is also able to differentiate between dangerous sparks or harmless incidences of extraneous light due to porous/damaged pipes or an opening of an inspection flap. "With this DLD 1/9 detector, we achieve an optimal detection performance for all ignition sources in every environment, and we continue to expand our pioneering role in preventive fire protection," says Mario Haas, manager of Fagus GreCon’s fire protection division.

The GreCon spark detection and extinguishing system provides excellent protection, as it does not wait for an actual fire or explosion to erupt. The system prevents the development of a fire or explosion by the early detection and elimination of the ignition source. With a GreCon system it is possible to detect and eliminate ignition sources before a fire or a dust explosion occurs. Infrared detectors monitor the conveying paths and activate high-speed water extinguishing within milliseconds. The diversion or shutoff of product flow is possible if extinguishing with water is not possible for the application.

A four-level progressive alarm system ensures countermeasures are triggered quickly without interruption of the production process, in most cases. Thus, damages and the resulting downtimes are minimized or eliminated without disturbing the production process unnecessarily.

Additionally, dust collectors and silos can be monitored for fires or spontaneous ignition. When an alarm event happens, the system triggers extinguishing countermeasures even before the plant operator or fire brigade notices the fire.

The integration of the GreCon control console into the customer’s control system is possible via Ethernet IP, thereby a decentralized plant architecture is possible. The safety equipment event data is easily linked with the process control data. This is an important contribution on the way to Industry 4.0.

Today, safety is of great importance in modern production plants. High-value production equipment must be running continuously, especially under strong international competitive pressures and economically difficult times. A higher level of operational safety is reached with GreCon spark detection and extinguishing systems.