24-25 Jul 2024

FLIR Systems Reduce Fire Risk

Sep 11, 2019 Landfill

FLIR are the world’s leader in the manufacture of Thermal Imaging Cameras. These cameras have a diverse market base with an array of applications. The Early Fire Detection (EFD) application is the targeted application in the Waste Industry. Fires in waste and recycling facilities are a huge problem and having a Thermal Imaging EFD system installed alleviates costly clean-up and rebuild after a fire.

In densely populated West-European countries, solid household waste is collected and carried to a waste incineration plant, unlike Australia where waste is dumped directly into landfill sites. The most advanced incineration plants use combustion heat to fuel up an adjacent waste-to-energy system, which provides heating and power to nearby residential areas.

The waste is stored in waste bunkers, which contain thousands of metric tons of solid waste. This waste is potentially flammable when stored: self-combustion, heat development due to pressure, spontaneous chemical reactions between the disposals, methane gas-building, are potential fire hazards.

The need for fire prevention becomes even more serious for installations with a waste shredder: sparks from shredding metal and other solid parts blend with methane gases, resulting in an explosive cocktail scattering around the entire waste bunker.

“Because human beings can only feel heat rather than seeing it, infrared radiation is measured through thermal imaging technology. The human eye sees only a tiny fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum, which includes visible light of approximately 400nm-900nm (nanometers)”. Said Sean Towner, Regional Manager East Instruments

Infrared cameras are excellent tools for both fire prevention and fire detection, provided they offer

some basic features that serve the purpose:
  • The ability to detect and clearly visualize nascent hot spots through smoke and dust
  • Measure and indicate temperature
  • Control pre-defined areas on a permanent basis
  • Raise an alarm when a temperature threshold is passed.

The electromagnetic spectrum is a collective term to refer to the entire range of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation – which are all the different kinds of energies released into space by stars. These include heat – measured through infrared radiation, light, television waves and radio waves. Thermal imaging technology can detect heat levels by measuring electromagnetic radiation, producing images of that radiation called thermograms. The amount of radiation emitted by an object increases with temperature, which appears on the thermal image in colours representing a variety of temperature levels. “said Towner

Thermal imaging cameras are now a commonly acknowledged tool to detect fires and possible fire hazards at the early stages. Permanently installed cameras, operating along with fire detectors, offer a range of important benefits over standard technologies. These include the ability to see heat build-up before a fire can start, as well as seeing through airborne dust and particulates that can impede or cause false alarms from other detector types. It gives operators the ability to stop a fire from occurring or be able to lessen its impact, making the site safer and reducing business costs.

You can see FLIR systems at AWRE 2019, visit them on stand C43

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