Industries continuously strive to improve safety by reducing the number of personnel who are exposed to risk of fires or explosions in hazardous areas. Modern technology allows remote or automatic operation and monitoring of more and more industrial processes and facilities. As a result, the number of unmanned hazardous work areas, processes and plants are increasing and many new unmanned facilities are being designed and implemented.
To allow this, visual (video) monitoring capabilities are becoming an integral part of the basic safety design. Industry has developed, approved and made available to designers and operators, flame detectors that incorporate integrated explosion proof, high definition (HD) video that provides surveillance capability in hazardous areas to monitor, control, assess and address fire/explosion events.
Currently employed flame detectors are based on technology and know-how that was available to experts a few years ago and was used to specify the requirements for flame detectors. Today, with faster detection time, substantially increased immunity to false operation and integrated HD video, a new range of UV-IR and Triple-IR (IR3) flame detectors are readily available for engineers, specifiers and users.
The range of HD detectors includes: IR3 models for hydrocarbons, IR3 models for detection of ‘invisible’ hydrogen fires, UV-IR models at the 2.7 micron water absorption band for hydrocarbon and hydrogen fires, and UV-IR at the 4.3 micron CO2 absorption band for hydrocarbon fires.
The FlameSpec IR3-H2-HD has a long detection range of up to 100ft (30m), and explosion detection mode with less than 40 milliseconds detection time. Its normal mode of operation is as fast as 1.5 second detection time. All that with substantially increased false-alarm immunity.
Today, the technological progress provides for faster (much faster) response time while maintaining and substantially enhancing false-alarm immunity. The latest detectors were developed, tested and approved and include different types of UV-IR and IR3 flame detectors, some with HD video; others incorporate data loggers and all are much faster than detectors in current use.
Flame detectors need to provide for: The fastest possible response time and 100% positive detection of fire (no misses) in all weather conditions. While maintaining:
- Very high immunity to false alarms in all background illuminations and weather conditions.
- Fast and reliable detection of any type of fuel or gas ignition, outburst of fire, or vapour explosion.
- Reliability in all operating conditions with very high mean time between failure (MTBF).
Why wait precious seconds for an alarm by older technology, slower detection speeds or to not be in a position to instantly respond to fuel cloud ignition (in milliseconds) when, today, there are approved faster and better performing flame detectors that can do just that – with even higher immunity to false alarms.
High-definition (HD) video
High-definition (HD) video output of the monitored area with clear imaging of a fire event and of personnel at distances up to 100ft (30m). This allows the rescue team to be aware of the exact situation before entering the hazardous area. The detector automatically records video of any fire event (1 minute pre- and up to 3 minutes post alarm initiation). These features, along with the built-in event logger, provide additional means to study the cause and development of fire events for ‘lessons learned’ reviews.
The recent technological developments are able to substantially improve on the detection speed while in parallel improving the false-alarm immunity.
False activation (for no real threat) results in a very disruptive and costly event. This may result in shutdown of critical processes, evacuation of personnel, activations of suppression systems and the incurrence of high costs etc.
The actual damage of false alarms is even greater than the immediate cost of activating unnecessary fire-emergency procedures. False alarm causes lost time, money and credibility of the safety system. Such loss in credibility, in many cases, causes personnel to see events as ‘nuisance’ alarms and be less concerned or may also lead to disregarding future fire alarms or even, in extreme cases, disconnection of the detection elements.
It should be noted that the challenge of avoiding false activation is complex. Many techniques that might be used to prevent false activation will also significantly reduce the detection sensitivity for real fires. Under no circumstance can one allow a detector not to alarm when a fire is at its initial stage, while it is still small or early enough to be controlled and extinguished.
Remote access: High-speed internet availability with ever shrinking storage media allows for devices to become more available for remote access and analysis. Flame detectors are continuously monitoring critical industrial assets. In any industrial environment, people and machinery are continuously accessing these monitored areas.
Today, it is possible to store events (flame or suspicious flame events) in nonvolatile memory. The flame detector can store critical video and raw sensor recordings as well as diagnostic data that is now easily accessible and extractable. Direct TCP/IP access as well as RS485 allow us to extract the recorded data and supply security and support personnel with valuable data that can be accessed in real time or at a more convenient time for analysis and diagnostics.
Furthermore, with internet access, a detector can be remotely and securely accessed by support personal for real-time analysis. Log files and recordings can be downloaded and immediate support can be given to solve technical problems. To get technical assistance, it is no longer required to detach a detector and send it the long journey to a support centre. With a commonly available internet connection, it is possible to connect, diagnose and configure a detector to fit a specific field requirement. This is an extremely valuable option that is now available with all FlameSpec products.
Detecting and seeing the invisible Hydrogen Flame: Hydrogen (H2) flame detectors thus far were basic UV-IR detectors that had a relatively short detection range, while relatively prone to false alarms. The IR3 detectors, that are specially configured to detect H2 fire had detection capability at the range of 100ft (30m). Most of the currently used H2 flame detection has detection time ranging from 3 to 10 seconds. The new generation of H2 flame detection has substantially improved immunity to false alarms while having an integral camera that provides a video and recording of the event from before ignition (the initiation of the event) and for a pre-determined time thereafter. But what is more important is that it has an explosion detection capability as fast as 40 milliseconds and fire detection time in under 2 seconds.
The FlameSpec family provides:
Faster detection time:
- IR3-Ultra-fast Mode detects in 40 milliseconds for fireballs and explosions
- Extreme sensitivity up to 260ft (80m)
- High immunity to false alarms.
- UV-IR-Ultra-fast Mode detects in 5 milliseconds for fireballs and explosions (faster than any other detector).
- For standard fire at 100ft (30m) within 3.0 seconds and 0–50ft (0–15m) within 1.5 seconds.
- High immunity to false alarms.
Records over 100 events with operational and video data (1 minute before and up to 3 minutes after the event).
Continuous high-definition video:
Full HD resolution real-time video with clear imaging of fire events at a distance of 100ft (30m).
LAN ethernet communication
(ONVIF protocol) and RS 485 interface.
Enables you to monitor and better address fire events, assess events and reduce unnecessary and costly downtime while conducting remote diagnostics and maintenance
Fire & Gas Detection Technologies FlameSpec detectors have been designed and developed by the original team of engineers that developed the IR3 and UV-IR technologies. The new generation of FlameSpec detectors addresses the fire protection industry challenge to have flame detection with improved accuracy and speed of response, high reliability and higher immunity to false alarms. The FlameSpec detectors are the newest approved addition to the industry designed to fulfil this need. Add to this the integrated HD video, real-time data logging, visual confirmation on location of fire and secure remote access. The FlameSpec family now provides the fire protection industry an important leap forward in flame detection technology and performance.
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