Fourth Quarter 2013 Newsletter
In the fourth quarter issue of the Plant Protection Report, we are exploring the topic of fire hazards when converting fuel sources. With EPA regulations and the current low cost of natural gas, there has been a surge in converting fuel sources in plants. Converting fuel sources will change and potentially add fire hazards to a plant. This quarter’s featured article, “Converting Power Plant Fuel Sources: What fire hazards will arise?” explains the fire risks involved in the conversion.
We hope this article will promote safe fuel conversions and encourage intelligent project pre-planning.
F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems
Followers of the power industry are well aware of the EPA regulations pushing coal power into the history books. Because of this, many plants are converting fuel sources. There are several options for fueling plants: solar, biofuel, combined-cycle - but the fuel of the moment is natural gas. With its current minimal cost and clean burning, it is a fuel that government regulators and plant managers can agree on. However, the process of converting fuels can be hazardous. There are numerous fire protection considerations that need to be made before, during, and after the conversion.
The Process of Converting Fuels
When a plant converts from one fuel source to another - for the purpose of this article, we will use the example of coal to natural gas, as this is the most common conversion -, the equipment needs to be changed and the boiler has to be converted from coal burning to gas burning. Conveyors and silos are no longer needed, but they may still be on the premises. If so, they may still contain residual coal dust that can cause spontaneous combustion. If a silo remains on the property for storage or another use, it needs to be protected with fire sprinklers. A fire or explosion in these shuttered areas could easily damage other working parts of the plant.
F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems received a contract for the design, procurement, and installation of a large fire and gas detection system.
Generating Station, 2 units
We completed work on Unit 1 in September 2013 and Unit 2 & 3 is expected to kick off mid-2014. We will be doing two CO2 Systems with two zones of detection (heat detection and Protectowire). There is one CO2 system per unit. We will also be completing the fire alarm installation.
F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems received a contract to complete all inspections for the year.
We are providing fire protection systems, design, materials, and installation for the steam turbine building, maintenance warehouse building, and fire pump rooms.
F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems will be providing fire protection upgrades for this plant.
F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems will install deluge sprinkler systems for units 1 and 2.
F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems is installing 4 deluge systems, 1 dry pipe system, and 1 class II standpipe. We will be protecting various vessels that process flammable liquids at this plant.
In the construction industry, driving is a part of the job. Going to and from job sites and driving equipment around the site is a daily responsibility. The majority of on the job injuries and deaths are driving related. This affects everybody. That is why safe driving practices are a must.
Some items to note to ensure safety measures are at the forefront of all on the job driving:
• Maintain a safe following distance.
• Watch for hazards - check your rearview and side mirrors to look for hazards.
• Act quickly and correctly - after you have chosen the best defensive action, react fast.
• Be aware of the 5 characteristics of defensive driving: knowledge, foresight, alertness, judgment, and skill.
• Pay attention - no texting or talking while driving.
With these defensive driving moves in mind, protect yourself and your employer by driving safely.