Fourth Quarter 2012 Newsletter

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Fourth Quarter 2012

Dear Reader,

The fourth quarter edition of the Plant Protection Report delves into the topic of solar power. With emissions becoming an ever-present topic in the power industry, solar power plant construction is growing. In fact, construction is currently in progress for enough concentrated solar power to provide energy for 200,000 homes.

With this in mind, the misconceptions about the fire safety of solar power are growing with the industry. Concentrated solar power (CSP) plants use solar energy to power standard steam-generated power plants. Therefore, CSPs have as many fire hazards as most standard plants. The article, "Solar Power's Secret Fire Hazards" will explore the numerous fire hazards hidden within the plant. We hope that this article will bring awareness to this often misunderstood topic.


Daryl Bessa
President, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems

solar power fire hazards


The sun beams enough energy in one hour to power the entire world for one year.  However, the world is still in the beginning stages of adopting this renewable energy source.  There are many aspects of solar power that are misunderstood.  A major misconception is the idea that solar power plants have no inherent fire risk.  The majority of large scale solar power plants are concentrated solar power plants (CSP), which use solar energy to power conventional steam turbines.  Therefore, CSP plants have the same fire hazards as many conventional power plants.  With the push to "green" energy, CSP plants are gaining popularity.  Currently, 1,000MW of energy from concentrated solar power is under construction (; enough to power 200,000 homes.    With the rapid growth of this form of energy, how do we keep it protected from fire? 

Converting the Sun into Power

Harnessing the sun's energy into usable electricity is one of the cleanest forms of power.  It is a renewable source of energy that will faithfully rise each morning.  The process of converting the sun's rays into power is relatively simple, but can create fire hazards that must be protected.

CSP plants use a series of lenses, mirrors, or heliostats and tracking systems to condense sunlight into a narrow beam of light.  Solar plants have numerous options for technology that condenses the sunlight into a beam:  Concentrating Linear Fresnel Reflector, Stirling Dish, Linear Parabolic Reflector/Parabolic Troughs, Solar Dish, or Solar Power Tunnel.  The intense beam of light created is then used to provide heat to power a conventional steam turbine.

The concentrated beam of sunlight is used as a heat source to warm the heat transfer fluid, molten salt, or steam generator to power the steam turbine.  The steam turbine is connected to a generator, which produces the energy. 

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new contracts 

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems has recently received contracts to perform a range of services in several power generating plants:

Contract Agreements:

Amos Station | Winfield, WV

Amos Valve Replacement | Winfield, WV

Golden Spread Mustang 6 | Denver City, TX

Cope Station Warehouse | Cope, SC

Crescent Dunes Solar | Tonopah, NV

Buckeye | Perry, FL

East Bend Transfer Tower | Rabbit Hash, KY

Los Esteros | San Jose, CA

spotlight on safety         

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

Pre-task planning is essential for the timely and safe completion of a task within a construction project. A pre-task work plan covers six essential aspects of the task to be performed: determining potential problems, scheduling, costs, quality requirements and assurances, prerequisite tasks, and determining the progress of the task. Follow the directions below to arrange your next pre-task planning meeting.
1. Compile a work plan that addresses the six angles of task planning.
2. Review the work plan with the crew.
3. Discuss the work that needs to be done to complete the task.
4. Assign jobs to the crew that will aid in completing the task.
5. Begin the discussion on safety hazards.
6. Identify potential hazards.
7. Determine if modifying the work plan will avoid the hazard by rearranging the sequence of events or using different tools.
8. For hazards that cannot be eliminated by modifying the work plan, introduce safeguards against the hazard.

Put safety and timely completion of a project first by implementing these eight simple steps into your next pre-task planning meeting.


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