Fire/gas system solves cogeneration plant problems

Paul Boughton

A Det-Tronics Eagle Quantum Premier (EQP) fire and gas detection and control system installed to protect a gas turbine and generator at the TransAlta Cogeneration Plant in Ottawa, Canada, has successfully eliminated the falsealarm problems of the previous equipment while providing the functionality and programming flexibility needed to match the old system's operation and simplify the changeover.

The plant produces 72MW of electricity for the Ontario Grid and provides heating/cooling to area hospitals via a heat recovery steam generator.

The EQP system was selected to protect a GE LM6000 turbine and generator by monitoring gas levels, fire and/or excessive temperatures. If an emergency is detected, it will shut down the turbine and discharge CO2 fire extinguishant, or start another exhaust fan to vent the high levels of gas and activate horns and beacons.

According to TransAlta's instrumentation/electrical coordinator Dean Dalpe the EQP system was chosen for its small and compact size, with one system providing both fire and gas detection all in one unit. As far as I have experienced it is reliable with no false trips he said, which is a definite benefit to our company as our down time is reduced."

He also explained that the system's flexibility in functionality and ease of programming were essential in enabling it to operate exactly the same as the old system and allow changes to be made easily in the field during commissioning. It also allowed him to use much of the existing hardware to keep overall costs down.

In addition to the EQP controllerfield devices in the installation included three infrared hydrocarbon gas detectorsfour multispectrum IR flame detectors and three 8 point Input/Output modules. Det-Tronics 'S3' software allows for alarm monitoring and logic configuration.

The equipment is mounted within the turbine package. The environment can range from cold to "excessively warm" and oil can spray onto the sensing equipment whichaccording to Dean Dalpehas not been seen to cause any problems now that the flame detectors are multispectrum IR devices.

"The installation was performed in a reasonable amount of time and the devices where easy to tie in and set up he added, explaining that no production was lost as this was done during a plant maintenance outage.

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