UK offshore wind farm uses Hochiki life safety products to ensure safe working conditions
With 44% of the UK’s electricity coming from renewable sources, London Array, operator of Margate’s offshore Wind Farm, has chosen Hochiki’s fire protection products to improve the safety of the facility and its workers. Generating about GBP1million worth of electricity a day when all 175 turbines are in operation, this wind farm produces enough electricity to power half a million UK homes a year, and reduces harmful CO2 emissions by around 925,000 tons per year. However, with this achievement comes the responsibility of keeping the people who are helping to make this green energy production a reality, safe.
KM Security Solutions is the contractor responsible for the security, fire safety and evacuation systems on board the offshore and onshore substations, and chose fire protection products from manufacturer Hochiki. Dan Smith, Technical Services Manager for KM Security Solutions explains: “The constant change in weather combined with sea-salt spray makes offshore wind farms an incredibly hostile environment to work in, not only for people but also for the systems, cabling, and devices that help to run it and keep it safe. Therefore, it’s imperative we install life safety devices that won’t let the teams and premises down in an emergency.”
For this unique and vital project, Visual Alarm Devices (VADs) combined with the CHQ-WPK Weatherproofing Kit, IP-rated manual call points and the Hochiki FIREvac Voice Alarm system were installed across the windfarm’s sub-stations. Smith concludes: “Failures can arise from parts of the system experiencing erosion from the weather, where plastic parts can break down, allowing water ingress, causing short-circuits which could impact the entire life safety system onboard. Using the isolating devices from Hochiki prevents an entire system from going down, isolating only the part that has failed, saving time, money, and materials.
It allows us to go in as part of our ongoing maintenance project and upgrade parts as and when needed without the need for huge overhauls.”
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