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about Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBG), FBG Sensors and Monitoring Systems

Fiber optic solutions for fire detection and temperature measurement

on April 22, 2019

Fire, Coals (1)Proper fire detection in the mining area is the number one priority because fire can evoke damages to valuable assets, downtime in operation and even loss of lives. Herewith, the installation of fire protection devices can be complicated by harsh environmental conditions of the mining area because industrial equipment produces dirt, dust, humidity and corrosive atmospheres in the production, storage or transport of goods. Nevertheless, the application of modern fiber optic sensors based on distributed temperature sensing or DTS is considered to be a proven and efficient technology for fire detection and temperature measurement.

The fact is DTS technology provides precise temperature measurement along the length of a conveyor belt due to the use of autonomous fiber optic cables, therefore, even very long conveyor routes can be efficiently monitored. Thus, cases of fires and overheating during mining operation can be quickly and easily identified and localized to within one-meter precision by distributed temperature sensors, enabling to activate the safety countermeasures. Also, it should be mentioned that it is required proper installation of the fiber optic sensor cables and adjustment of the alarm zones for heat detection of industrial rollers.

Nowadays mining industry applies fiber optic linear heat detection systems for these purposes, however, the new distributed sensing technology may significantly improve and increase the protection of assets in combination with the one mentioned above. The principle of DTS technology operation is based on the use of optical fibers as a distributed microphone, moreover, it means that fiber optic sensors allow measuring not only the temperature but also the acoustics. Such additional information is important because it helps to determine potential sources of danger and improves the whole purpose of fire prevention. To be precise, the DTS is highly important in hot roller detection that is the main reason for conveyor fires.

Also, it is difficult to identify the initial smoldering stage with traditional techniques, herewith, the majority of common gas detecting systems do not work properly because of high air currents. An optical fiber based on distributed temperature sensing technology, in its turn, provides numerous benefits during both normal operation and dangerous situation that include:

  • Reliable fiber optic cable that is resistant to dirt and dust;
  • Long distance (up to 10 km) and up to 4 measurement channels monitor several conveyors with one DTS system;
  • Practically maintenance-free;
  • Accurate localization of fires and hot rollers;
  • DTS is able to detect fires in spite of unfavorable environmental conditions.

Optromix is a DTS system manufacturer that provides top of the line distributed temperature sensing systems suitable for monitoring of commerce networks. If you have any questions or would like to buy a DTS system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

editorFiber optic solutions for fire detection and temperature measurement

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