Fire detection technology provides safety for solar valley

April 2011 Fire & Safety

Honeywell keeps Solar Valley cool.

In addition to other renewable (and/or alternative) sources of energy such as wind, water or geothermal heat, solar energy belongs to the fields which will play an increasingly larger role in future energy supply. Unlike the fossil fuels which are available only for a finite amount of time such as oil, coal and natural gas – on which the present supply is generally based, solar energy is available permanently. The method of photovoltaics is used in order to convert solar radiation into electric energy. The most well-known form of such systems are the solar modules that have been installed on a large number of roofs and which provide a portion of the energy used in the respective buildings. New records are announced regularly from the scientific laboratories when it comes to the performance classes of the solar modules.

According to the ‘National renewable energy action plan’ the German Federal Government assumes that approximately 38% of electricity in the year 2020 will be produced by means of renewable energy sources. Today this percentage is already a good 17%.

The industrial area in the district of Thalheim in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, near the Halle-Leipzig airport is referred to as Solar Valley. The production and storage facilities of various companies in the photovoltaics industry are found on the main road there known as Sonnenallee (Sun Avenue).

For example the Sovello AG, the Q-Cells SE and its subsidiaries Calyxo GmbH and Solibro GmbH. In several development stages over the past few years a 77-hectares technology park was created – Solibro alone increased its production capacity to 135 MWp (Megawatt Peak) which makes it one of the largest solar module production facilities based on CIGS (Copper-Indium-Gallium-Diselenide) technology. Q-Cells SE was founded in 1999 and has developed into one of the world’s largest photovoltaics companies within only a few years. More than 200 scientists and engineers at Q-Cells work on further developing the technology by lowering the related costs both quickly and permanently, thus making photovoltaics affordable and competitive.

Complex safety network

One can easily imagine the disastrous effects a major fire may have in such industrial complexes. The local company Teltron&Simet GmbH was assigned to equip the local businesses with an appropriate security network. Being a partner of Novar GmbH, these expert installers use ESSER traditional brand products. As of 2011, the installer will be able to look back at a successful and positive development regarding their own competences in the fields of communication, information and security technology. The company thus offers an efficient combination which promises a wide range of flexible services – even for large projects.

Monitoring of the Technologiepark Mittel-deutschland includes the buildings of the following companies:

* Sovello is equipped with three 8008 FACPs, which are connected to 2471 optical smoke detectors, 116 manual call points and 18 aspirating smoke detectors (LRS).

* Calyxo has three IQ8Control M FACPs connected with 589 optical smoke detectors, 44 manual call points as well as 3 LRS systems.

* Solibro is monitored by one 8008 FACP connected to 1289 optical smoke detectors, 92 manual call points and LRS systems.

* Q-Cells is protected by two 8008 FACPs as well as six IQ8Control C FACPs and seven IQ8Control M FACPs connected to 3859 optical smoke detectors, 415 manual call points as well as 100 ex-proof fire detectors.

All alarm panels are networked via fibre-optic cables. A superordinate WINMAG hazard management system was installed for the entire network which also visualises two other Honeywell Security disciplines, namely access control and intruder alarm technology.

For more information contact Nick Honess, Honeywell Systems Group, +44 1928 754023, [email protected]

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