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PO Box 28, Hamilton NSW 2303, Australia

Advanced Photonics

Fight Fire with Fibre

Fire Avoidance

Fire Avoidance

Avoid a fire situation by early detection.

Fire Detection

Fire Detection

Fibre Optic DTS is your solution for leakage detection of hot or cold liquids.

Welcome to

Advanced Photonics Australia

Advanced Photonics Australia’s Fibre Optic Sensing Solutions include Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) and Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) for a wide range of heavy industry applications.

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Improve Your Safety

Disaster Prevention

Tunnel Fires

Tunnel Fires

Fire detection in long and inaccessible areas

Conveyor Fires

Conveyor Fires

Detects heat build-up above & below conveyor

Cable Insulation Burnout

Cable Insulation Burnout

Monitor and detect temperature increases in power and utility cables

Pipeline Leakage

Pipeline Leakage

Pipeline Leakage or Blockage Detection

Tank Farm Fires

Tank Farm Fires

Prevent major fire explosion incidents from occuring

Coal Bunker Fires

Coal Bunker Fires

Fire Prevention/Detection – Coal Storage

Motor / Pulley Bearing Failure

Motor / Pulley Bearing Failure

Condition Monitoring– Motor/Pulley Bearings

Conveyor Idler Failure

Conveyor Idler Failure

Condition Monitoring / Preventative Maintenance

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Cutting Edge

Technology

Cable Properties

Very small diameter and weight – fast heat transfer – short response time – fast fire detection and precise temperature and location measurement.

FRNC (Fire Resistant Non-Corrosive) steel cable, fire rated for 2hrs @ 750 degrees centigrade.

Maintenance Free

Sensor cable and detector are maintenance-free – no maintenance operations are required to maintain detector operation e.g. filter changes, calibration or cleaning.

Sensor cable has 40 years design longevity.

DTS detector with sensor cables obtained VdS certificate as heat detector with highest A1/A2 class acc. to EN 54-5 with sensor cable lengths up to 10 km

Explosion Safety

DTS detector uses laser light emitter of very low power – laser class 1 (<20 mW).

Low laser light power allows sensor cable to be installed in explosive atmospheres, e.g. coal mines, gas and dust environments.

Simple Installation

Small bending radius, combined with basic mounted requirements on new or existing cable ladder, piping or equipment structures.

Increasing Availability

Through these System Configurations

DTS system without Redundancy
DTS system without Redundancy
Sensor cable as open line, no sensor cable redundancy, no detector redundancy. EN 54-22: maximum area protected by sensor cable = 1600m2 AS1670.1: maximum zone area = 2000m2
DTS System with Cable Redundancy
DTS System with Cable Redundancy

Sensor cable as loop, detector with 2 channels, no detector redundancy.

EN 54-22: maximum are protected with sensor cable as loop = 10000m2

DTS System for Full Redundancy
DTS System for Full Redundancy

Sensor cables as 2 loops, two DTS detectors, full redundancy – highest reliability.

EN 54-22: maximum area protected by sensor cable as loop between two detectors = 10000m2 for each sensor cable loop.

Keeping you informed

Recent Articles

Glencore Coal adopts APAPL’s Conveyor & Tunnel Fire Detection DTS System

Advanced Photonics Australia’s Director Ubaldo Torre is proud to announce the signing of a contract with Glencore Coal.

The contract will provide a fully redundant fibre optic cable DTS based fire detection system for the Bulga Coal Handling Plant for the surface and reclaim tunnel conveyors.

The system will provide area coverage from the run of mine stockpile area conveyors, 3 reclaim tunnels, through the Coal Handling & Preparation Plant (CHPP), across to the Train Loadout (TLO) conveyor and ending at the TLO bin.

This will provide early warning of abnormal heat build-up to minimise the potential serious consequences of equipment overheating, which could endanger personnel, damage the mine and equipment.

An internal risk review process by the Glencore managed Bulga Open Cut Mine identified the need for conveyor fire detection which would provide:

  • Conveyor fire detection coverage;
  • Interface not only to the fire alarm system, but fully integrated with their existing site SCADA for
    • Early warning of abnormal heat build-up
    • Exact localization of the abnormal heat or fire within a metre;
    • Fire event management (i.e. evacuation, fire-fighting activities)
    • Full history of the fire initiation point, its movement/spread, temperatures reached, with date/time stamping for the eventual reporting & investigation
    • Option for automatic activation of fire suppression systems;
  • A maintenance free fire detection system requiring no calibration;
  • A 24x7 fire detection and temperature monitoring system that increases safety for the protection of people and fixed assets.

OUR SOLUTION

An overview of our solution for the Glencore managed Bulga Open Cut Mine is shown below.  It consists of over 5 km of fibre cable distributed throughout the site.

DTS Cable distribution along conveyor paths

THE DTS KEY COMPONENTS

The CABLE is the SENSOR

Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) technology using a linear heat detector laser source through a single fibre optic core measuring 4 mm in diameter.  It has been successfully tested and deployed in both surface and underground mines.

The ruggedized fibre optic based system has the capacity to detect heat build-up quickly and localize the source to within 0.5 metres. This precision is unaffected by wind and other environmental effects, because not only convective, but also conductive and radiant (infrared) heat is detected by the cable.

The fibre optic cable is:

  • Accredited for fire detection use (flame resistance 750°C for 2 hours, IEC 60331)
  • Doesn’t propagate the flame along the cable (IEC60332-3).
  • Can be installed in harsh environments (stainless steel cable sheath with high crush resistance).
  • Is immune to EMI (electromagnetic interference).
  • Requires no maintenance, after it is installed.
  • The fibre cable is the sensor, no other cabling or field interface devices required.

The DTS unit

The DTS system’s capabilities include:

  • 24x7 remote temperature monitoring of the entire length, for total coverage.
  • Provides not only the temperature but the actual location of the fire.
  • It provides early warning of abnormal heat before a flame occurs.
  • Interfaces to fire alarm panels & existing site HMI/SCADA systems.
  • Safety Integrity Level SIL2 (IEC61508) for high reliability when asked to alarm
  • Available in 19” rack or IP66 external stainless steel enclosures
If you would like to know more, please contact
Ubaldo (Aldo) Torre +61 421 516 600; email ubaldo.torre@apapl.com.au

Aldo started his career as an Electrical Engineer in the design and construction of water and wastewater infrastructure in Victoria.    He then moved to working as an instrumentation and Process Control Systems Engineer for Fluor Australia primarily in the oil/gas, and food industry, before moving to Newcastle NSW.   In Newcastle he has worked for Hunter Control, Matrikon, and Honeywell progressing from Project Manager, Operations & Engineering Manager of the Matrikon Automation business, through to marketing leader for Honeywell’s mining and materials handling business in Asia Pacific working primarily in the coal mining sector for over 25 years.   He is now one of the directors of Advanced Photonics Australia, and his personal mission is to evaluate the needs for fire safety in both public facilities and industry and to apply innovative solutions to improve site safety & optimise operations.

Underground Mine Environmental Monitoring
Underground mines can develop significant hot spot areas due to many factors including:
  • Geological conditions,
  • Length and depth of mine,
  • Layout of tunnel routes, slopes, corners, crossroads & dead ends.
  • Heat generating equipment such as electrical substations, mechanical crushers, diesel vehicles.
  • External climatic conditions
      These hot spots combined with the level of humidity and air pressure variations, can impact the underground miner’s working environment, and compromise equipment operation and life span.   Traditional climate monitoring is localized and only approximates overall temperatures along the mine.
CASE STUDY
An example of the application of a DTS system in the coal industry for underground mine temperature monitoring over 2.5 km is shown in the graph below**.  For the Geting underground coal mine shown the goaf (partially or totally mined) areas are monitored as they are considered a probable source of heat build-up and possible spontaneous combustion.   Simplicity of installation, strength of the Stainless Steel reinforced fibre optic cable, reliable heat detection, and lower total cost of ownership over long distances were the main benefits for the DTS application. A temperature monitoring system that can provide 24x7 monitoring would greatly increase operating safety for the protection of people and fixed assets. Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) technology using a linear heat detector on a single fibre optic core has been successfully tested and deployed in underground mines. The DTS system’s capabilities have been proven to exceed conventional mine temperature monitoring point detection systems.  The ruggedized fibre optic based system has the capacity to detect heat build-up quickly and localize the source to within 0.5 metres. This precision is unaffected by wind and other environmental effects, because not only convective, but also conductive and radiant (infrared) heat is measured by the system.    
OUR SOLUTION
Our fibre optic cable Distributed Temperature Sensing system provides the following key features for your underground mine operation:
  • Can use existing fibre optic communications cable, no need for new cable or installation.
  • Provides the temperature and its location along the whole cable route.
  • Provides mine heat map for personnel and equipment safety,
  • Safe to install in hazardous areas (zone 0 and zone 20),
  • Is immune to EMI (electromagnetic interference),
  • Requires no maintenance,
  • The fibre cable is the sensor, no other cabling or field interface devices required.
**Liuyuan Leitao, WeiyubinSunzhihui,Wangchang Liutongyu, Application of distributed optical fiber temperature sensing system based on Raman scattering in coal mine safety monitoring; Shandong Key Lab of Optical Fiber Sensing Technology Laser Institute of Shandong Academy of Sciences Jinan, China 2012
Fire on board ship, detect it early
Fire on board a vessel either docked at port or out to sea, can develop into a serious situation, ranging from risk to human life, equipment destruction, or loss of cargo.  The risk of overheated equipment, explosive event, electrical cable failure on board can cause a fire situation.  Due to the compartmentalised nature and size of a vessel, this considerable risk can remain undetected for a considerable time. Whether your vessel is used for:
  • Passenger only travel,
  • RORO (roll-on, roll-off) ferry,
  • Oil & Gas transport
  • Cargo with dust explosive potential (e.g. coal, grain),
A ship’s large engine room area being one of the potential sources of fire on-board. However, it is very difficult to comprehensively monitor all this area plus electrical cable trays, false floors, storage areas, kitchens, corridors and so on.   Our fibre optic DTS accredited fire detection system can now do this, and provide you with early warning of the potential for fire event AND its exact location aboard your vessel. Early warning of a potential fire is critical for evacuation of passengers and crew, targeting fire suppression systems, minimising equipment damage, and avoiding loss of valuable cargo.

Typical passenger vessel DTS and fibre cable layout.

Typical RORO DTS and fibre cable layout shown

  Cover the complete deck and multiple decks with one system.  

Display fire monitoring areas with ship levels

  The best technical and cost-effective solution to provide TOTAL vessel coverage and EARLY warning of abnormal heat build-up around equipment, is a linear heat detector (LHD) fibre optic based system. Our fibre optic cable distributed temperature system (DTS) provides the following key features for your vessel’s protection:
  • Accredited for fire detection use (flame resistance 750°C for 2 hours, IEC 60331)
  • Fibre cable is non-corrosive to survive the effects of the harsh sea environment.
  • Doesn’t propagate the flame along the cable (IEC60332-3).
  • 24x7 remote temperature monitoring of the whole vessel, to detect which compartments are danger areas.
  • Provides the actual location of the fire, to remote monitoring control rooms.
  • It provides early warning of heat before a flame occurs.
  • Can be installed in harsh environments (stainless steel cable sheath with high crush resistance).
  • Is immune to EMI (electromagnetic interference).
  • Requires no maintenance, after it is installed.