PO Box 28, Hamilton NSW 2303, Australia

Glencore Coal Conveyor & Tunnel Fire Detection Update: 5km conveyors protected

Glencore Coal Conveyor & Tunnel Fire Detection Update: 5km conveyors protected

Advanced Photonics Australia is proud to announce the completion of the commissioning of the conveyor fire detection system at Glencore Bulga Coal.

The raw coal, product coal, and train loading conveyor and reclaim tunnel fire detection system was put into operation this month allowing Bulga Coal to fully protect 10 conveyors covering a total of 5 km in length.

The linear heat detection fibre optic system also provides early warning of abnormal heat build-up around equipment. This will minimise the risk of potential serious consequences of equipment overheating, which could endanger personnel, damage the mine and equipment.

Temperature monitoring, alarms and historical trends have been integrated into the plant’s SCADA system.

The system’s objectives have been fully met for the Glencore managed Bulga Open Cut Mine which included:

  • 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 localisation 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 24×7 fire detection and temperature monitoring system that increases safety for the protection of people and fixed assets.

Our solution

An overview of the commissioned areas and future (yellow) sections, spread across the coal handling and preparation plant.

Glencore Bulga Fire Detection Commissioning

How it works

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 localise 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 sensor, no other cabling or field interface devices required.





The DTS system’s capabilities include:

  • 24×7 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

Want to know more?

Please contact Ubaldo (Aldo) Torre +61 421 516 600; email