The boost in population and urbanization has led to a significant increase in power generation. To sustain the upward demand and, importantly, cater to the higher level of awareness in environmental initiatives, the industry is looking at renewable sources to generate power. An important contributor to a renewable source of energy is wind energy. However, in the past decade, there has been a rise in fire accidents in wind turbines. Turbine fires originate from lightning strikes, failures of generators or power converters, overheating brakes, ignition of lubricants or hydraulic fluids, or numerous other factors. Furthermore, it is difficult to manage these fires as the turbines are positioned in remote areas and generally operate 200 feet or more above the ground. These fires happen quickly and may spread fast, destroying critical company assets causing millions of dollars of damage annually. Even worse, fires endanger utility workers, first responders or the local community. Effects are far-reaching and can impact the supply of power to customers, disrupt businesses, and lower public trust.

Working to provide fire suppression systems that protect people, property and business continuity, Fireaway has developed Stat-X®, a condensed aerosol suppression system to protect enclosed special hazards. As an environmentally friendly automatic fire suppression system, Stat-X generates an aerosol that is an effective new alternative to traditional special hazard fire protection. Fireaway’s Stat-X fire suppression solutions are ideal for placing inside wind turbines. In addition, the Stat-X First Responder®, a hand-deployed device, is designed as a personal protection tool providing suppression and emergency egress for turbine technicians. Alongside wind energy, Stat-X fire suppression is currently used worldwide in many critical applications such as energy storage systems, electrical cabinets, marine applications, commercial buildings, oil and gas, manufacturing, and more.

The Stat-X system can be activated by different methods based on the unit selected for the application.
The system can be activated electrically as a fixed fire suppression system, including alarm and detection such as smoke, heat, or flame detection. Another method is a fully autonomous system that attaches the Stat-X device to a thermal actuator, which disperses the aerosol if the protected space is heated to a specific temperature. And finally, the system can also be activated manually with a pull cable.

Upon activation, the Stat-X system starts producing and releasing an advanced aerosol fire suppression agent that immediately fills the protected space and chemically interrupts the combustion process. Fire is suppressed, and the micron-sized agent particles remain suspended to help prevent possible re-flash. Afterward, the system is vented out for clean-up. Spent Stat-X units are simply replaced so the system can be restored to continue protecting the asset. Importantly, the value that the Stat-X system brings to the table is risk mitigation in a cost-effective manner. “This is because Stat-X is practically inert and not pressurized like other systems which makes it easier to handle, install, and maintain,” says Lance D. Harry, P.E., President and CEO, Fireaway.

The system can be installed either on walls or on the ceiling, away from the floor space. If the client has a congested or tightly packed area, the Stat-X system can be installed without occupying a lot of space. With such stellar capabilities, Fireaway is focused on working with both end-use customers as well as manufacturers. Currently, the company operates from two facilities located in Minnesota and Louisiana. In fact, a new facility is capable of full-scale testing of fire extinguishing systems in a volume exceeding 500 cubic meters. The test facility ensures that Stat-X systems meet the customer’s demands and help Fireaway find grounds for improvement. In terms of the product, the company is looking at a few potential enhancements like adjusting the size of the unit to provide better flexibility to customers, getting approvals and certifications to be installed in various applications across the globe for fire protection.