Fire protection for renewable energies
Passive fire protection measures for renewable energy installations, e.g. photovoltaic plants, wind turbines or biogas plants, aim to prevent, delay or limit the spread of fires by protecting the structural integrity of buildings and installations. These measures aim to protect life, minimise property damage and reduce the environmental impact of fires in such installations.
Intumescent and ablative materials from Hensel are used in passive fire protection to minimize the impact of fire and heat on the building structure and the equipment within.
Active fire protection for these facilities, on the other hand, refers to measures and systems that actively fight fire or minimise the effects of fires. These measures include, for example, early fire detection systems that continuously monitor temperature and activate automatic extinguishing systems that release extinguishing agents (water or special gases), or smoke extraction. They are designed to extinguish fires or suppress their spread before they can expand and cause greater damage.
It is important that active and passive fire protection measures for renewable energy installations must be coordinated and comply with local building codes, regulations and industry-specific standards. Regular inspections and maintenance of these components are also critical to ensure their effectiveness in the event of a fire.
Applications of intumescent materials
Intumescent materials, such as expandable graphite, expand when exposed to heat, significantly increasing in volume. This formation creates a protective insulation layer that delays heat transfer and can also seal voids created by the burning of combustible materials.
1. Fire protection coatings: Intumescent coatings are applied to surfaces such as steel beams, walls and ceilings. These coatings are capable of expanding or foaming in the event of a fire, creating a thick, insulating layer that slows the transfer of heat to the underlying structures or equipment and protects them from heat exposure.
|HENSOTHERM® fire protection systems for steel
|HENSOTHERM® fire protection systems for concrete
|HENSOTHERM® fire protection systems for wood
2. Cable fire protection: Intumescent materials are also used to seal off cable and pipe penetrations or to fully encase cable trays. In the event of a fire, these materials expand and seal the openings to prevent the spread of smoke and fire through these penetrations or reduce burning drips and the release of smoke gases by encapsulating the toxic fire gases.
|HENSOTHERM® fire protection systems for cables and cable penetrations
3. Doors, window frames and interior linings: Intumescent materials can be incorporated into fire doors and window frames to improve their fire-resistant properties. By forming an insulating layer on critical components such as closing devices, hinges, the integrity and function can be maintained longer.
|HENSOTHERM® components for fire doors and fire windows
|HENSOTHERM® 7 KS Gewebe Intumescent fabric strips
4. Joint seals: Fire-rated joints are special connections between structural elements to prevent the spread of fire, smoke, and gases between different areas of a building. Intumescent joint seals are designed to foam up when exposed to heat to seal openings and voids.
|HENSOTHERM® fire protection systems for joints
Applications of ablative materials
Ablative coatings are also fire protection coatings, but they have a different mode of action. Instead of foaming as in the case of intumescent materials, ablative materials delay the passage of heat to the materials to be protected by releasing chemically bound water. In addition to this “cooling effect”, the fire gases are diluted, i.e. the toxicity of the gases is reduced. Escape and rescue routes thus remain passable for longer and there is less smoke-related obstruction of visibility.
1. Fire protection coatings and bandages: Ablative fire protection coatings slow heat penetration and can preserve the structural integrity of electrical wiring and controls. The water-impermeable, oil- and petrol-resistant fire protection coating HENSOMASTIK® 5 KS paint is also weatherproof, UV-resistant, ageing-resistant and mechanically resilient, making it ideal for protecting power lines laid outdoors.
|HENSOMASTIK® 5 KS paint
2. Protection of critical structural elements: Ablative coatings are applied to critical structural elements to maintain their load-bearing capacity for longer during a fire. Special fire protection chambers or boxes can also be protected in this way.
|HENSOTHERM® fire protection systems for concrete
3. Joint seals: Seals for fire protection joints made of ablative materials are special connections between structural elements to prevent the spread of fire, smoke and gases between different areas of a building.
|HENSOMASTIK® fire protection systems for joints
4. Special adhesives: Heat resistant flexible special adhesive to bond fire-protection boards or serve as an installation aid when working with insulating materials.
|HENSOMASTIK® K 2000 special adhesive
Our core competence – your competitive edge
Are you a manufacturer of renewable energy systems, e.g. in the field of photovoltaics, biogas or wind power, or do you supply components?
We offer the development, testing and production of intumescent and ablative building materials, components and coatings specifically for your product as a service – also as a partner for research projects. Our team will be happy to advise you on your individual requirements.