Linesense solution for Taiwan's largest power plant

Some 24,000 metres of Linear Heat Detection (LHD) cable from Linesense have been supplied to provide fire protection for one of the world’s most important power plants.

The Taichung Power Plant is the largest coal-fired power plant in Taiwan and the third largest in the world. Operated by the Taiwan Power company, the plant has a capacity of 5,500 MW generated by ten coal-fired units. To produce the electricity which is sold to Taipower under a 25-year power purchase agreement, the plant requires some 12 million tonnes of bituminous coal and 2.5 million tonnes of sub-bituminous coal a year. This scale of coal usage clearly illustrates the importance to the smooth operation of the facility of the conveyor systems that transport the coal around the plant.

The coal is, naturally, highly combustible. This means that the conveyors need to be protected from the threat of fire and, in selecting an appropriate method to ensure fast, reliable and cost-effective fire detection, LHD from UK based company Linesense was chosen.

Taiwan Power Plant Linesense

Work continues on developing the Taichung Power Plant to ensure it meets the expanding energy requirements of Taiwan

Linesense’s LHD is already in operation at power plants throughout the world. The company’s experience in this sector, along with its technical expertise, proved to be significant contributary factors in securing the contract. Ian Jacob, Linesense Marketing Manager, comments – “there were a lot of technical questions on this project and we worked closely with Gwo Jieh Fire Protection Co, our customer in Taiwan, to provide answers and support to the power plant as the end user. The product was assessed as part of this process and successfully met all the requirements, securing approval from the body responsible for Taiwanese fire safety products in 2019.”

The coal is unloaded via six dedicated loaders (two bucket type and four screw type) from container ships arriving at the Port of Taichung, Taiwan’s second largest port covering some 3,793 hectares and capable of accommodating vessels of up to 60,000 tons. It is then transported on three conveyor belts to the plant where it is either stored in the coal yard via five stacker/reclaimers or conveyed directly into one of the plant’s ten units. The Linesense cable will extend throughout the plant’s complex conveyor systems, providing alerts to any potential fire issues over the entire length of almost 25 kilometres. The digital sensing cable provides uninterrupted detection along its full length, with an alarm generated if the temperature sensitive insulation reaches its predetermined alarm temperature.

LHD Taiwan Linesense

The Linesense LHD cable prior to shipping to Taiwan

Ian Jacob continues – “conveyors are one of the biggest markets for us. In the case of conveying coal, the combustible nature of the material is obviously an important factor, it is not uncommon for fires to be caused by overheating bearings or the friction between the belt and seized idlers and rollers igniting any local coal residue, which can spread to the belt when stationary. As a coal-fired power plant, the Taichung facility is naturally a dusty environment so any fire detection method employed also needs to be able to operate in such a hostile application. Since our cables are classified as a ‘simple device’, by using suitable Intrinsically Safe (IS) barriers to ensure the energy is limited to a safe level, they are ideally suited for use in hazardous areas. We are delighted that we have been chosen for such a prestigious project which further illustrates the vital role that linear heat detection cables play in helping to ensure continuity of power supply.”