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Rosenbauer equips Austrian Power Grid substations with modern fire protection systems

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Innovative fire protection technology for Austrian Power Grid

Rosenbauer Brandschutz has initiated a significant upgrade to the safety infrastructure of the Austrian Power Grid (APG) by equipping ten of its substations with state-of-the-art water spray extinguishing systems.

These installations, a blend of efficiency and innovation, have been successfully implemented in multiple locations including Villach Süd, Lienz, Bisamberg, Nauders, Vienna South/East, and Salzburg/Elixhausen.

Further installations are in progress or planned for St. Johann/Pongau, Hessenberg, Ybbsfeld, and Dürnrohr, set to commence in spring 2024.

Advanced fire protection for critical infrastructure

These water spray systems are primarily designed to safeguard the transformers within the switchgear, crucial for voltage level adjustments and grid connectivity.

Equipped with infrared detection, the systems are capable of early hotspot or fire hazard identification, ensuring rapid response.

Their purpose extends beyond fire extinguishing; they also serve as preventative cooling measures for transformers at risk of overheating.

Comprehensive planning and execution

Rosenbauer’s responsibilities encompass the entire spectrum of the project, from planning to implementation, including electrical engineering, cabling, and the installation of firefighting equipment.

The central feature of these systems is the Rosenbauer nozzle, uniquely tailored to provide both extinguishing and cooling solutions, adaptable to site-specific structural conditions.

The nozzles, set to spray jet, enable widespread and uniform water application, facilitating rapid cooling of overheated components while minimizing water damage.

Adaptability to various transformer sizes

The capacity of these extinguishing systems is calibrated to match the size of the transformer, with the largest systems capable of discharging up to 6,000 litres per minute.

These systems are supported by robust underwater pumps, drawing water from substantial underground tanks.

Additionally, each system integrates a feed-in point for fire department access, and infrared detectors that alert the monitoring centre, though manual activation is essential for controlled extinguishing operations.

Significance for APG and Austria’s energy infrastructure

APG oversees a substantial network, comprising approximately 7,000 km of power lines, 65 substations, 92 transformers, and ten directly connected distribution grids across Austrian states.

The substations, critical nodes of the transmission grid, facilitate electrical energy transformation across multiple voltage levels.

In 2022, APG’s grids facilitated the transport of 46,592 GWh of energy, achieving an impressive supply reliability of 99.99%.

IFSJ Comment

The collaboration between Rosenbauer and the Austrian Power Grid marks a noteworthy advancement in fire safety for critical energy infrastructure.

By integrating advanced fire protection systems with infrared detection and responsive extinguishing capabilities, APG demonstrates a proactive approach to risk management and operational safety.

This project not only enhances the resilience of Austria’s energy grid but also sets a benchmark for other national grids seeking to modernize their fire safety protocols.

The strategic importance of such investments cannot be understated, as they ensure the continuity of energy supply and protect essential assets from the risks of fire damage.

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