Electrical Power & Protection

Fire protection for the mining and metals industry

November 2012 Electrical Power & Protection

Transformers and electrical switchgear are common in the mining and metals industry and so there is the ever present risk of oil fires. Alien Systems & Technologies Pyrogen and Pyrostorm extinguishing units are specially designed for these applications.


The principle of the extinguishing action employed by Progen is unique. A special solid chemical, when electrically or thermally ignited, produces combustion products: micron sized dry chemical particles and gases. These dry chemical particles and the gaseous mixture combine to form a uniform fire extinguishing aerosol. Before being released in a protected area, the hot aerosol propels itself through a unique solid chemical coolant, which decomposes absorbing huge amounts of heat, thus ensuring flameless discharge and uniform distribution of the cool aerosol within the area.

The high rate of aerosol discharge ensures a tremendous knockdown effect. Micron-size aerosol particles exhibit gas-like 3D qualities that allow the agent to distribute throughout the enclosure and reach even the most concealed and shielded locations. Homogenous distribution is achieved in a matter of seconds, while long holding times all help to prevent fire re-ignition.

The unit can either be activated by a thermal cord attached to the module which activates at 175°C, or if the module casing temperature is greater than 500°C. Pyrogen is utilised, primarily, in the protection of switchgear compartments.


Pyrostorm modules are non-pressurised vessels, light in weight, easy to install and transport and with no special pipe work required. Activation can be achieved either by a heat sensing unit or through manual activation.

When activated, a chemical reaction within the module creates a positive pressure. The discharge diaphragm expands and ruptures, expelling the extinguishing powder at a rate of 35 m/s. The dry powder expelled from the Pyrostorm module creates two fire extinguishing mechanisms: chemically by removal of ‘chain carriers’ and physically by removal of heat and creating a fire blanket on the surface of the burning material, thus smothering the fire.

The units can be used alone or configured in a system with a voltage free heat activation device to provide electrical activation via temperature sensing without the need for batteries or electrical supplies. Pyrostorm can be configured for virtually any application and is ideal to protect industrial risks such as transformers, oil pack rooms and exposed pumps and motors.

For more information contact Bill Starkey, Alien Systems & Technologies, +27 (0)11 949 1157, sam@astafrica.com, www.astafrica.com


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Let there be light
March 2019, RJ Connect , Electrical Power & Protection
Fuel cell system helps channel electricity to rural community.

Convection cooled 600 W AC-DC supplies
March 2019, Accutronics , Electrical Power & Protection
TDK Corporation has announced the introduction of the GXE600 series of 600 W AC-DC power supplies, certified to the IEC 60601-1 medical safety standard as well as IEC 62368-1. In a 1U high package, these ...

Dry-type transformers for water project
March 2019 , Electrical Power & Protection
Dry-type transformer specialist Trafo Power Solutions has secured an order for 13 custom-designed cast resin units for Rand Water’s large Zuikerbosch Wastewater Treatment Works near Vereeniging. The ...

Is your building safe from fire?
March 2019, Alien Systems & Technologies , IS & Ex
Correct selection of detectors is vital.

Converters for building technology
March 2019, Siemens Digital Factory & Process Indust. & Drives , Electrical Power & Protection
Siemens presented a new converter series at last year’s SPS IPC Drives. The converters of the new Sinamics G120X series are especially suited for use in pump and fan applications in industries such as ...

EM supplies smart building solutions
March 2019, ElectroMechanica , Electrical Power & Protection
The latest Hager smart solutions for automated building control have been supplied by ElectroMechanica (EM) of Cape Town for Swarovski Lighting’s new showroom in Green Point. The leading supplier specified ...

Compact motor starter with protection
March 2019, Vepac Electronics , Electrical Power & Protection
The new motor starter Christian P-4.0 from Tele is designed for motors up to 4 kW @ 400 V, and includes five functions in one compact unit, requiring only 22,5 mm width. This intelligent instrument offers ...

AST’s line-type heat sensing
February 2019, Alien Systems & Technologies , Temperature Measurement
Alien Systems & Technologies (AST) offers a wide range of automatic fire detection systems from advanced ultra-smart addressable point type detection systems to regular conventional systems.

Compact soft starters for control of three-phase motors
February 2019, ElectroMechanica , Electrical Power & Protection
Soft starters limit the inrush current, improving overall stability of the power supply and reducing transient voltage drops, which may affect other loads in a network. They are ideal for applications ...

Forward-thinking municipality uses pumps to generate electricity
February 2019 , Electrical Power & Protection
A technical team serving the requirements of the Drakenstein municipality in the Western Cape has designed one of the country’s largest pump and turbine stations to be used for water reticulation to the ...