Conveyor belt temperature monitoring and fire detection

Conveyor belts running in dusty and harsh environments, such as mines, run the risk of overheating bearings that can lead to catastrophic fires - especially when transporting flammable material like coal. With a LIOS DE.TECT system from NKT Photonics, the conveyor belt temperature is monitored continuously over the entire length preventing fires and detecting worn-out bearings.

A conveyor belt fire is not only very dangerous and fast spreading but also very costly. Conveyors are easily ignitable and a fire can develop from many places: the material being conveyed, the electromechanical components and bearings of the system,  or the belt itself. Therefore, continuous  temperature monitoring of conveyors is very important.

Monitoring of long conveyor belt installations traditionally requires a large number of temperature probes, each of which must be functional to ensure sufficient fire protection. Instead of a costly multi-sensor setup, an entire conveyor belt installation can be monitored by a single LIOS DE.TECT optical linear heat detection system. The system can monitor up to 10 km of conveyor belt and provides fast and accurate information about overheating before a fire develops. The temperature is measured continuously with a resolution of 1°C or better and a response time of 4 seconds or less.

Should the conveyor belt catch fire, the LIOS DE.TECT system provides fast information about the size of the fire, and how it spreads so efficient fire suppression can be deployed.  The system is ATEX certified and the sensor cable is completely passive without any need for electricity.

The MHS Act and Mandatory COP requires the employer to prevent persons from being exposed to flames, fumes and smoke arising from a conveyor belt installation catching fire. The code-based designs are reactive in their methodology demanding extreme temperatures or flames to detect and react to a fire. A proactive approach to fire safety using the LIOS DE.TECT linear heat detector system promotes the culture of “Sustaining Zero Harm” and saves lives. This is not only relevant for conveyor belt monitoring but can also be applied to various applications within the mining environment, especially Trackless Mobile Machinery, transformers and hydraulic power systems.

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