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Thread: Biomass (wood chip) storage - heat detectors

  1. #1
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    Biomass (wood chip) storage - heat detectors

    A boiler plant has a biomass boiler operating off wood chips. These chips are stored indoors - in wood chip storage bins. The fire alarm design showed (2) heat detectors located overhead the wood chip storage bins. However, the heat detectors would be in the way of operations and are not desired by the plant operators. Are the heat detectors code-required? If so, which code? (Or are other fire alarm detection devices required here?) Thanks in advance for your assistance.

  2. #2
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    Not PA, NE. We had a customer that used wood exclusively for alfalfa dehydration. No detection of any kind in their storage buildings.
    Tom
    TBLO

  3. #3
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    ptonsparky comment

    ptonsparky - thanks for that insight. Anyone else?

  4. #4
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    NEC would not be the relevant code on this subject, IMHO.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonathankpa View Post
    A boiler plant has a biomass boiler operating off wood chips. These chips are stored indoors - in wood chip storage bins. The fire alarm design showed (2) heat detectors located overhead the wood chip storage bins. However, the heat detectors would be in the way of operations and are not desired by the plant operators. Are the heat detectors code-required? If so, which code? (Or are other fire alarm detection devices required here?) Thanks in advance for your assistance.
    You will need to consult your local building codes, and maybe NFPA 230. In addition, if a risk analysis has been done by an engineer or other licensed professional and the drawings are signed and sealed you may have no recourse. Are these open topped or sealed bins? How are they interfering with operations?

  6. #6
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    gadfly56

    Quote Originally Posted by gadfly56 View Post
    You will need to consult your local building codes, and maybe NFPA 230. In addition, if a risk analysis has been done by an engineer or other licensed professional and the drawings are signed and sealed you may have no recourse. Are these open topped or sealed bins? How are they interfering with operations?
    I believe these are open bins. Apparently they do something with machinery overhead and the heat detectors are in the way.

    Please elaborate on why we may have no recourse if sealed drawings resulted from a PE's risk analysis.

  7. #7
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    Line cable heat detector is a good option rather than heat type spot detectors
    http://www.protectowire.com/

    Whether the heat detector is required, versus a good idea is to be discussed with AHJ and design engineer
    Ron

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonathankpa View Post
    I believe these are open bins. Apparently they do something with machinery overhead and the heat detectors are in the way.

    Please elaborate on why we may have no recourse if sealed drawings resulted from a PE's risk analysis.
    For two possible reasons.

    1. Others here have argued differently, but when the building department issues your permits based on the submitted drawings, that's what they will also inspect to when closing the permit. If heat detection is shown on the drawing and it isn't installed they may not sign off on the permit, which is likely to affect getting a certificate of occupancy.

    2. The owner's liability carrier may have commissioned or performed a risk analysis and decided that the detection is required from a fire safety perspective in order for the carrier to continue insurance coverage. If that's the case, this can be the toughest hurdle to clear as they have all the leverage when it comes to compliance.

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