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1990-National-Waste-Processing-Conference-Disc-23-00011990-National-Waste-Processing-Conference-Disc-23-0002FIRE PROTECTION DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR WASTE-TO-ENERGY FACILITIES JAMES V. SCHNEIDER Ogden Martin Systems, Inc. Fairfield, New Jersey Discussion by John D. Eppich Los Angeles, California This paper discusses the fire protection considerations required for a refuse to energy facility from the designer's point of view. I concur with the author's message that control of the waste supply is the key to preventing the most common fire found in a mass bum, refuse to energy facility, mainly a refuse pit fire. Educating the plant operators and the haulers as to what is and is not acceptable waste is the key to control of the waste supply. In addition to educating personnel, we must also provide a program to control what is actually taken at the facility and detailed inspection programs are a part of this control. However, in addition to the education and inspection, there should also be included penalties to the hauler who fails to do his own selfinspection and rejection of unacceptable material. The author comments that haulers are screened randomly; other haulers, those who have repeated violations, are screened more often in the on-site inspections. I would suggest that these on-site inspections should be augmented with certain penalties for either gross violations or repeat violations of the service agreements which identify acceptable and unacceptable waste. The description of good design practices for the tipping floor/refuse pit area design is very thorough and describes many key features of the structural design as well as the fire sprinkler system design that should be noted by the engineer. There are certain comments that I would like to add to this section, however, and they focus on the need to have the crane operating during 68 any pit fire. We have experienced pit fires in which the fire started deep within the refuse from certain materials which auto-ignited long after the material was dumped into the pit. During these fires we found the most effective method of fire fighting was to remove the material covering the fire so that flames were visible. The water monitors, which are located at the feed chute area and the tip floor, could then direct their flow to the open flame. We also provided remote operation capability for these monitors from the crane operators control pUlpit. As noted in the paper, it is extremely important that this pulpit be provided with fresh air from a source outside the building to allow the crane to be used to assist in combating any fire. It was stated that combustion air is taken from the pit area and because this air is of a very high volume, there is no need to provide any requirement for a smoke exhaust system. This is only effective if the boilers are on line; if the boiler is off line and yet trash is being received at the facility or is in the pit, a pit fire can still break out at which time there is no provision for exhaust of the smoke. Therefore, it is necessary that smoke vents be provided which can be manually operated or react from a sensing device to allow smoke to be purged from the facility so that the crane operator has opportunity to see the pit area and support the efforts to control any pit fire. Other features that should be included in the design are a method for water removal in the refuse pit, a CO2 system for the turbine/generator enclosure, and a fire suppression system for the outside transformers, either foam or deluge water.Each municipal fire protection authority has its own codes concerning water supply required for sprinkler systems and fire protection; therefore, I would suggest that the reference to water supply recommend that the engineer check with the local fire agency concerning minimum flow and pressure requirements. Those flows listed in the paper would not meet the requirements of our local fire protection authority. Engineers should also contact the local fire protection agency and the insurance company providing coverage for the facility to get their input early in the design of the facilities. In conclusion, this paper describes the most common hazards found in a waste to energy facility and provides good design and operating procedures to prevent or control fires should they occur. Discussion by Junius W. Stephenson Consultant, Havens & Emerson, Inc. Saddle Brook, New Jersey In this paper, the author has presented an excellent and detailed check list for the designer's consideration in providing fire protection for a waste-to-energy plant. The designer must keep in mind, however, the fact that no two plants are identical in design, operation or site arrangement and the fire protection provisions must be tailored to the individual plant. This paper flags areas that must be considered, regardless of the details or layout of the plant being designed. One consideration not mentioned-perhaps because the author felt it would be belaboring the obvious-is the necessity for designing to assure that combustible materials in the building cannot come in contact with hot exterior surfaces of chambers, such as the walls of the primary combustion zone. This can be accomplished by providing an air space with either forced or natural air flow between the wall and exterior casing or by providing a physical barrier to separate combustible materials from the hot surface. (This is also a consideration for safety of personnel.) In the section headed "Fabric Filter Baghouses," the author states, " ... the bag material should be designed for a maximum continuous temperature that corresponds to the maximum expected continuous temperature of the flue gas .... ". Since actual conditions in a waste-to-energy facility do not always conform to the expected, a more conservative design would provide bag material designed for a higher temperature

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