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A sharp eye on fire protection for the North Sea
Published:  06 February, 2015

INSTALLATION NEWS IR3 flame detectors selected for newly constructed oil rig.

Wintershall has chosen Spectrex SharpEye 40/40I IR3 detectors for their new RAVN unmanned platform that will serve in the Danish part of the North Sea.

Wintershall Holding GmbH is the largest crude oil and natural gas producer in Germany. The company, based in Kassel, Germany, is a wholly owned subsidiary of BASF.

The SharpEye detectors were installed to provide high performance detection of the entire rig.

IR3 optical flame detection uses three IR sensors to monitor the chosen area, where one sensor detects the infrared radiation emitted by the hot CO2 product of a fire and the other two reference sensors are sensitive to background radiation at a longer and shorter wavelengths, both analyzed to ensure that the pattern detected matches that of a real fire situation. IR3 detectors can detect at very long distances and have excellent false alarm immunity.

This technology, which was patented by Spectrex in the 1990s and was a major breakthrough in modern optical flame detection , allows less detectors to be employed for a specific area, saving cost, and the detectors can be placed in the harshest of environments without being triggered by the extreme environmental factors.

An IR3 detector can detect a standard 0.1m2 gasoline fire at a distance of up to 215ft (65m) in less than five seconds.