Modern Fire Detection Technology Provides Safety in Solar Valley

  • Transport system for ­solar modules in the test center of Q-Cells SETransport system for ­solar modules in the test center of Q-Cells SE
  • Transport system for ­solar modules in the test center of Q-Cells SE
  • ‚Solar taxi‘ project: Q-Cells AG is a main sponsor of this idea and sent the solar vehicle for a trip round the world in 2007, starting at their HQ in Thalheim near Wolfen (Saxony-Anhalt).

Alongside other renewable (and/or alternative) sources of energy such as wind, water or geothermal heat, solar energy belongs to those that will play an increasingly larger role in future energy supply. Just as important a role is played by the protection of the energy suppliers themselves.

Unlike fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas, which are available only for a finite amount of time - and on which the present supply is generally based - solar energy is available permanently. The photovoltaic method is used to convert solar radiation into electric energy. The most well-known form of such systems are the solar modules that have been installed on a large number of roofs and which provide a portion of the energy used in the respective buildings. New records are announced regularly from the scientific laboratories when it comes to the efficiency of the solar modules. According to the ‚National renewable energy action plan‘, the German Federal Government assumes that approximately 38 % of electricity in the year 2020 will be produced by means of renewable energy sources. Today this percentage is already a good 17 %.

Solar Valley
The industrial area in the district of Thalheim in Bitterfeld-Wolfen (Saxony-Anhalt/Germany) near the Halle-Leipzig airport is referred to as "Solar Valley". The production and storage facilities of various companies from the photovoltaic industry are found on the main road there known as ‚Sonnenallee‘ (sun avenue), for example Sovello AG, Q-Cells SE and its subsidiaries Calyxo GmbH and Solibro GmbH. In several development stages over the past few years a 77-hectare technology park was created - Solibro alone increased their production capacity to 135 MWp (Megawatt Peak) which makes them one of the largest solar module production facilities based on CIGS (Copper-Indium-Gallium-Diselenide) technology. Q-Cells SE was founded in 1999 and has developed into one of the world's largest photovoltaic companies within only a few years. More than 200 scientists and engineers at Q-Cells work on further developing the technology by lowering the related costs both quickly and permanently, thus making photovoltaic products affordable and competitive.

Complex Safety Network
One can easily imagine the disastrous effects a major fire may have in such industrial complexes.

The local company of Teltron&Simet was assigned to equip the local businesses with an appropriate security network. Being a partner of Novar, these expert installers use traditional Esser brand products. As of 2011, the installer will be able to look back at over 20 years of successful and positive development in their own competencies in the fields of communication, IT and security technology. The company thus provides an efficient combination which promises a wide range of flexible services - even for large projects.

System Dimensions
The monitoring of the ‚Technology Park Mitteldeutschland‘ covers the buildings of the following companies: the Sovello premises are equipped with three 8008 FACPs, which are connected to 2471 optical smoke detectors, 116 manual call points and 18 aspirating smoke detectors (LRS); the Calyxo premises have three IQ8Control M FACPs connected with 589 optical smoke detectors, 44 manual call points as well as 3 LRS systems; the Solibro company building is monitored by one 8008 FACP connected to 1,289 optical smoke detectors, 92 manual call points and LRS systems; Q-Cells is protected by two 8008 FACPs as well as six IQ8Control C FACPs and seven IQ8Control M FACPs connected to 3,859 optical smoke detectors, 415 manual call points as well as 100 ex-proof fire detectors. All alarm panels are networked via fiber-optic cables. A superordinate Winmag hazard management system was installed for the entire network that also incorporates the access control and intruder alarm technology from Honeywell Security.

Peter Freitag, Managing Director of Teltron&Simet and in charge of the security system installation, told Ronald Tschentscher, the technical sales consultant for the Esser product line: "It is reassuring to use high-quality products from an innovative and leading enterprise with the certainty that the complex safety monitoring is running flawlessly. This smooth process during installation in large building complexes encourages us to proceed in the same manner in forthcoming projects."

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