Video Smoke Detection for Royal Maintenance Hangars at King Khalid International Airport
February 3, 2011
Networkable CCTV-based FireVu VSD (Video Smoke Detection) systems from D-Tec – part of AD Group - have been supplied and commissioned by BSS-ME, its partner in the Middle East, for five large (90 m (L) x 90m (H) x 33 m (W)) hangars at the Royal Maintenance complex at King Khalid International Airport 35 kilometres north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This application further extends the growing installation base of VSD in the Middle East region.
In terms of the final installation the CCTV-based Video Smoke Detection solution adopted for the Royal Maintenance complex consists of eight cameras carefully positioned around each hangar with these in turn connected to two – four channel – FireVu systems, giving a total of 40 cameras and 10 FireVu units across the project.
With regards to the actual selection process for D-Tec's Video Smoke Detection (VSD) at the Riyadh Airport project, according to Malcolm Gatenby, Sales Director at BSS-ME, it came into the picture at a relatively late stage: Initially linear heat detection had been specified in the open roof void of the new hangars as the primary means of fire detection, however this decision changed in preference to the faster and potentially more reliable CCTV-based FireVu VSD system solution following a presentation by BSS-ME to the client, specialist fire and security contractor - Modern Building Est. (Riyadh), and the main contractor, Saudi Oger.
The decision to discard linear heat detection and ultimately move to Video Smoke Detection was driven, in part, by the significant installation savings which BSS-ME was able to demonstrate – around 35% less than the original solution (if all the installation and fixing of linear cables is included). Crucially, by using the CCTV cameras specified for the project and being able to link-in to the IT network the VSD solution did not require extensive additional works or cabling.
Another key advantage, highlighted by BSS-ME, was the proven speed of response offered by VSD which makes it so attractive for voluminous aircraft hangar projects. The detection of smoke at source which D-Tec's FireVu offers by applying sophisticated algorithms to CCTV images, so whether the camera is 10 or 100 metres away time to alarm is the same, is especially critical in a hangar given the high value of the aircraft that are maintained there.
In the case of Riyadh the large-scale hangars are designed to be able to house aircraft as large as the Boeing 747. The drawback with a linear heat cable being used in this case is that, realistically, temperatures would have to reach 75 degrees Centigrade on the roof before an alarm would be raised which, with factors such as stratification and temperature layering, can be minutes rather than seconds, with the consequences which flow from this in terms of whether an incident can be tackled before a fire has the chance to take hold. As a result, there were real concerns that if the project had moved forward with linear heat cables, in the event of fire, serious damage could, potentially, be caused to the parked aircraft by the time either the smoke or heat reached the detectors.
Construction of the five new hangars at Riyadh started in June 2009 and was completed in April 2010. The commissioning and testing of the FireVu systems took place over a four-day period to ensure that the camera views in each hangar were optimised for the Video Smoke Detection’s operation – leaving no critical gaps in coverage - and training was also provided by BSS-ME for the client’s personnel who would ultimately be controlling the user-friendly system. The smoke testing proved to be extremely successful and all the parties involved were impressed with the speed of response, typically in under 10 seconds, which was in line with expectations and the fact that no false alarms were generated by D-Tec’s FireVu system.
Undoubtedly, the number of VSD reference sites which now exist across the Middle East also helped to persuade the client to change to FireVu. From a BSS-ME perspective, they have now provided D-Tec’s VSD solutions for a number of landmark projects in the region, including the world’s largest privately-owned aircraft hangar - the massive Royal Airwing Hangar complex at the Dubai International Airport in UAE and the Royal Hangar at Seeb International Airport, Oman.
In addition to the project at the Royal Maintenance complex at Riyadh, which has now been commissioned, FireVu Video Smoke Detection from D-Tec will soon be operational in a further three hangars in Saudi Arabia, this time at Jeddah Airport.