Sound the Alarm

Sound the Alarm

LNG plant installs mass notification system to notify staff

The Peru LNG natural gas liquefaction plant in Pampa Melchorita, Peru, is located approximately 105 miles south of Lima. The facility is South America’s first LNG production plant. Open since June 2010, the plant has an annual production capacity of approximately 4.4 million tons of LNG. The Peru LNG project includes two parts: an LNG Plant with a Marine Terminal from which LNG is shipped overseas, and a pipeline connected to the existing TgP pipeline to transport natural gas from the connection point in the mountains of Ayacucho to the LNG Plant located on the coast at km. 170 of the South Pan American Highway.

Notify the Staff

To support safety and notify personnel in the case of an emergency, Peru LNG’s needed a general alarm and mass notification system (MNS). For reliable communications that deliver the right message to the right people at the right time, the MNS system requirements included:

  • Sound fire and gas alarms, that make emergency, safety and routine announcements.
  • Broadcast in specific plant areas.
  • Minimize the risk of accidents by notifying personnel in an effective and timely manner what to do in the event of an emergency.
  • Reliable and easy to operate with the use of real-time diagnostics.
  • Modular design to facilitate maintenance and expansion.
  • Wired and wireless technologies to cover the whole site.
  • The system is required to comply with industry standards and applicable laws.

Peru LNG selected Eaton’s WAVES, for its in-building and outdoor, wide-area mass notification systems as its complete general alarm system. The battle-tested and proven system provides critical audio and visual messages that are specific to the issue and affected area in real-time. The system is designed to protect, alert and inform people of what do in an emergency or disaster. WAVES wide-area MNS is designed to broadcast clear voice messages, tones and sirens covering large geographic outdoor areas.

The Appropriate Sounds

On confirmation of a fire or gas release, the fire and gas system automatically activates the general alarm system to sound the appropriate fire or gas alarm tones throughout the plant. For example, with an integrated system, when gas is detected in the facility, the gas system triggers WAVES, which then activates the MNS to automatically broadcast the programmed alerts without human intervention, reducing the plant’s response time.

For other emergencies, the operator can make announcements directly to the affected zone or area to give the appropriate information and directions in order to avoid accidents. Access to the general alarm system is provided from several control centers; all are capable of emergency speech broadcast. However, cancellation of the fire or gas alarms is restricted to the central control room.

The MNS consists of five WAVES High Power Speaker Arrays (HPSAs) located around the plant. Eaton’s HPSAs broadcast highly intelligible live speech, alarm tones and pre-recorded messages. The HPSA’s vertical line arrays approximate a line source of sound, creating a nearly cylindrical sound propagation pattern, resulting in balanced sound power output; messages are clearly heard at 100 feet as well as 1,500 feet.

The HPSAs have maximum sound level of 123 dB (C) at 100 feet. Each siren is controlled from the main control unit, the integrated base station (IBS). Each siren is equipped with automatic diagnostics that transmits a fault condition to the Integrated Base Station.

Capability to Broadcast

The indoor general alarm system has the capability to broadcast fire, gas, and general alarms, together with announcements and to sound the all-clear. In areas where the ambient noise level is greater than 85 dB(a), flashing strobes are installed. The internal general alarm consists of SAFEPATH voice evacuation systems and 64 Wheelock speakers and 16 amber strobes.

SAFEPATH is a multifunction supervised paging, background music delivery and emergency communications system that provide full control of building audible and visual notification appliances. The main control unit, the IBS, is in the central control room and runs the WAVES software which allows commands to be issued and for data and messages to be sent to the mass notification nodes and to the general alarm internal nodes. The IBS features one-click action buttons to launch all indoor and outdoor emergency communication systems simultaneously from an easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI). The status of all nodes and their associated audible and visual notifications devices is continually monitored on the GUI.

Eaton’s MNS is customizable and the modular and scalable system is easily expanded in phases by leveraging existing systems. It can be built one layer at a time, starting with an emergency text alerting system or an outdoor Giant Speaker system. It offers options to add later including integrating the different layers as funds become available.

A Premier Portfolio

Eaton provides industrial customers with broadened engineering capabilities and a premier portfolio of solutions. Peru LNG tapped the company to implement best-in-class products for enhanced reliability and safety.

With more than 100 years of life safety and mass notification expertise, Eaton was chosen to supply the equipment due to its ability to meet Peru LNG’s stringent safety and reliability application requirements— with a complete portfolio of solutions designed to deliver critical alerts when it matters most.

The WAVES system meets all of the Peru LNG requirements, and complies with all the applicable codes and standards which include the National Fire Alarm Code (NFPA 72), Life Safety Code (NFPA 101) and the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70).

“The system has effectively been helping to protect Peru LNG by providing real-time information to all plant occupants in emergency situations since 2010,” said Jean Montano Pereira, ICCS engineer, Peru LNG.

Eaton’s layered MNS are designed to alert, warn and inform people within seconds of what to do in the event of an emergency or disaster, whether natural or man-made. The MNS broadcast live and recorded voice messages, safety sirens, visual and audible alerts via secure networks that continue to operate during any disaster so that those in immediate threat areas can be alerted quickly and accurately.

Eaton develops advanced technological solutions for the rapidly growing mass notification market, where intelligible, reliable and redundant communications are paramount to support personnel safety.

Peru LNG can now provide broadcast voice messages, tones and sirens, covering large areas with crisp intelligible warnings. Eaton offers industry veterans with engineering expertise who fully understand Peru LNG’s business challenges. The Eaton team includes application-specific experts with a track record of solving unique problems.

This article originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of Security Today.

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