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Open AccessArticle

A New Approach to the Assessment of the Reduction in Visibility Caused by Fires of Electrical Cables

1
Institute of Integrated Safety, Faculty of Materials Science and Technology in Trnava, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Jana Bottu 2781/25, 917 24 Trnava, Slovakia
2
Faculty of Safety Engineering, VSB—Technical University of Ostrava, Lumirova 630/13, 700 30 Ostrava—Vyskovice, Czech Republic
3
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Zielona Gora, Prof. Z. Szafrana 4, 65 516 Zielona Gora, Poland
4
VUKI a.s., Rybnicna 38, 831 07 Bratislava, Slovakia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Safety 2019, 5(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5030044
Received: 22 May 2019 / Revised: 1 July 2019 / Accepted: 5 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fire Safety 2019)
Electricity is the most important form of household energy and one of the most important forms of energy for industry and transport. Electrical distribution in construction and transport is almost exclusively implemented using electrical cables. One of the unresolved problems associated with electrical cables is the release of smoke and the resulting reduction of visibility in case of fire in the area. In this study, a new approach was developed to assess the reduction of visibility in an area affected by an electrical cable fire. This approach is based on the determination of the critical ratio of smoke volume (in the smoke layer and exhausted from the fire compartment) to the length of the burning cable, through which the visibility of reflective and illuminated signs was reduced to a lower limit value (a standard of 10 m). The input data for this approach was the extinction area of the smoke released from one meter of burning cable and the length of the cables in the area. This approach was used to test two power cables (CHKE-V J3x1.5 and CHKE-R J3x1.5) and one signal cable J-H(St)H 1 × 2 × 0.8 with the B2ca, s1, d1, a1 fire reaction class. The smoke extinction area of the examined cables was determined using a cone calorimeter at a heat flux of 50 kW/m2. The obtained data showed that in order to maintain a visibility of 10 m for reflective signs, the critical ratio of smoke volume to length of burning cable was 7.5 m3/m. For illuminated signs, the critical ratio was 2.8 m3/m. The relationship between burning length and visibility allows the calculation of visibility in the fire compartment affected by cable fire only from cables length. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrical cable; electrical energy; energy security; fire risk; safety; smoke; visibility reduction electrical cable; electrical energy; energy security; fire risk; safety; smoke; visibility reduction
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MDPI and ACS Style

Martinka, J.; Rantuch, P.; Rolinec, M.; Pokorny, J.; Balog, K.; Kucera, P.; Rybakowski, M.; Sulova, J. A New Approach to the Assessment of the Reduction in Visibility Caused by Fires of Electrical Cables. Safety 2019, 5, 44.

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