Electromagnetic interference (EMI), also known as radio-frequency interference (RFI), is a disturbance created by an external force that affects an electrical circuit by electromagnetic induction, electrostatic coupling or conduction. This disturbance may degrade the performance of an electrical circuit or stop it from performing altogether.
Many man-made sources can generate changing electrical currents and voltages that can cause EMI including:
- Electric motors
- Power circuit switches and power supplies
- Activation of inductive and resistive loads
- Relay activation
- Circuit breakers
- Automotive ignitions
- Atmosphere discharges – and even electrostatic discharges between persons and equipment
Due to the effect electromagnetic interference has on electrical equipment it can be difficult to employ reliable fire detection in areas with high EMI.
What are the Challenges?
In industrial applications, processes and equipment often produce high levels of EMI and, while special shielding and filters can be put in place, high levels of interference can still make spot detectors ineffective and cause high volumes of false alarms. The ability to detect fire and smoke quickly in these applications is of the utmost importance to protect life, equipment and maintain business operation.
EMI has always been well understood in industrial sectors where heavy machinery and a lot of inductive loads are present. However, as office and other modern commercial buildings are now more equipped with technology infrastructures, including an increased use of wireless technologies, EMI is becoming a more widespread issue – even photovoltaic (solar) panels installed on the roof of existing buildings have been known to disturb smoke detectors on the top floors.
What is the Solution?
VESDA aspirating smoke detection provides the best and most reliable detection solution to overcome the issues caused by EMI. While traditional detectors require installation in a specific area that requires protection, aspirating smoke detectors can be installed away from the area and use a network of pipes to sample air from the area affected by EMI. This protects the electrical components of the detectors while providing fast and reliable detection.
VESDA detectors use powerful aspirators to draw air from the protected area through a network of pipes and into a detection chamber. Before entering the chamber the air is filtered to protect the detection elements from contaminants. This not only makes VESDA ASD the best option for areas with high levels of EMI but also for dusty, dirty, high ceiling or voluminous areas that can be susceptible to false alarms, making VESDA the perfect choice for most industrial applications.
For more information about the VESDA Aspirating Smoke Detection, or to discuss any of the other products that Eurofyre have to offer, please feel free to get in touch either by phone on +44 (0) 1329 835 024, by email to [email protected] or via the online enquiry form situated on our contact page.