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Taiwan's ITRI uses hydroelectricity to light up firefighters' way

Posted: 08 Jan 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ITRI? LED? firefighting? microgenerator?

Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has developed a Fluid-Driven Emergency Lighting line, an LED light driven by micro-hydropower, featuring the Fluid-Driven Nozzle Light (FDNL) and the Fluid-Driven Sprinkler Light (FDSL). The technology combines a water turbine microgenerator with LED light engines to give light without traditional electricity.

The technology offers a simple way for a problem such as this: There's a huge fire. No power is available to the site and the fire takes place in the dark of night. All of a sudden, firefighters connect the fire hoses and the scene lights up with an array of LEDs driven by micro-hydropower. And, if it's in a high-rise building where only overhead sprinklers are available in the dark, fluid-driven technology is attached to sprinkler heads. It's so obvious, why didn't I think of that?

FDNL technology

The use of FDNL technology during firefighting helps mitigate the dangers of a smoke-filled, dark environment. Source: ITRI

Fluid-Driven Emergency Lighting provides two benefits. The FDNL provides a powerful light and improves ease of firefighter equipment operation during lifesaving rescue missions, while the FDSL provides a reliable light source during structural fires with sprinkler systems. A big concern in firefighting is the inability for the firefighters to accurately 'see' what is going on given the dark, smoke-filled environment.

FDNL technology

Water flows through the turbine blade within the microgenerator, while the use of a floating rotor in the turbine enables an external magnet-coil pair configuration. Source: ITRI

The concept works when water flows through the turbine blade within the microgenerator, generating electricity. A floating rotor in the turbine generator enables an external magnet-coil pair configuration. The device is thin, light, and features a hollow-ring design, so that debris passes through easily even if broken blades or muddy water are present.

With FDNL, one minute of water flow provides three minutes of lighting without batteries. It is available for licensing now, while FDSL, activated by high temperatures, will be available for use in buildings in 2016.

- Carolyn Mathas

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