Dinorwig Power Station, Snowdonia

Known as Electric Mountain, Dinorwig Power Station in North Wales is a remarkable piece of civil engineering, with virtually all tunnels, pipes and the generation plant located 750 metres inside the mountain. The pump storage hydroelectric power station has one of the fastest response times of any in the world, generating 1,728MW from standstill in just 90 seconds.


Following an independent fire assessment, an in-house team from First Hydro Company led the upgrade project and specified an open protocol networked fire detection system including aspirating fire detection to cover widespread above-ground and underground areas.

The project had a number of challenges, in addition to being underground, there are spaces of monumental proportion to protect – the machine hall alone is 180 metres long, 23 metres wide and 51 metres high.

The Solution

Working in partnership with Apollo Fire Detectors (whose devices were used in the original conventional fire system), Kentec Electronics was involved from the early design stage. Local contractor Lloyd Morris Electrical installed the new system alongside existing equipment to ensure no loss of protection.

Based around 12 Kentec Syncro analogue addressable control panels (eight underground), over 1,500 Apollo XP95 fire detectors and ancillary devices were installed at Dinorwig. Optical smoke detectors protect the main areas and approach tunnels, and heat detectors protect rest rooms and kitchens to minimise false alarms.

The Verdict

Andrew Taylor, Technical Officer at First Hydro Company concludes:

"The fire system gives us peace of mind that Dinorwig Power Station is protected from fire hazards and that we can get everyone out should an incident arise. "

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