Advances in mobility coupled with concerns for our environment have led to rapid development of Electric Vehicles (EVs). This means a rise in EV Charging Stations. In fact, estimates say that the number of charging stations in Europe has tripled over the past four years. Regulations are driving this too, with France’s 2019 Mobility Orientation Law requiring them to be present in every car park. However, the addition of these stations also brings a fire risk, leading car park operators to seek out parking fire prevention solutions. Thermal technology can provide an efficient and effective remedy to this risk.
Parking fire prevention evolves
The risk of fire is one that’s towards the top of every parking operator’s list of concerns. This makes fire prevention a welcome precaution, and advances in thermal technology mean it’s now an accessible option. Thermal cameras, for example, have reduced in cost by a third over the past five years.
Car parks have high ‘fire loads’ – a measure that calculates the potential severity of fire. Parked cars themselves are high risk, especially with new kinds of fuel available. Since vehicles are very close together in a busy car park, a fire can spread more quickly. Another factor in play is the rise of EVs and their charging stations.
Like all electrical equipment that provide a lot of power, the elements in a charging station heat up easily. In fact, both the terminal and electric vehicle batteries heat up during charging, becoming a potential fire risk. In fact, operators actually suggest using monitoring equipment for this reason.
Enter certified parking fire prevention technology
Thermal technology can come to the rescue, providing alerts to a potential fire before it ignites. Thermal sensors can detect abnormal temperature readings, providing an alert if it goes above a preset level. This means that if there’s a heat build-up in a charging station, or EV, it can be flagged and action taken before a fire even starts. This is the premise of the Hikvision Electric Vehicle Charging Station (EVCS) Solution.
With stakes so high and EV charging stations adding a rather unknown variable, peace of mind is key. The EVCS uses thermal cameras certified for fire prevention by the CNPP (in English the National Commission for Vocational Certification). The CNPP is an independent third party certification for fire prevention and is recognized throughout Europe. This certification mark attests to the quality of fire safety installations.
The EVCS Solution has a number of options, depending on the layout, and requirements, of the car park.
The second option uses the Thermal & Optical Bi-spectrum Network Bullet Camera , this time providing a wider field of view. This means fewer cameras are needed to cover a car park, since one camera does more. In this way, it’s more economical. It also means it can be used for securing more of the car park, especially since it can also detect the presence of people.
Both options allow drivers to recharge their electric vehicles safely. They can provide peace of mind too to the car park operator, detecting temperature elevation efficiently.
In fact, they provide a faster detection method compared with conventional detectors. There’s also an added bonus – because the camera also has an optical lens, video verification can prevent false alarms. Every camera is georeferenced by level and parking area. This means when an incident is detected, the operator can check the location to see what’s happening there.
Another option for car park operators is to install a Thermographic Cube Camera directly inside the charging station. This provides all of the temperature monitoring benefits from within the unit itself. It can alert an operator directly when a temperature level is reached. This would be a useful option in cases where there are fewer charging stations or where securing the area is not necessary.
Fire is one of our biggest fears – bringing with it injury and even worse. It can also cause massive damage at great monetary cost. The rise of electric vehicles has added a new dimension into derisking a car park. If something goes wrong with an electric vehicle, it usually happens while it’s charging. The certified cameras in the EVCS Solution provide more insight into conditions at the charging location to verify a temperature alarm. So, car park operators can enjoy the benefits of an electric car initiative knowing that the risk of fire is managed.
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