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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Dawson, Georgia » National Peanut Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #444900

Research Project: Peanut Warehouse Early Fire Detection Sensor and System Development

Location: National Peanut Research Laboratory

Project Number: 6044-41430-007-004-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2023
End Date: Aug 31, 2026

The development of a prototype early detection system for fire and pre-fire conditions in famers’ stock peanut warehouses and similar agricultural material storage facilities. System will be designed to detect gases emitted during pre-combustion heating and combustion of farmer stock peanut materials. System is to detect emitted gases at concentrations that allow early detection of pre-combustion and combustion occurring inside the mass of stored famers’ stock peanuts.

National Peanut Research Laboratory (NPRL) Principal Investigator (PI) will provide knowledge and expertise in pre-combustion and combustion behavior and emissions of farmer stock peanut materials. NPRL PI will conduct performance testing of system sensors and entire system in NPRL scale model peanut warehouses. University of Texas Arlinton (UTA) Cooperator and team will design and assemble electronics and software of sensor system. NPRL PI and UTA Cooperator will collaborate on the design of the structure and mechanical elements of the sensor system. Research will begin with the designing and constructing of a sensor unit for use in proof-of-concept and feasibility testing of the sensor unit inside the NPRL scale model warehouses. During feasibility testing controlled amounts of identified pre-combustion and combustion emission gases formaldehyde and sulfur dioxide will be released within NPRL scale model warehouses loaded with peanuts simulating pre-fire/fire within the peanut mass and warehouse. Sensor unit will be placed at various locations within and outside the scale model warehouse to test sensor performance when placed for optimal interception of gases in ventilation airflow and in low flow areas including buried within the mass of peanuts. Detection performance of sensor unit will be compared to research grade gas measurement instruments. Data from the feasibility testing will be used to improve sensor detection performance and design of detection system deployment in commercial peanut warehouses. UTA Cooperator will design and construct a prototype networked sensor system for deployment in an industrial peanut warehouse. NPRL PI will recruit a warehouse operator to provide access to an industrial warehouse. NPRL team and UTA Cooperator team will install prototype networked sensor early detection system within the chosen industrial warehouse. System performance will be tested by controlled release of formaldehyde and sulfur dioxide gas within the industrial warehouse.