War between fire and water has started a million year ago when fire invented. So first material used for fire suppression is water. Water is still most used material in today’s automatic fire extinguishing systems.
Water Suppression Systems are classified in two types: Sprinkler Suppression Systems and Watermist Suppression Systems.
Sprinkler suppression systems are the most used type of water suppression systems. NFPA13 and EN12845 are the international standards used for sprinkler suppression systems. Sprinkler suppression systems are basically consist of fire pump, pipes, fittings, hangers and supports, system control valves, flow switches and sprinklers. Residencial buildings, commercial buildings, industrial plants, warehouses, carparks, etc. are the places where sprinkler suppression systems are used as fire suppression systems. Sprinkler suppression systems have four different types detailed below. Choosing proper system type according to the application, hazardous type and environmental conditions is very important for sprinkler suppression systems.
Water is always kept in the pipes in wet pipe sprinker suppression systems. They are applicable if temperature is not above 95°C. If temperature is below freezing point of water additional heating equipment must be used to prevent freezing. Water is sent to pipes by fire pump. In case of fire, sprinkler which has specific tube differs by colors according to the activation temperature is being activated by heat. Wet alarm valve and/or flow switch used in system send fire information to the building management systems.
Dry pipe sprinkler suppression systems are used where temperature is always high or below freezing point. In this system type there is air or nitrogen within pipes instead of water during normal conditions. Sprinklers are activated with temperature and discharge starts first with air/nitrogen; then water. Dry alarm valve and/or flow switch used in system send fire information to the building management systems.
If speed of fire propagation is high, deluge sprinkler suppression systems should be preffered as an automatic suppression system. In this systems open head sprinklers are used instead of closed sprinklers. There is no water and/or air/nitrogen within pipes in normal conditions. System is activated by automatic fire detection system. Fire alarm panel decides fire condition and activate deluge alarm valve. Water flow starts within pipes and discharges into enclosure. Deluge alarm valve and/or flow switch used in system or fire alarm panel send fire information to the building management systems.
Preaction sprinkler suppression systems are similar to the dry pipe sprinkler suppression systems. If water discharge is dangerous for the enlosure or will harm to the equipment within enclosure preaction sprinkler suppression systems should be used. Archive rooms, muesums, libraries, historical buildings are the main verticals that preaction sprinkler suppression systems used. In this sytem type, water discharge happens with sprinkler activation and/or signal from fire alarm system. Preaction alarm valve and/or flow switch used in system or fire alarm panel send fire information to the building management systems. There are three main types of preaction sprinkler suppression systems.
Water discharge starts with activation of sprinkler or by fire alarm panel. Preaction valve opens by signal sent from detectors or pressure drop within pipes.
Water discharge starts only with signal from fire alarm system. Preaction valve opens by signal sent from detectors and system activates.
Water discharge starts with activation of sprinkler and signal from fire alarm system. Preaction valve only opens by signal sent from detectors and sprinklers. Air/Nitrogen within pipes discharges into the enclosure after sprinkler activation. Water starts to flow after signal sent to the valve by fire alarm panel. Activation can be pneumatic or electrical. In case of fire water discharges toward by only activated sprinklers.
Size of water droplets in sprinkler suppression systems are around 1000µm. This size can harm some equipment within protected enclosures. Watermist suppression system doesn’t harm to the equipment within enclosure. Watermist suppression systems has special nozzles which decrease water droplet size smaller than 300µm. So water droplets discharged into the enclosure become mist and don’t harm. NFPA750 is the standar for watermist systems. According to the sytem working pressure, there are two types of watermist suppression systems: Low Pressure Watermist Suppression Systems and High Pressure Watermist Suppression Systems. Industrial plants, warehouses, generators, turbines, transformators, archives, etc. are main verticals that watermist suppression systems can be used. Choosing proper system type according to the application, hazardous type and environmental conditions is very important for sprinkler suppression systems.
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