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NFPA 750 and Water Mist Focus of Seminar August 18, 2011

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems.
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Protex Central and Victaulic will present New Trends in NFPA 750 Water Mist Fire Protection Systems on September 13, 2011 at the new FFA Enrichment Center on the campus of Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa.

Seminar explores NFPA 750 and associated technologies

The two hour seminar will focus on NFPA’s standard on water mist fire protection systems (NFPA 750) as well as different water mist technologies including Vicatulic’s hybrid system: VORTEX.

VORTEX is a unique fire suppression system that provides a homogenous mixture of nitrogen and water to create a highly effective suppression capability. VORTEX systems feature several important factors including:

  • environmental sustainability
  • near zero wetting
  • no clean-up or downtime
  • safe for occupied spaces

Common applications for VORTEX technology include:  industrial applications; electrical generator enclosures even data centers.

A complimentary box lunch will be served beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Reserve a seat by contacting Shari Mullen at (515) 252-9932 or via e-mail at:  shari.mullen@protexcentral.net.

Industry Meeting in Full Swing March 2, 2009

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Systems.
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FSSA’s 27th Annual Meeting is is full swing here in Orlando, Florida.  The first day was a tour de force of industry experts providing an excellent overview of technical issues facing our industry.

FSSA’s technical director, Tom Wysocki, provided a synopsis of relevant NFPA codes and standards that are in various stages of approval including NFPA 850 – Power Generation. Turns out this recommended practice (as opposed to a standard) is soliciting Requests on Proposals (ROP) until August 28 of this year. The next revision to 850 will incorporate new alternative power generation plants including wind, solar and geothermal.

Next, Dr. Mack McFarland of DuPont gave an excellent presentation on the Implications of Actions to Address Climate Change.  He did a super job of distilling the myriad scientific issues surrounding climate change into a simple, easy to access hour-long presentation.

Dr. Mark Robin, also of DuPont, shared results of live fire test comparison testing of clean agents versus sprinklers.  To no one’s surprise, the clean agent system provided complete suppression within seconds of detection while sprinklers did what they were supposed to do – control the fire.  Of course, the test room was heavily damaged by heat, smoke and – you guessed it – water damage.

One of the more interesting aspects of Dr. Robin’s report dealt with the environmental impact of a “controlled” fire from sprinklers.  Turns out that there are numerous nasty chemicals that are released during a fire event plus the nasties that are contained within the spent sprinkler water.   Needless to say, suppressing fires with water creates its own environmental impact risks.

Finally, Tom Cortina, of the Halon Alternative Research Council, laid out the regulatory landscape that is affecting several of our fire suppressing agents.  Given the recent change in Washington leadership and other states, it’s a safe bet that we’ll see more aggressive action on limiting  fire suppression -based greenhouse gases  regardless of their extremely limited emissions and benefit to preservation of mission critical functions and life safety.

FSSA is planning on making these entire video presentations available on-line for a fee in the very near future.   Check-out out www.fssa.net for more information in the coming weeks.

Wind Turbine Fire Reality January 11, 2009

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Systems.
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Garner, Iowa Wind Turbine Fire

One of my favorite definitions of a “low” fire hazard is:   “A concrete vault, six feet under water.”   By that definition, wind turbines could be considered fire hazards:   they’re neither concrete nor six feet under water.

Here’s a link to some photos that I took at at wind farm near Garner, Iowa. This unit caught fire in October of 2007.

A quick look around the internet yields many a reference to wind turbine fires. Check out some of these links:

Bloomfield, NE wind turbine fire story and video
Bloomfield, NE wind turbine aftermath
Spanish wind turbine fire video
Palm Springs, CA wind turbine fire video

I’ve been on a bit of a cause of late, like Don Quixote, to find a willing participant in the wind industry that’s interested in fire protection for wind turbines.

I’ve made a couple of stabs with the energy companies and a manufacturer, but my inquiries have fallen on deaf ears. I actually had the opportunity to climb two towers and tour the interior of the nacelles (the box that can burn on top of the 210′ stick – see photo of what once was a nacelle above).

I’ve developed solutions for both fire suppression as well as fire detection in these hazard areas. I’m looking for an opportunity to promote them to the industry.

So, if you know of a good contact that I can trot off to see, drop me a line at shawn.mullen@protexcentral.net.  Or if you’ve got other good references of wind turbine fire hazards, pass them along, too.  TX!