This post was written by Cedric Verstrynge, Victaulic Sales Engineer Vortex, Victaulic Company http://www.victaulic.com/ or http://www.victaulicfire.com
Myth-Busting: Why Water Can Be Used to Suppress Fires in Data Centres
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The risk of an electrical fire in data centres is an ever-increasing concern for owners and operators. It has been an ongoing battle for when it comes time to decide what type of fire suppression system should be utilised in their facilities. The use of a water-based system could risk destruction to all electronics housed in the facility, resulting in thousands of dollars of damage. CO2 based systems release toxic gas that can be detrimental to the health of your employees and is considered a greenhouse pollutant. The myth that data centre owners have to choose between water and / or gas systems to protect their space no longer is the case. Unique hybrid fire extinguishing systems – that use a mix of water and nitrogen gas to extinguish the fires – have arrived in the fire protection / suppression market. This technology uses the best characteristics of both water mist and inert gas to extinguish a fire. Among the benefits of this type of system include: life safety, enclosure integrity, environment safety, cooling capacity and no costly clean up or equipment replacement. Made entirely of non-toxic agents, all personnel are safe even during activation. The reduction of oxygen in the space is at levels within safe breathing tolerances. Hybrid systems are designed specifically for information technology spaces. Providing the best capabilities of both water mist and inert gas systems the technology is also 100% environmentally safe. There is no costly cleanup or equipment replacement after the system is activated. Immediately after a fire, the system rapidly recharges and is ready for use that same day, which is extremely important for information technology facilities such as data centres. The success of a hybrid technology is its unique ability to extinguish fires via heat absorption and oxygen deprivation and with minimal water presence. This system works by combining nitrogen and water, a homogenous suspension of nitrogen and sub 10-micron water droplets penetrate through vented type enclosures to extinguish a fire without significant water residue. When the mixture enters the enclosure, both the nitrogen and the water attack the fire simultaneously. The water cools the space and the nitrogen reduces the oxygen content and generating steam. By installing a hybrid fire extinguishing system you no longer will have to worry about damaged property, loss of money or the health and safety of your personnel.