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Fire protection for industry

An infographic on how the FireDos stationary proportioning systems work

FIRE AWAY FireDos offers its stationary proportioning systems, or proportioners, as a key element for industrial fire extinguishing systems

11th August 2023

     

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With many highly flammable substances being processed and the varying risks of fire hazards and explosive potential on chemical and petrochemical plants, fire protection has become a major challenge in the industry, states Mike Feldon, MD of South African fire protection supplier DoseTech Fire, a supplier for German fire-suppression systems developer FireDos.

From a fire protection perspective, three areas at petrochemical plants require special protection, namely the production area, the tank farm and the material/bulk goods/high-rack storage area.

While traditional fire prevention systems, such as sprinklers, are often used on older plants, foam has become the preferred system.

Hence, FireDos offers its stationary proportioning systems, or proportioners, as a key element for industrial systems.

 

The operating principle of stationary FireDos proportioners is purely mechanical as they are driven solely by the flow of extinguishing water tanks.

“Operators worldwide rely on our purely mechanical equipment – which is independent of electricity and emergency power supply – if it is about precise and reliable foam agent proportioning into the extinguishing water,” the company notes.

The proportioner comprises a proportioning pump and a water motor. When the extinguishing water pump is switched on, the water flows through the water motor of the proportioner, prompting it to rotate. This way, the water motor drives the proportioning pump.

All foam agent types can be mixed and a constant proportioning rate across a wide operating range guarantees automatic adaptation to variable firefighting scenarios.

The cost-effective and eco-friendly proportioning rate testing method works completely without producing foam or premix.

The proportioners are suitable for high-viscosity foam agents for water flow rates of between 70 ℓ/min to 25 000 ℓ/min and for proportioning rates of 0.5%, 1%, 3%, 3+3% and 6%.

Further, FireDos proportioners can deliver premix over large distances with high flow rates, owing to its “low-pressure loss”, which refers to the fact that only a small portion of the pressure in the extinguishing water line is consumed as an energy source.

The water flow rate through the water motor is controlled through the valves to the sprinklers or the fire monitor.

The volumetric flowmeter shows the current water flow rate passing through the motor. The proportioning pump sucks in the foam agent, doses it and injects it into the extinguishing water pipework.

Additionally, the proportioners are efficient and offer significant cost savings over other systems.

FireDos proportioners also deliver high-viscosity foam agents and allow testing without generating foam or premix.

FireDos also offers its Fire Trailers for effective firefighting. Factory fire brigades at petrochemical plants increasingly use mobile extinguishing units, such as fire trailers that are versatile and flexible in application, as backup to fixed systems. Fire trailers are designed for rapid deployment and are simple to operate.

Equipped with a proportioner, a monitor or a combination of both, fire trailers help to reduce the demand for personnel in a risk area.

Proportioners are installed in fire extinguishing systems or available as portable systems for firefighting.

Long-Life, Maximum Reach

In petrochemical production areas, fixed monitors or deluge systems are used. Monitors can be more cost-effective, owing to pipework being minimised. A monitor’s nozzle is decisive in the success of extinguishing regardless of wind conditions.

Owing to the flow-optimised oval flat design of the FireDos monitors, pressure loss through the monitor is minimal, allowing the monitors to achieve the greatest reach.

In addition, FireDos monitors are manufactured in seawater-resistant materials and can be used as ATEX, or atmosphere explosible, versions in areas with explosion risks.

In high-risk areas, integrating the monitors into automated fire extinguishing systems is recommended, and all FireDos monitors can be manually operated or using remote control.

DoseTech Fire is the exclusive local supplier of FireDos products.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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