Fire-protection equipment supplier Fire & Security Techniques (FST) has introduced its Fire-Eater ZSV-25 local zone valve (ZSV-25) onto the local market for use in systems where multiple zones in mines are protected by one fire-extinguishing cylinder bank.
“These zone valves control the flow of Inergen fire-extinguishing agent to the desired risk area and offer a wider application space pertaining to protecting against fire,” says FST CEO Neil Hughes.
He explains to Mining Weekly that the valve acts as a selector valve, directing the flow of Inergen to the correct zones, should a fire break out.
For mines, using the valve ultimately reduces total system cost and also enables them to reduce redundant cylinders in a fire-protection system. By reducing the number of cylinders required, system downtime – owing to the removing, refilling and reinstalling of cylinders – is also reduced.
The ZSV-25 is made of brass and stainless steel, weighs 2.3 kg, has a 62 mm diameter and measures 135 mm × 155 mm.
“The valve uses system pressure to operate the valve mechanism. When the solenoid is powered, system pressure will force the valve to open until the system pressure drops below 2 bar, when it closes automatically,” Hughes explains.
The valve must be pressurised on the inlet to function properly. The valve’s condition can be monitored electrically when it is open and pressurised.
The pneumatic activation chamber is designed with a small leakage function to protect the valve from unwanted activation caused by such leakages into the activation chamber.
Moreover, FST also offers the ZSV-48 valve which has a 48 mm internal diameter. This valve, launched earlier this year, can effectively handle eighty 300 bar 24 m3 cylinders, which is four times the amount of flow rate (the amount of gas it needs to deliver to an area), compared with the ZSV-25’s capability of handling 20 such cylinders.
The ZSV-48 valves can operate on pressure or electrical impulse, as well as pneumatic impulse, and are suitable for opencast and underground mining applications that use high-tension, low-tension or transformer systems for power generation.
To further aid in offering mines cost-effective solutions, FST plans valve placement for mines where highly corrosive acids are used or fuel is stored, which poses an increased risk should a fire break out.
FST also monitors fire-protection systems for mines by checking valve positions, downstream pressures, the volume of the cylinders and whether they have been discharged, as well as leaks, Hughes concludes.