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Safer fire protection in the data centre
April 2012, IT in Manufacturing


Engineers and designers attempting to find fire protection for hazards such as computer rooms, sub-floors, tape storage, switchgear, vaults, process equipment and all occupied or unoccupied areas where equipment is either very sensitive or irreplaceable, are faced with a difficult task. The fire protection needs to increase reliability while reducing the overall environmental impact. While many might consider water the logical choice, this particular solution presents a number of problems when used with electrically powered equipment.

A better solution

The solution is a mixture of two inert (oxygen diluting) gases: a mixture of 50% nitrogen and 50% argon - known as Pyroshield. As the Pyroshield agent is derived from gases present in the earth’s atmosphere, it exhibits no ozone depleting potential, does not contribute to global warming, and nor does it contribute unique chemical species with extended atmospheric lifetimes. The Pyroshield agent, composed of atmospheric gases, does not pose the problems of toxicity associated with the chemically derived halon alternative agents and is the number one choice for protecting high value electronic assets. Pyroshield’s production meets all the criteria set out in the Montreal and Kyoto protocols, thus it will never be phased out, unlike the halogenic gases.

Pyroshield gas extinguishes fire by lowering the oxygen content below the level that supports combustion. When the Pyroshield agent is discharged into a room, it introduces the proper mixture of gases that allow a human to breathe in a reduced oxygen atmosphere. The normal atmosphere in a room contains 21% oxygen, if the oxygen content is reduced below 15%, most ordinary combustibles will cease to burn. Pyroshield reduces the oxygen content to approximately 12,5% implementation.

Alien Systems & Technologies manufactures the Pyroshield Fire Suppression System, engineered using a fixed nozzle agent distribution network. The system is SABS approved (SABS 14520-1-14:2008) and was also the winner of the 2003 SABS Design Institute Award for Engineering. It is designed and installed in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 2001, ‘Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems’.

When properly designed, the Pyroshield system will extinguish surface burning fire in Class A, B and C hazards. The system can be actuated by detection and control equipment for automatic system operation along with providing local and remote manual operation as needed. Accessories are used to provide alarms, ventilation control, door closures, or other auxiliary shutdown functions.

The system is particularly useful for suppressing fires in hazards where an electrically non-conductive medium is essential or desirable; where clean-up of other agents present a problem; or where the hazard is normally occupied and requires a non-toxic agent.

For more information contact Samantha Wright, Alien Systems & Technologies, +27 (0)11 949 1157, sam@astafrica.com, www.astafrica.com


Credit(s)
Supplied By: Alien Systems & Technologies
Tel: +27 11 949 1157
Fax: 086 718 3430
Email: grant@astafrica.com
www: www.astafrica.com
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Further reading:

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