Case study – Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems

Fireworks has designed and installed the fire suppression systems for the Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS) – a major new centre for research and development on low emissions vehicles at Bath University.

A global hub for automotive research

Due to open in the summer of 2021, IAAPS is set to become a global hub for innovation in ultra-low emissions vehicles. The £70m centre will house advanced automotive testing and research facilities, bringing together leading engineering scientists from the worlds of academia and industry. The new facilities include test cells for powertrains, propulsion systems, components and chassis.

Advanced fire protection system

Fireworks designed and installed a watermist fire suppression system for all 22 areas of the new IAAPS facility, in accordance with BS 8489 recommendations for machinery spaces. The BS 8489 standard sets out performance criteria for fixed watermist systems for specific industrial and commercial hazards, for both life safety and property protection.

Detection, pumps and water supply

The Fireworks’ system which incorporates three types of detectors – fire, smoke and heat – for maximum protection.  The solution is powered by light, compact pumps with an operating pressure of 80 bar.  Lubrication of the pumps is provided by water. All pump components have been designed for longevity and subjected to testing and approval by VdS and FM. The water supply is provided by a storage tank containing enough water for a 30 minute discharge, as set out in BS8489 specifications.

A dual wet and dry system with watermist nozzles

The pumps and water supply are connected to high pressure watermist nozzles located in each area, via a network of stainless steel pipes and valves. Due to the differing requirements of the spaces to be protected, the system comprises both wet and dry section valves. In accordance with BS8489 standards, the entire pipe network was hydrostatically pressure tested by Fireworks to 1.5 times normal operating pressure for  120 minutes.

The watermist nozzles located in each area operate at 60 bar. All were tested in accordance with the FM5560 appendix N standards specifically developed for machinery spaces. In the event of fire, water at high pressure is released in the form of fine mist, only via the nozzles in the affected areas.

Fastest cooling and fire suppression

High pressure watermist offers unparalleled protection for machinery and engine test facilities, due to its proven capacities for fast cooling and suppression of fire, even in the presence of flammable oils. Smoke spread is reduced and, as only very small amounts of water are used, normal operations can be quickly resumed.

For more advice on fire protection for your automotive facilities, contact 0800 975 7462

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