See the next generation of fire suppression on Stand D1166 at Data Centre World on 12th and 13th March at London’s Excel.
The high levels of power used and subsequent heat generated in server systems are the principle causes of fire in data centres. With data centres now covering hundreds of thousands of square metres, a small fire caused by a fault in just one piece of equipment or wiring can potentially spread to cause incalculable damage to the operator’s assets and reputation.
Technological advances in fire suppression for data centres over the last twenty years mean that gas and chemical-based solutions developments are becoming obsolete. Amongst their disadvantages are the facts that they usually involve releasing chemicals over a wide area and require ventilation systems to be shut down to remove oxygen. Electrical supply often has to be cut and clean-up operations take time. Staff safety, damage limitation and the amount of downtime are all major disadvantages with these traditional solutions.
More and more data centres have therefore been turning to high-pressure water mist solutions. These systems comprise a tailor-made network of nozzles, which release micro-fine particles of water exactly at the point of the incident. While the localised fire is quickly extinguished, the remainder of the data centre’s operations and equipment remain unaffected and can be kept up and running. The solution is completely harmless to staff and equipment and, as only minute amounts of water are used, is quick to clean up.
High pressure water mist fire suppression – how it works
The key benefit of high-pressure water mist fire suppression solutions are the extremely low levels of water used. Using a high-pressure pump, clean water is forced through a specially designed, tested network of stainless steel pipework and nozzles at 100bar. The microfine water droplets emitted have sizes ranging from 50 to 200 µm. They quickly vaporise to cool and extinguish the fire, by displacing the oxygen around the fire zone. With this localised response, only the nozzle at the affected point is triggered and hardly any trace of water remains after activation. The area does not need to be sealed in the same way that a gas suppression system requires and ventilation does not need to be turned off. Energy supply and business operations can continue as usual.
Proven experience in data centres
UK-based fire suppression expert, Fireworks, began pioneering high-pressure water mist solutions for data centres over two decades ago. In partnership with Danfoss, supplier of SEM-SAFE® high-pressure water mist equipment, they have successfully designed and installed systems in several major data centres.
“Fireworks was the first company to install high-pressure water mist solutions for data centres in the UK” said Derek Killaspy, Managing Director of Fireworks. “Moreover, major data centres around the world have put their confidence in the Danfoss SEM-SAFE® systems that we work with. Each year on our exhibition stand with Danfoss at Data Centre World, we are continuing to see even more interest for our solutions.”
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