Data Centre Safety, Security & Fire Suppression Innovation of the Year
Synthetic Gas Fire Suppression Systems that utilise agents such as FM-200 and Novec 1230 require both UNDER and OVER pressure relief. These agents cool and breakdown the chemical reactions found in fire, producing both negative and positive pressurisation during system discharge.
When pressure relief vents are forced to open at very high pressures, there is a risk of damaging the protected room’s structural integrity. Apreco was the first company to recognise such risks.
To overcome the potential of structural damage the SGV vent was designed with blades that operate in both directions, with the built-in ability to adjust the pressure setting. No other dual flow vent on the market has this flexibility. Our SGV Dual Flo® Gas Vent is the only true 2-way pressure relief vent on the market offering the same performance in both directions. This not only means that performance is more efficient than others on the market, but they are the lightest and require much less wall space, reducing installation and purchasing costs for our customers. This also simplifies the installation, as unlike other products out there, the SGV Dual Flo® cannot be installed back-to-front.
Other products on the market offering ‘dual flow’ pressure relief also only offer a 30/70 split for positive and negative pressures, which is not typical for all the applications they have been designed for. Our SGV Dual Flow has been designed to fully open at a nominal 125Pa both ways, meaning that the halocarbon gas type and relative humidity is less of a concern for our customers.
The SGV vents have also been designed with a control device that holds the individual blades closed, allowing our customers to carry out their annual integrity room tests without the need to block the vents during such a test.
The SGV is also the first halocarbon Gas Pressure Relief Vent in the world that has been certified to EWCL5, with up to a 3-hour fire-resistance rating in accordance to EN 163-1:2014. In partnership with Warrington Fire, the Fire Industry Association (FIA) working groups and the Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA), we created the test protocol used in conjunction with EWCL5.
With no harmonised code available for testing at the time, we utilized a product approvals scheme based around BSEN Standards, which is a program for products requiring fire testing but with no test standard in place.
There is a very difficult situation in some countries where people are manufacturing products that have not been tested for over a decade, or at all. This risk is that some of these vents could find their way into the UK market. When you read the specification of some products out there in the market, you realize that they are not fit for purpose. The testing that Apreco carries out on our products is expensive but necessary and this can make it difficult to compete on price with competitors that are not offering certified products.
Apreco worry that competitor products being delivered to the customer that are not of the highest quality and specification can have a real detrimental effect on the final installation – a genuine concern for such a safety-critical system. In the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries, they are tightening up on their specifications, and increasingly, companies want to know that the products they are purchasing are certified. This, of course, is good news for the Fire Suppression Industry.
In addition to the fire-resistance test, Apreco also performed airflow testing with BSRIA, which is referenced on the EWCL5. This gives our customers a performance that has been verified by experts for airflow and fire safety – something that is lacking in the industry. Following on from this we have also used and are continuing to use door fan blower kits, such as those offered by Retrotec to confirm the free vent area performance, often referred to as equivalent leakage area (EqLA).