CO2 Fire Suppression System
Concept Fire Suppression Ltd has been using CO2 as a fire suppression agent for many years and it is very versatile. These systems can be designed in two ways, first as a Total Flood System (enclosed room) and second as a Local Application System (protecting equipment in an open area). As a properly designed CO2 fire suppression system is lethal to humans, it can only be used in an unoccupied Total Flooding enclosures and with care in Local Application Systems.
Due to its flexibility of design, CO2 Fire Suppression Systems protect many applications, including print and coating machines, rotating machinery, electrical cabinets, transformers and flow solder machines to name just a few.
CO2 Fire Suppression Agent
Carbon dioxide is stored as a liquid under its own vapor pressure, and expands to 0.52 m3 of gas per kilogram of liquid when exposed to air at 10 °C. It is 1.5 times as dense as air; it is colourless, odourless and electrically nonconductive. As CO2 is heavier than air care in areas such as pits or floor voids as it will accumulate in these areas.
The standard design concentration is 34% by volume, which is then multiplied by a volume factor and then a material conversion factor to ensure right level of concentration. It can be used on class A fires, wood, paper & fabric class B fires, flammable liquids and class E fires, electrical.
The hold or retention time is 20 minutes twice as long as that of inert gas and clean chemical agents, although this may have to be extended to allow the burning material to cool.
CO2 as a Fire Suppression agent extinguishes a fire by cooling and reducing the oxygen content, thereby removing two elements required by the fire triangle.
There are two main types of hardware for a CO2 Fire Suppression System namely High Pressure and Low Pressure.
High Pressure Systems normally use a 62L cylinder holding 45Kg of CO2 although smaller cylinders are available. Multiple cylinders use a manifold to connect the cylinders together and discharge through standard Schedule 40 pipework to the nozzle.
Since CO2 is colourless and odourless an Odouriser is fitted to your CO2 Fire Suppression System to ensure the safety of people working in and around the protected area. In addition to safety, a lock-off valve is fitted to ensure that the system cannot be accidentally discharged during maintenance of the protected equipment.
Low Pressure systems utilise larger tanks that store enough gas for multiple actuations or multi area systems. These are much less common today than high pressure systems, but are useful for protecting larger sites or where continuous protection is required without the need to store large quantities of cylinders in the premises.
Any enclosure protected by a CO2 fire suppression system should have interlocks to protect everyone entering the room or working on the protected equipment.
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