When choosing a fire protection system for our Data Center facility, there are several parameters we must consider, besides choosing the best possible option from the wide range of possibilities available today. Nebulized water is one of the options; however, do we truly understand its advantages?
Nebulized water is a solution based in tiny water particles, the size of which must be smaller than 1000 microns. The very small size of these drops or particles is achieved by using specially designed nozzles and working pressures that range from 4 bar to 200 bar.
This kind of solutions are ideal for critical environments where plain water could damage the equipment or the facility itself. When the system activates, the nebulized water cools down the fire and displaces oxygen with the vapor generated and, at the same time, it mitigates the radiated heat.
The effectiveness of this kind of solutions is based on three cornerstones:
- Evaporation. Cooling down the room by heat absorption.
- Dilution. Displacement of oxygen in the floor focus.
- Radiation. Lowering heat transmission.
What aspects does the effectiveness of using nebulized water to extinguish fires depend on? It depends on several variables such as the dynamics of the nebulization itself, the density of the water discharge, as well as the proper distribution of the water particles. In addition, other external aspects, such as the size of the fire and the ventilation conditions, also influence its effectiveness.
Nebulized water has a series of advantages over traditional fire extinguishing systems, such as gaseous fire suppression and sprinklers:
- Immediate activation
- Wide protection effectiveness against a large variety of fires
- Minimal water damage
- Environmentally friendly
- No toxicity problems
- Better penetration in the base of the fire
- Higher coverage of the volume protected
- Less water consumption
When thinking about installing a nebulized water fire extinguishing system, one must consider what the purpose of said system is and what it is that one is trying to achieve, completely extinguishing the fire or controlling the fire. This is important because, on the one hand, totally extinguishing the fire leads to the complete absence of combustion of the materials. On the
other hand, the nebulized water system can help us control the fire limiting its growth by cooling it, suppressing the flames by wetting the combustible materials and keeping the temperature of the combustion gases at low levels.
There are numerous nebulized water fire extinguishing systems available and, although they may have different configurations, all of them get the water from the supply network or deposit and use cylinders or pumps to move the water. The systems available are:
- Total Flooding System: The sprinklers are completely opened.
- Wet Pipe System: It preferably uses closed sprinklers with a pneumatic mechanic bulb that is activated by breaks or breaks and pressure respectively.
- Pre-Action System: It also uses closed sprinklers.
The initial cost of installing this kind of equipment is higher, however, without a doubt, the costs are made profitable in large spaces. The opinion of a professional technician can always help you choose the best configuration for your fire protection system, and nebulized water is undoubtedly and increasingly becoming one of the top choices.