High pressure water mist

Danfoss Semco increases its focus on water mist systems for fire safety in buildings

Based on water mist systems for maritime use, years have been spent on developing and launching systems for fire safety in on-shore buildings.

With its high pressure water mist nozzles and systems, Danfoss Semco A/S Fire Protection has distinguished itself in the industry, and the cultural and university complex Alsion in Sønderborg is a textbook example of how water mist systems can replace sprinkler systems.

The Danish company's high pressure system, marketed under the name SEM-SAFE®, operates at a pressure of 60-120 bar, which creates a water mist with extremely small droplets. Now the system is to be launched more comprehensively to the construction industry.

In Denmark, Danfoss Semco has recently signed an agreement with plumbing firm L & H Rørbyg to distribute the system. Until now, the manufacturer has taken care of contact and sales to customers, but now a greater marketing and distribution of the systems to
Danish buildings is required.

Danfoss Semco focuses heavily on exports, and currently has projects in more than a dozen countries worldwide.

The basis for the imminent breakthrough is partly due to technical progress, and because we have received a number of recognised classifications and authorisations. Simultaneously, the company has built up the necessary production and service systems; starting with the head office in Odense.

Tests demonstrate quality
A significant part of this quality assurance is based on extinguishment tests conducted by DBI in Hvidovre, which, in recent years, has carried out a range of development and classification tests and certifications.

"Uniquely in the world, we have developed a solution that enables ordinary non-fire classified glass panels to be fire-proofed by means of water mists. This solution means that the glass meets the EI 60 or EI 60 A2-s1, d0 fire requirements - i.e. BD 60 - or BS 60 separations", says Jens T. Jepsen, Senior Product Development Manager at Danfoss Semco.

R&D Manager Henrik Bygbjerg of Danfoss Semco says that it is on this basis that the certificates for the nozzles and systems for deep fat fire extinguishing and local protection in buildings were obtained.

Henrik Bygbjerg adds that the company is on the verge of obtaining the German VdS approval for water mist systems for the protection of offices, garages, hotels and the cavities above suspended ceilings and under raised computer flooring.

This is based on a comprehensive test process in DBI's testing laboratory, where the effectiveness of Danfoss Semco's water mist system has been compared with conventional sprinkler systems.

"With the imminent approval, we expect to be able to increase our sales in Germany, and on the worldwide market, of these systems", says Henrik Bygbjerg, who explains that Danfoss Semco is the second largest player in the water mist market.

Acquiring a large section of the sprinkler market
He predicts that water mist systems will acquire a substantial part of the sprinkler market, so that up to half of future water-based fire extinguishing systems we build will be based on water mist technology.

There is also great optimism among Danish distributors
"There is no doubt that we will see a boom in this area in the coming years. High pressure water mist systems offer unique advantages to all parties, from architects and builders to users and insurance companies", says Henrik Jørgensen, director of L&H Rørbyg.

He points out that where traditional sprinklers can cool 378 kJ per litre of water, SEM-SAFE® is capable of extinguishing a heat development of 2,600 kJ per litre of water, equivalent to a seven-fold effect. The improved cooling ability is primarily due to water spray having a larger surface.

Henrik Jensen also points out that the small droplets and less amount of water means that water damage is reduced; something he believes insurers will continue to emphasise.

There are also advantages for architects in high pressure water mist systems which have a much reduced water consumption. Pipe dimensions are smaller than in sprinkler systems, and a smaller water reservoir is needed if a direct connection to the public water supply is not feasible or sufficient.

Martin Pauner
M.Sc. Eng.

Phone : +45 51 57 23 31
Mail : mpa|dbi-net.dk

Jernholmen 12
DK-2650 Hvidovre
Tlf. +45 36 34 90 00
Fax +45 36 34 90 01
E-mail: dbi|dbi-net.dk

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