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Fire suppression for data centres and server rooms

Datacentre

Fire suppression systems for server rooms and data centres are essential. The rapid growth of Cloud-based services has placed a significant demand on hyper-scale data centres,  and we are now seeing an increase in computing power without the same notable increase in used floor area. The concentration of electrical power being generated within these confined spaces provides the perfect opportunity for fire ignition.

A fire suppression system will automatically extinguish a fire with a gas discharge, without the need for human intervention. A pressure relief vent is then required to compensate for the negative and positive pressures that result from the gas discharge.  Fire suppression gas agents can be dangerous if not designed correctly, and strict guidelines must be followed.

Halocarbon Vs Inert

There are typically two types of fire suppression systems used in the protection of these data centres: halocarbon and inert. The halocarbon gas systems use chemical cooling to extinguish the fire. Liquefied gases are super-pressurized with dry nitrogen, discharging in typically 10 seconds. This generates an under-pressure within the enclosed space, followed by an over-pressure. Apreco has a patented Halocarbon Pressure Relief Vent, the SGV® Dual Flo, designed specifically for this application. Our unique 2-way venting system offers the same performance in both directions keeping installation simple. The SGV is the first halocarbon gas pressure relief vent in the world that has been certified to EWCL5.  Tested at EXOVA Warrington Fire following the performance test criteria of BS EN 1364-1, the SGV has achieved up to 3 hours of fire resistance.

It is also important to note that 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 and therefore our products have been designed to fully open between 100 – 125Pa.

Inert gas systems use a pressurized inert gas stored in cylinders at 150 to 300 bar, depending on the system design. This works by displacing the oxygen within the protected space to less than 15% by volume to extinguish the fire. The reduction in oxygen levels will suppress a fire. Your design, however, must keep oxygen levels above 12% to support the personnel occupying the room.  These systems typically use The IGV® range of vents from Apreco provides our customers with outstanding performance.

 

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