505 & FAAST 8100 - Benchmark Testing VLC- (return-air sampling)

 
 
505 & FAAST 8100 - Benchmark Testing VLC- (return-air sampling)
Benchmark Testing VLC-
505 & FAAST 8100
(return-air sampling)
Technical Report




April 2011
505 & FAAST 8100 - Benchmark Testing VLC- (return-air sampling)
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Xtralis                                        Benchmark Testing VLC-505 & FAAST 8100 (return-air sampling)




Executive Summary
          This report presents the findings from a series of smoke tests in a representative computer/server
          room environment at the Xtralis Test Facility to assess and compare the detection performance
          between VESDA (VLC-505) and FAAST 8100 detectors when set up to monitor the return air from
          the space (return-air grill sampling).
                                                 th
          The fire tests were conducted on the 11 April 2011 and were witnessed and validated by a
          representative from the Centre of Environmental Safety and Risk Engineering (CESARE) of
          Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.




Copyright © Xtralis AG


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Benchmark Testing VLC-505 & FAAST 8100 (return-air sampling)                Xtralis




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Xtralis                                            Benchmark Testing VLC-505 & FAAST 8100 (return-air sampling)




Background
          A series of smoke tests were conducted in a representative computer/server room environment at
          the Xtralis Test Facility to assess and compare the detection performance between VESDA (VLC-
          505) and FAAST 8100 detectors when setup to monitor the return air from the space (return-air grill
          sampling). The fire tests were conducted on the 11th April 2011, and were witnessed and validated
          by a representative from the Centre of Environmental Safety and Risk Engineering (CESARE) of
          Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.
          Return-air grill sampling is a recommended practise in computer/server rooms and dictated in
          various codes and standards (e.g. NFPA76, FIA CoP). The reason being that smoke from
          smouldering fires may lack the thermal buoyancy to rise to the ceiling and is instead transported by
          airstreams to the outside through return air openings. To ensure, however, effective sampling
          across a return-air grill a high sensitivity ASD system that can reliably provide very early detection
          must be used due to a number of reasons:
             Detectors are expected and required in these spaces to detect smouldering type fires with often
              minimal smoke output.
             Smoke is expected to be heavily diluted from high airflow conditions within the room.
             Return-air sampling offers a very narrow window of opportunity for detection as the
              “transported” smoke will be present momentarily at the grill allowing detectors only a short
              duration of exposure to it. This is opposite to under ceiling detection where to smoke can
              accumulate.
             The ventilation configurations of these spaces does not allow build up of smoke in the room
              since smoke is either purged to the outside (no air circulation mode) or attenuated / removed
              by depositing onto HVAC filters and fans each time air is circulated back into the room (air
              circulation mode).


Test Conditions
          Xtralis Test Facility – Computer/server Room (Figure 1)
                  Test room dimensions: length 11m (36ft), width: 6m (21ft), height: 3m (10ft)
                  Test room ventilation mode: air supply through perforated floor and exhaust via return-air
                   grill. No air circulation – smoke is purged directly to the outside
                  Return-air grill:
                     Dimension: 1m x 0.8m (3.3ft x 2.6ft). Area: 0.8m2 (8.6ft2)
                     Average air velocity: 0.5m/sec (148fpm)
                     Height from floor: 1m (3.3ft)
                  Test room air exchange rate: 7 air change rates per hour (ACH)




                          Figure 1 – Xtralis Test Facility – Computer/server Room



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Benchmark Testing VLC-505 & FAAST 8100 (return-air sampling)                                            Xtralis


         Detectors
         The VLC-505 and FAAST 8100 detectors were setup to sample across the return-air grill. Both
         detectors had identical pipe networks comprising a single pipe with two sampling holes placed
         across the return-air grill (Figure 2).


                                     Return-air grill




                                                             Sample Holes




                                  Figure 2 – VLC and FAAST Return-air Sampling


         Detectors’ configurations are stated in Table 1.

                                              Table 1 Detectors Parameters

                       Parameters                              VLC-505               FAAST 8100
                       Serial Number                            225682              0026C8002F6
                       Configuration Tool                            VSC                  PipeIQ
                       Alarm Thresholds*
                       Alert                                          0.04%/m (0.012%/ft)
                       Action 1                                       0.165%/m (0.05%/ft)
                       Action 2                                        0.33%/m (0.1%/ft)
                       Alarm delay                                            0sec
                       No. sampling holes                                       2
                       Sampling holes size                                 5mm (13/64”)
                       Sampling holes coverage area                        0.4m2 (4ft2)
                       Detector flow rate                      31 L/min               37 L/min
                      Alarm Thresholds set to FAAST default


         Note: detectors’ alarm thresholds enable an effective sensitivity at each sample hole within the
         minimum settings defined by the following standard and code:
            NFPA 76 Standard for the Fire Protection of Telecommunications Facilities (2009) intended for
             Very Early Warning Fire Detection (VEWFD) systems.
            Fire Industry Association Code of Practice for Design, Installation, Commissioning &
             Maintenance of Aspirating Smoke Detector (ASD) Systems (2006) intended for very high
             sensitivity (Class A) detection systems.
         Smoke Tests
         1. Electrically overheated PVC-coated wire (2m)
         Test method simulates the small amounts of smoke that would be created at the early stages of a
         fire in a telecommunications equipment area and is used for the performance testing of detectors.
         Test method is referenced in NFPA 76 and FIA CoP. See Appendix A for further information on test




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Xtralis                                                                              Benchmark Testing VLC-505 & FAAST 8100 (return-air sampling)


          method parameters. Fuel was placed 5m (16.4ft) from the return-air grill and 0.75m (2.46ft) from
          the floor.


Results
          Test results are shown in Table 2.

                                                              Table 2 Return-air Grill Sampling – Test Results

                                                                                       Response Time (sec)
                                                 Test No
                                                                            VLC-505                        FAAST 8100

                                                          1               188sec – Alert                    NA* (5)**

                                                          2               220sec – Alert                     NA (3)

                                                          3               132sec – Alert                     NA (4)

                                                          4               178sec – Alert                     NA (4)

                                                          5                     NA                           NA (1)

                                                          6                     NA                           NA (1)
                                              * NA: No Alarm within test period (300sec)
                                              ** Maximum bar graph level attained during test (10 bars = Alert)


          The VLC-505 smoke trend readings for each test are shown below.
                                               0.03
                     VLC-505 Reading (%/ft)




                                              0.025



                                               0.02



                                              0.015



                                               0.01



                                              0.005


                                                                                                                   Tim e (sec)
                                                 0
                                                      0         30   60    90    120     150   180   210     240   270      300


                                                                                 Test No. #1




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Benchmark Testing VLC-505 & FAAST 8100 (return-air sampling)                                                                      Xtralis


                                                        0.03




                              VLC-505 Reading (%/ft)
                                                       0.025



                                                        0.02



                                                       0.015



                                                        0.01



                                                       0.005

                                                                                                                  Tim e (sec)
                                                           0
                                                               0   30   60   90    120   150    180   210   240    270      300




                                                                                  Test No. #2

                                                        0.03
                              VLC-505 Reading (%/ft)




                                                       0.025



                                                        0.02



                                                       0.015



                                                        0.01




                                                       0.005

                                                                                                                  Tim e (sec)

                                                           0
                                                               0   30   60   90    120   150    180   210   240    270      300




                                                                                  Test No. #3

                                                        0.03
                      VLC-505 Reading (%/ft)




                                                       0.025



                                                        0.02



                                                       0.015



                                                        0.01



                                                       0.005


                                                                                                                   Tim e (sec)
                                                          0
                                                               0   30   60   90    120   150    180   210   240    270      300




                                                                                  Test No. #4




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Xtralis                                                                                                   Benchmark Testing VLC-505 & FAAST 8100 (return-air sampling)


                                                                          0.03




                                              VLC-505 Reading (%/ft)
                                                                         0.025




                                                                          0.02




                                                                         0.015




                                                                          0.01




                                                                         0.005

                                                                                                                                          Tim e (sec)

                                                                               0
                                                                                   0    30     60   90    120   150    180   210   240    270       300




                                                                                                         Test ID #5

                                                                        0.03
                     VLC-505 Reading (%/ft)




                                                                       0.025



                                                                        0.02



                                                                       0.015



                                                                        0.01



                                                                       0.005

                                                                                                                                            Tim e (sec)
                                                                          0
                                                                               0       30     60    90    120   150    180   210    240      270        300




                                                                                                         Test No. #6

                                                                                             Figure 3 – VLC-505 Smoke Trends


Conclusion
          This investigation compared the detection performance of VLC-505 and FAAST 8100 detectors
          when setup to sample the return-air grill in a computer/server room environment. The results have
          shown that the VLC-505 detector responded to the electrically overheated PVC-coated wire (2m)
          whereas FAAST 8100 failed to respond in all tests.




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Benchmark Testing VLC-505 & FAAST 8100 (return-air sampling)          Xtralis



   Appendix - Electrically overloaded PVC-coated wire (2m) Test Method
NFPA 76 Standard for the Fire Protection of
Telecommunications Facilities (2009) - Annex B
Performance Test Procedures for Very Early
Warning and Early Warning Fire Detection
Systems




Fire Industry Association Code of Practice for
Design, Installation, Commissioning &
Maintenance of Aspirating Smoke Detector
(ASD) Systems (2006)




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Xtralis                                             Benchmark Testing VLC-505 & FAAST 8100 (return-air sampling)




Disclaimer On The Provision Of General System Design
Recommendations
          Any recommendation on system design provided by Xtralis is an indication only of what is
          considered to be the most suitable solution to meet the needs of the common application
          environments described.
          In some cases the recommendations on system design provided may not suit the unique set of
          conditions experienced in a particular application environment. Xtralis has made no inquiry nor
          undertaken any due diligence that any of the recommendations supplied will meet any particular
          application. Xtralis makes no warranty as to the suitability or performance of any recommendation
          on system design. Xtralis has not assessed the recommendation on system design for compliance
          with any codes or standards that may apply nor have any tests been conducted to assess the
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Benchmark Testing VLC-505 & FAAST 8100 (return-air sampling)                                                                                Xtralis




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