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

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) i 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).

The fire tests were conducted on the 11 th 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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Xtralis Benchmark Testing VLC-505 & FAAST 8100 (return-air sampling) 1 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

Benchmark Testing VLC-505 & FAAST 8100 (return-air sampling) Xtralis 2 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). 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 Action 1 Action 2 0.04%/m (0.012%/ft) 0.165%/m (0.05%/ft) 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 Return-air grill Sample Holes

Xtralis Benchmark Testing VLC-505 & FAAST 8100 (return-air sampling) 3 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 Test No Response Time (sec) 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. 0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 0.025 0.03 0 30 60 90 120 150 180 210 240 270 300 Time (sec) VLC-505 Reading (%/ft) Test No.

Benchmark Testing VLC-505 & FAAST 8100 (return-air sampling) Xtralis 4 0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 0.025 0.03 0 30 60 90 120 150 180 210 240 270 300 Time (sec) VLC-505 Reading (%/ft) Test No. #2 0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 0.025 0.03 0 30 60 90 120 150 180 210 240 270 300 Time (sec) VLC-505 Reading (%/ft) Test No. #3 0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 0.025 0.03 0 30 60 90 120 150 180 210 240 270 300 Time (sec) VLC-505 Reading (%/ft) Test No. #4

Xtralis Benchmark Testing VLC-505 & FAAST 8100 (return-air sampling) 5 0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 0.025 0.03 0 30 60 90 120 150 180 210 240 270 300 Time (sec) VLC-505 Reading (%/ft) Test ID #5 0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 0.025 0.03 0 30 60 90 120 150 180 210 240 270 300 Time (sec) VLC-505 Reading (%/ft) 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.

Benchmark Testing VLC-505 & FAAST 8100 (return-air sampling) Xtralis 6 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)

Xtralis Benchmark Testing VLC-505 & FAAST 8100 (return-air sampling) 7 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 appropriateness of any recommendations on system design.

Any person or organization accessing or using a recommendation on system design should, at its own cost and expense, procure that the recommendation on system design complies in all respects with the provision of all legislation, acts of government, regulations, rules and by-laws for the time being in force and all orders or directions which may be made or given by any statutory or any other competent authority in respect of or affecting the recommendation on system design in any jurisdiction in which it may be implemented. Xtralis products must only be installed, configured and used strictly in accordance with the General Terms and Conditions, User Manual and product documents available from Xtralis.

Xtralis accepts no liability for the performance of the recommendation on system design or for any products utilized in the implementation of the recommendation on system design, aside from the General Terms and Conditions, User Manual and product documents.

No statement of fact, drawing or representation made by Xtralis either in this document or orally in relation to this recommendation on system design is to be construed as a representation, undertaking or warranty. To the extent permitted by law, Xtralis excludes liability for all indirect and consequential damages however arising. For the purposes of this clause, ‘consequential damage’ shall include, but not be limited to, loss of profit or goodwill or similar financial loss or any payment made or due to any third party.

Recommendations on system design are provided exclusively to assist in design of systems using Xtralis products.

No portion of this recommendation on system design can be reproduced without the prior approval in writing of Xtralis. Copyright and any associated intellectual property in any such recommendations on system design or documentation remains the property of Xtralis

Benchmark Testing VLC-505 & FAAST 8100 (return-air sampling) Xtralis 8 www.xtralis.com The Americas +1 781 740 2223 Asia +852 2297 2438 Australia and New Zealand +61 3 9936 7000 Continental Europe +41 55 285 99 99 UK and the Middle East +44 1442 242 330 The contents of this document are provided on an “as is” basis. No representation or warranty (either express or implied) is made as to the completeness, accuracy or reliability of the contents of this document. The manufacturer reserves the right to change designs or specifications without obligation and without further notice. Except as otherwise provided, all warranties, express or implied, including without limitation any implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose are expressly excluded.

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