Practical application of robotic fire suppression systems for the protection of public buildings and structures

A modern public building attracts attention and visitors. All this is due to the unique appearance and internal design, stylish structural and technological concepts, and functionality.

Fig. 1. Public buildings are characterized by complex design and technological solutions

But there is also a downside, that is a complex fire safety system, which must correspond to the characteristic features of a specific object:

  • complex design and space-planning solutions, including large interior spaces, and combination of various-purpose premises;
  • density of engineering systems, power mains and equipment, and gas supply systems;
  • heavy fire load in the form of finishing materials and interior items;
  • built-in parking lots and fire-hazardous premises;
  • restaurant and coffee house's kitchens…

The fire-fighting system for such buildings should also combine various organizational measures and technical means designed in order to protect people and property from the effects of fire hazards and (or) localize its impact (Art. 51 FZ-123).

The complexity of building a common system and the selection of technical means require a conscious approach. This also applies to the selection of automatic fire suppression systems. The inconsistency of the tasks and criteria for selection of a technical solution sharply narrows down the range of applicable fire extinguishing technologies.

The major criteria in this case are as follows:

  • fire protection system response speed, including the detection and extinguishing of a local small-area fire;
  • the effectiveness and safety of the applied extinguishing methods, minimization of negative consequences not only from the fire, but also from its extinguishing;
  • automatic control of the system state in a standby and operating mode up to the terminal device by not only the duty personnel of the facility, but also the service company;
  • system control under normal (design) and remote modes of operation;
  • availability of a service for recording all system messages, which will allow to monitor not only the system itself, but also all operations that are being carried out with it by service personnel or the managing company.

The appearance of the system and the possibility of its incorporation without disturbing the image of a modern facility is also of no small importance.

The Robotic Fire Suppression Systems (RFSS) meet such criteria. These systems stood the test of time on many protected facilities for decades and have been increasingly used recently. RFSSs replace traditional AFSSs, as no sprinkler systems may be used for protection of premises with a height of more than 30 m, and for the protection of premises 20-30 m high, they may be used with restrictions according to SP 495.1311500.2020.

The most appropriate is the use of RFSSs for the protection of large premises (audience, exhibition and trading spaces), coatings and ceilings with complex configuration, skylights, etc.

A RFSS consists of firefighting robots (robotic fire monitors) and a control system. By now, the line of firefighting robots can be represented by a wide range of products with flow rates varying from 4 L/s (water mist) to 100 L/s.

For the protection of public facilities, FR-Mini is widely adopted. FR-Mini is a compact firefighting robot about the size of a soccer ball. It is mounted in the upper part of the room (ceiling-mounted) and protects the 360° sector. It is available with flow rates of 4 and 10 L/s – WM, as well as 15 and 20 L/s, and has an effective stream range of above 35 m. The robot has a built -in infrared targeting sensor that allows to detect fires at a minimum area.

FR-Mini is applied as part of a robotic fire suppression system. The system is controlled by a CB-CCD control box. The digital platform of the system allows to integrate RFSS into any fire protection system, and the algorithmization of the system makes it possible to provide functions that are unavailable for any other system:

  • extinguishing exclusively in the focal zone, and not within the "protected" area, as common for the conventional systems;
  • possibility of using fire extinguishing programs with short periods of FEA supply and checking the quality of extinguishing between them, as well as extinguishing several fire sources;
  • possibility of blocking the supply of FEA to areas where its use can cause harm (for example, a particularly valuable exhibit).

The application of RFSS is also possible for the protection of local areas. In such cases, the function of system reprogramming makes it possible to implement fire extinguishing algorithms applicable in case of changes in space-planning and technological solutions, which is quite common, for example, in exhibition halls.

Fig. 3. Fire testing of FR-Mini RFSS with a flow rate of 10 L/s in automatic mode

Fig. 4. Firefighting Mini Robot with a flow rate of 10 L/s

The automatic monitoring of the system state to the last element of this system ensures the operability of a AFSS at any time. The RFSS contains a program for self-testing of all elements, with event registration on a remote server with authorized access.

The availability of a remote control mode of the AFSS allows to use it under the guidance of an operator. The RFSS incorporates the remote control programs that allow the operator to enter all necessary data in a few seconds. In the event that the operator loses the control of the system for any reason, the RFSS switches to automatic mode.

The use of FR-Mini in the development of a fire protection system for an object simplifies the design and provides the ability to make quick changes, when taking new space-planning and technological solutions. The support of the designer by FR's specialists, as well as the developed Ballistics programs (for determining the effective range of the FEA stream) and the "Calculation of AFSS parameters" service application allows to minimize the time spent for complex calculations.

When designing a RFSS with FR-Mini, it is necessary to be guided by SP 485.1311500.2020, as well as VNPB 39-20, agreed by the EMERCOM of Russia in the prescribed manner.

Security: All-Russian specialized magazine. – 2022. – No. 1

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