There are four main types of fire suppression systems for data centres -
- Inert Gas - Argonite / Inergen
- Synthetic Gas - Novec 1230 / FM-200
- Water Mist - High Pressure / Low Pressure
- Hypoxic Air - Oxygen Reduction Systems
Data centres are vitally important to our modern life, whether the data centre is a colocation (Colo) Managed Services, Cloud, Managed Hosting, Edge or Enterprise, unplanned downtime is something every data centre manager dreads.
With data centre fire suppression systems from SolarFire Systems, you can protect your assets and your business from the damage which fire can cause and minimise your data centre downtime.
Types of Fire Suppression Systems
Option 1: Inert Gas Extinguishing Systems
Inert gas fire systems once activated lower the oxygen level in the room to a point where the fire is extinguished but is safe for you and your employees.
Commonly used inert gasses for data centres are IG-55 (Argonite®). IG-55 is an inert gas blend of argon and nitrogen, which occur naturally in the environment. With zero ozone depletion potential ODP, zero Global warming potential GWP and zero atmospheric lifetime, it has excellent environmental properties. A typical design concentration of 40% will reduce the oxygen level to 12.5% within 60 seconds.
Another gas is IG-541 (Inergen®). IG-541 is a mixture of 52% Nitrogen, 40% Argon and 8% CO2. However, in the event of a fire, when IG-541 is discharged, it mixes with the air present in the room to create a mixture that comprises of 67.3% Nitrogen, 12.5% Oxygen, 17% Argon and 3.2% Carbon Dioxide. As with IG-55, the mixture of gasses will reduce the oxygen levels down and extinguish the fire and will be safe for people within the room.
Option 2: Chemical Gas Suppression Systems
Synthetic Gas Extinguishing Systems
Synthetic gas systems quickly extinguish the fire once activated; they are designed to extinguish the fire in under 10 seconds.
For years FM-200 was used as a direct replacement for Halon.
FM-200 systems are known worldwide for providing fast, clean, and safe fire suppression solutions. People are the main asset of any business, and their protection is paramount. The FM-200 fire extinguishing system is proven safe for use in occupied, protected areas.
FM-200 - How it works
FM-200 works by removing heat from a fire so that combustion cannot be sustained, its unique characteristics also prevent re-ignition. FM-200 does not remove the oxygen level to a point where it is unsafe for occupants to remain in the room.
Following a fire, the gas may be dispersed through natural ventilation, which is made possible as FM-200 does not have any toxic side effects and because it contains neither bromine nor chlorine, it has no detrimental effect on the earth’s ozone layer.
The gas is discharged through a piping network into the protected area, where it is applied to extinguish the fire. FM-200 extinguishing agent is electronically non-conductive and non-corrosive, it leaves no oily residue or deposits to damage software, data files or communications equipment, therefore the clean-up time and costs after discharge are minimal.
FM-200 fire extinguishing agent is stored in cylinders as a liquid, pressurised with nitrogen it requires only a small storage space. FM-200 is an HFC gas, it has zero ozone depletion (ODP).
The modern replacement for FM-200
3M™ Novec™ 1230 is not an HFC gas, it is a fluoroketone. It is not subject to the HFC phasedown under the F-Gas Regulation in Europe or any global regulatory body, including the Montreal Protocol.
It is stored as a liquid within the cylinder pressurised by nitrogen and discharged as a gas.
3M™ Novec™ 1230 DOES NOT Remove or reduce the oxygen within the data centre. 3M™ Novec™ 1230 is a synthetic/chemical fire suppression gas and extinguishes a fire by removing the heat and free radicals from the fire.
The concentration of 3M™ Novec™ 1230 is typically 5.6% of the Data Hall or protected room volume.
3M™ Novec™1230 is discharged into the data centre between 8 and 10 seconds.
Option 3: Oxygen Reduction Fire Prevention Systems
Prevent fires actively before they start
Data centres and server rooms are perfect examples of rooms with the highest risk to business continuity after a fire. Fast detection of a fire is not enough. Even the smallest fire, while effectively extinguished, can cause down times and consequently enormous costs. A permanent prevention of the cause of the fire is therefore desirable solution.
For applications like server rooms, data centres, archives, electrical sub stations, and museums, SolarFire Systems offers a permanent oxygen reduction system that create a permanent hypoxic environment. The permanent oxygen reduction systems is the only available system that actively prevents a fire from starting in the first place.
Utilising revolutionary fire prevention technology. It has the unique ability to create a breathable oxygen-reduced (hypoxic) environment which prevents flame ignition and, at the same time, is safe and healthy for human occupants.
Option 4: Water Mist
One single system covers all data centre fire fighting applications
Water Mist suppresses the fire in seconds, with minimal use of water and water damage, giving you the best possible protection for your entire data centre.
The water tanks used for watermist systems are much smaller than those used for conventional sprinkler systems leaving more space for server cabinets, and in case of facility expansion when you extend your data halls and support infrastructure, additional pipes, valves and nozzles can easily be installed to new areas, supported by the original water supply and pump set.
With the use of lower water consumption the watermist system can be designed with small system components (e.g. reservoir, pump, pipes and fittings) resulting in cost savings.
As the system installation procedures are similar to the installation of conventional sprinkler systems but with fewer nozzles and smaller pipes, installation of the system can be done faster and more efficiently thus saving time and money.
Areas within the Data Centre we protect
- Data Halls
- Crac Corridors including return air plenum
- Battery Rooms
- HV / LV Rooms
- Back up Generators
- UPS Rooms
- Transformer Rooms
- MMR Rooms
- POP Rooms
- BMS Rooms
Do you have a technical question?
Call us on 01628 902107 or email [email protected]