Cycling Waterflow in Sprinker Systems

Issue 4 and Volume 142.

Cycling Waterflow in Sprinker Systems FIRE PROTECTION Detection Problems It Causes And One Plant’s Solution WHEN BRINGING a new computer-based fire alarm system on line, some problems are expected. For the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) in Paducah, Kentucky, one of the problems had been there all along. It was in the way the large sprinkler systems in the plant operate. The problem was “cycling” (oscillating) waterflow at the system riser during low flows. This cycling sometimes prevented waterflow detection by the new alarm system. This is because traditional retard (delay) circuitry at the electronic alarm-receiving module assumes a steady flow. The cycling had not been discovered previously due to the slower response time of the old electromechanical alarm system. Due to the large number and size of plant sprinkler systems, an approach of going directly from symptom to remedy was determined to be the most costeffective. Use of this…

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