Airport Has Powerful Pumping Plant
Power and pumps capable of throwing 34,000 gallons of water per minute have been installed for fighting building fires that might occur at New York’s International airport at Idlewiid, Long Island. The Port of New York Authority has provided enough capacity to combat two simultaneous separated fires, large enough to require wide open deluge systems.
To give as flexible and dependable a system as possible, there are two identical batteries of five centrifugal pumps, one driven by five diesel engines having a total of 1,690 hp. and the other by five electric motors of 1,460 hp. combined. In addition, a 20-hp. motordriven make-up pump of 100 gallons per minute capacity maintains a pressure of 165 lb. per sq. in. in the entire water supply system, which consists of ten miles of pipe.
Each group of pumps includes two of 2,500 gallons per minute capacity and three of 4,000 gallons per minute capacity. Drive motors for these pumps are rated at 210 and 350 hp. respectively at 1,765 rpm. Diesel engines are Superiors with 8 1/2-in. bore and 10 1/2-in. stroke running at 720 rpm. They are rated at 260 and 390 hp. respectively. The three 390 hp. engines are turbocharged. Pumps are driven at 1775 rpm by means of herringbone gearing.
There are four storage water reservoirs having a capacity of 1,000,000 gallons, which serve as an emergency source of water for fire fighting. Normally city water is supplied through a 36-in. main and a 30-in. main on opposite sides of the airport.
Each pump may be valved on or off the line by motor-powered valves. If the city water supply drops to 15 lb. per sq. in., the main valves are closed automatically and water is drawn from the emergency reservoirs. These valves remain closed until city pressure is restored to 35 lb. per sq. in.
An electric power failure would put only the motor powered pumps out of service. Emergency electric power for lighting, alarm and control boards, make-up pump, air compressors, fuel transfer pump, motor-operated valves, and raw water pump would be supplied by a diesel-powered 100-kw generator for which automatic starting equipment has been provided. After the emergency generator is automatically started it continues to run for ten minutes following restoration of power from the utility line. It stops then only if all equipment is operating properly.