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Bulk CO2 fire fighting system for cargo ships

There may be a variety of different fixed fire fighting installations exist, some of which are specifically designed for certain types of ship. Fig explained an installation of bulk CO2 system. It consists of a large vessel which holds CO2 at a working pressure of around 21 bar and temperature of minus 20C. To maintain these parameters, a dual refrigeration system is employed and controlled by the CO2 pressure in the vessel. One refrigeration system is in operation while the other is on standby.

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As it is essential to maintain the pressure in the vessel, a heater is also fitted for this purpose. Fitted to the vessel are two sets of relief valves, the LP set designed to lift at around 24 bar and the HP set designed to lift at around 27 bar. The HP set is also required to vent off into the compartment. This is a safety feature employed in-case of fire in the compartment with the CO2 vessel, causing a rapid rise in CO2 pressure. CO2 would vent off to the compartment, extinguishing the fire.

Bulk CO2 system
Fig: Bulk CO2 system

Alarms fitted to the system are low level, high level and a leakage/flow alarm (indicating leakage via main discharge valve). Balloons can also be fitted to the relief valves to give an indication of leakage.

To operate the system, the control/release cabinet is opened which sets off an audible and visual alarm, warning personnel that CO2 release is imminent and that they should vacate the compartment. The section valve to the compartment to be smothered is opened, then the main CO2 discharge valve is opened. A preset opening time is given for that compartment so that the correct charge of CO2 is given.

The advantages of a bulk CO2 system over a multi- bottle system are that it gives a 50% less weight saving, the volume it occupies is less and it is a lot cheaper to supply CO2 in bulk.

Fixed fire extinguishing installations

A variety of different fixed fire fighting installations exist, some of which are specifically designed for certain types of ship. A selection of the more general installations will now be outlined.
  1. Fire main system for cargo ships

  2. An outbreak of fire requires a source of ignition, the presence of combustible material and ample oxygen. Of the three factors, oxygen is provided in large quantities in machinery spaces, accommodation, dry cargo holds and tanker pumprooms by ventilation fans. Air supply trunkings are not only a source for a supply of oxygen to feed the fire but also have potential for carrying smoke from one area to another....

  3. Automatic water spray & water mist system for machinery protected area

  4. The automatic spray or sprinker system provides a network of sprinkler heads throughout the protected spaces. This system may be used in accommodation areas, and in machinery spaces with certain variations in the equipment used and the method of operation. ....

  5. Automatic foam induction system for machinery space fire

  6. Foam spreading systems are designed to suit the particular ship's requirements with regard to quantity of foam, areas to be protected, etc. Mechanical foam is the usual substance used, being produced by mixing foam making liquid with large quantities of water. Violent agitation of the mixture in air creates air bubbles in the foam. ...

  7. CO2 fire extinguishing installations for machinery spaces

  8. Fire extinguishing installations employing CO 2 stored under pressure at ambient temperature are extensively used to protect ships' cargo compartments, boiler rooms and machinery spaces. When released the CO 2 is distributed throughout the compartment, so diminishing the relative oxygen content and rendering the atmosphere inert....

  9. Inert gas systems, inert gas generator

  10. Inert gases are those which do not support combustion and are largely nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Large quantities suitable for fire extinguishing can be obtained by burning fuel in carefully measured amounts or by cleaning the exhaust gases from a boiler. ....

  11. Fire fighting Halon system

  12. A Halon storage system would be very similar to one using carbon dioxide except that fewer cylinders would be required. The liquefied Halon is usually pressurised in the cylinders with nitrogen in order to increase the speed of discharge. ....

Other important fire & safety equipments

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