HI FOG fire suppression systems are being used in data centers in lieu of data center sprinkler systems and data center gaseous fire suppression systems. HI FOG offers an alternative method of fire protection that combines some desired features of both gaseous systems and sprinkler systems.
What is HI FOG and What are the Benefits of Using It?
How HI FOG Fire Suppression Works
HI FOG fire suppression is a data center fire suppression option that utilizes a central pumping unit to discharge a very fine water mist as a high pressure fog. HI FOG fire suppression uses narrow tubing which can be bent to fit as needed. At the end of the tubing, a discrete spray head is fitted to disperse the mist from the central pumping unit.
HI FOG fire suppression suppresses fires by depriving them of heat. The mist absorbs heat efficiently through the evaporation of the fine water particles. HI FOG fire suppression also displaces oxygen at the seat of the fire to further suppress it. HI FOG is equivalent to other data center fire suppression options in terms of fire mitigation plans.
The central pumping unit that disperses the high pressure fog can be a Gas-driven Pump Unit (GPU), or an Electric Pump Unit (EPU), and a variety of spray heads can be fitted to suppress fires.
The Benefits of HI FOG Compared to Traditionally Used Systems
Because HI FOG fire suppression uses narrow tubing that bends easily, the system is easy to install into a retrofit for any space. A HI FOG fire suppression system can also be easily installed into any newly designed space.
In addition to that, the central pumping unit is much more compact than the tanks required to utilize a clean agent/gaseous fire suppression system, thus freeing up more floor space.
In terms of overhead space, the tubing used in a HI FOG system is much more malleable than the pipes required to supply water to traditionally used sprinkler systems. Pre-action pipes or dry pipes are the industry standard used for fire mitigation plans within data centers, as opposed to wet pipes, because they do not gather condensation—which can drip on IT equipment. HI FOG tubing likewise remains free of condensation.
HI FOG fire suppression systems also have a greater life cycle than the other fire suppression systems used in data centers. It can be expanded into any new, augmented, or expanded space. Also, HI FOG fire suppression systems discharge mist in specific areas, as opposed to sprinkler systems that are all triggered to discharge water.
Furthermore, HI FOG systems disperse much less water than sprinkler systems. The two systems were tested in a thirty-minute interval. The HI FOG system discharged 100 gallons of water from a single spray head nozzle, (using a GPU). Within the same thirty-minute duration, a single sprinkler head discharged 951 gallons of water from a traditional sprinkler fire suppression system. Given the vast difference of water dispersed, HI FOG both conserves water and could potentially reduce the risk of water damage to IT equipment.
Finally, HI FOG systems do not require recharging or changing out tanks, unlike data center gaseous fire suppression systems. Water is always available within the tubing, just like sprinkler systems.
The Final Answer?
The risk of a fire is a risk that every data center faces. Data Centers with fire mitigation plans will likely have a traditionally used data center fire suppression option in place. Is HI FOG fire suppression the best data center fire suppression system? While a HI FOG system performs equivalently to other data center fire suppression options, the answer is up to the individual data center.
Click Here to read additional information on other methods of data center fire suppression options.