Deluge suppression systems are systems where all sprinklers that are connected to a water piping system remain open,i.e., the heat sensing element is removed or designed specifically that way. These systems are designed and used for special hazards where there’s a concern for rapid fire spread, as they offer a simultaneous water application over the entire hazard. At times they are installed in building openings or personnel egress paths to slow the travel of fire (e.g. openings in fire rated walls).
Water won’t be present in the piping till the system functions. Due to open sprinkler orifices, piping will be at atmospheric pressure. To stop supply pressure from forcing water into the piping, deluge suppression systems or deluge valve is then used in the supply connection.
Because of heat sensing elements in automatic sprinklers will have been removed, the deluge system should remain open as communicated by the fire alarm system. The kind of fire alarm instructing device is mostly selected based on the nature of the hazard like heat detectors, optical flame detectors or smoke detectors. The instructing device communicates with the fire alarm panel, which in turn instructs the deluge valve to open. Activation can be done manually as well, depending on the system objectives. Manual activation is normally done through a pneumatic or electric fire alarm pull station, which instructs the fire alarm panel, which in turn instructs the divulge valve to open therefore allowing water into the piping system. Water will simultaneously flow from all sprinklers.
Deluge fire sprinkler systems are different to standard fire sprinkler systems in that all nozzles being used in the system will be open and when water is allowed to enter the system, it flows from every discharge device. Because of this, such types of systems are mostly found in industrial type hazards across India as they require water application over a large hazard area. A deluge valve controls the water as it doesn’t allow water into the piping system until such a time when it is required.
A detection system incorporates the use of flame, heat or smoke detectors is used for opening the deluge valve in the event that fire or any of its combustion products are detected. Every system piping will be filled with water which will discharge from nozzles and sprinklers used in the system. To add to the application of water, certain deluge suppression systems incorporate foam concentrates to mix with water and create a form-like solution which then provides a protective foam blanket to control a fire.
Deluge suppression systems are widely used across different industrial sectors in India, but mostly by industries that specialize in chemicals, explosives, and petrochemicals and they are highly rated fire hazard zones.