Dry Deluge Testing
The philosophy behind the SIRON Dry Deluge Test is to ensure that critical firefighting safety systems are maintained in a fully serviceable condition, ensuring a reliable and long service life for system pipe work and protected equipment.
It is imperative to ensure the full functionality of these systems between the time frames when mandatory wet deluge testing must be carried out according to your country’s regulatory requirements and standards.
Deluge systems are classed as critical infrastructure and are a key component in case of a fire or explosion.
These fire suppression systems are the primary means in containing a fire and are crucial in keeping escape routes safe for evacuation.
By maintaining these fire safety systems, we can ensure that in the unlikely event of an emergency, the systems can keep your workers and production assets safe.
With regular Dry Deluge Testing, the full functionality of the firefighting systems will be enhanced, and the reliability of the protected plant improved.
The dry deluge testing becomes part of the overall asset safety maintenance system.
This is why we are proud to bring our field proven technology to the globe, having continually improved the technology and procedures since 2010.
The patented Dry Deluge Test from SIRON Fire Protection Services provides many advantages compared to the traditional method of utilizing corrosive sea water.
- As large volumes of sea water are not utilized the testing is deemed to be safer for the systems and plant
- By comparison, Dry Deluge Testing is considerably less expensive than setting up and performing a full wet test
- Testing can be carried out in manageable segments allowing operations to continue uninterrupted
- The preparation time needed to set up and prepare for the Dry Deluge Test is considerably shorter then set up time for a full wet test
- When conducting a Dry Test, leaks in flow pipes can be identified with more precision
- Dry Deluge Testing forces out any residual trapped water left over by a wet test
- As no sea water is used during the test, process equipment is protected, and its overall life expectancy is increased
- As no water is used during the test, there is no need for the sump tanks to pump out overflowed systems
- Reduced salt scaling inside flow pipes and nozzles, leading to less solids in the system and thus, resulting in fewer blockages
- The Dry Deluge test reduces salt scaling and corrosion in flow pipes, this results in less solids being present and in turn results in fewer blockages
Currently around 20 major global operators in the energy industry have fully adopted our Dry Testing technology.
A number of these have internalized our technology into their own company preventative maintenance standards. These major operating companies are from various energy industries namely: biomass fuel, wind energy, oil and gas, mineral fuel and the nuclear fuel industry.
Operators in other major industries have also started to adopt our technology.
These industries include but are not limited to the vehicle manufacturing and vehicle transportation industry. As with the energy sector these clients are some of the major players in transportation.
Our technology is also been successfully adopted to function in large high-rise buildings like hospitals and office blocks. These buildings typically have high ceiling water storage systems where the deluge is installed, our technology also brings various advantages to these assets also.
In order to test the full functionality of the deluge system our Dry Deluge Test utilizes pressurized vapor as opposed to sea water.
In order to utilize the Dry Testing across the full production unit some specific criteria need to be met.
The pressurized vapor needs to be sufficiently dense as well as being stable, with no environmental impact.
The flow of pressurized vapor needs to be of the correct pressure and consistency to allow for all the nozzles and pipe work across the entire deluge system to be tested and inspected.
With our experience in conducting elaborate dry tests with numerous types of operational settings we have adopted a fully functioning set of workable parameters, and procedures to allow our system to adapt to every unique location with its own unique set of requirements.
Typically, a two-inch hose is connected from vapor generator to a tie-in point immediately downstream of the deluge valve.
The hose is then connected via a check valve to the tie-in point of the deluge system that is to be tested. The check valve ensures that the deluge system is still fully operational during the Dry Deluge Test.
The compressor then forces the vapor to flow into the system, downstream of the deluge valve, through the headers and the pipe work, ultimately exiting through the deluge nozzles.
Whilst flowing downstream any blockages from corrosion or particulate matter within the system are identified by the irregular spray patterns being emitted from the nozzles.
Any anomalies found in the nozzle spray patterns are investigated by inspecting the nozzles and the upstream pipe work by utilizing a portable borescope.
Damaged nozzles can similarly be quickly identified due to incorrectly orientated or wrongly directed spray patterns during the Dry Deluge Test.
Damaged nozzles occur regularly on onshore/offshore facilities and they can affect the operability of the nozzle in question, or even in worse cases can negatively affect the overall hydraulic balance of the deluge system.
The nozzles can be inspected relatively easily, since the vapor allows our technicians to inspect from a close distance.
When nozzles are too high up to be inspected visually, we utilize a micro drone with high resolution imagery to carry out the inspection.
This type of inspection would be near impossible to achieve while a full wet test is been carried out.
With the amount of research and development we have put into building this testing system since 2010, we decided to patent various aspects of our system.
Our intent here was not to monopolize our testing system, but to allow licensing partners around the globe to assist us in servicing industry clients, maintain a strict quality of service, and at the same time helping us to advance our technology.
Our licensing partners are typical service providing companies in maintenance and in the testing of firefighting systems on an industrial scale.
Potential licensing partners must have a proven track record of clients with deluge firefighting systems.
SIRON Fire Protection Services ship a fully equipped maintenance container to the platform or production location.
This container comprises of its own independent Dry Deluge Test generator units, tools and equipment for immediate repair of the deluge system. Typically, the container has a small workshop and comprises some of the most common spare parts, such as hangers, clamps, nozzles, tee’s, bends / elbows, schedule 40 and 80 and threaded pipe fitting tools.
Our machinery in our container workshops as well as our smoke generators typically require 230 Volts 20A (50/60Hz). If alternative mains power is to be utilized, we will bring alternative powered equipment. We can adapt to alternative power supply systems if we are made aware of the locally available power mains well in advance of shipping our containers.
Local footprint (Containers)
Our containers have a footprint of 7.6 m2(72 ft2) and a volume of 16 m3 (560 ft3) and are painted SIRON blue.
In remote locations e.g. offshore, we require some bed space for our team of technicians (typically a 2-man team).
Dry Deluge Testing is a method of testing that conforms to the NFPA regulations in relation to the testing of open fire fighting systems.
Under the NFPA regulations and in certain circumstances open fire fighting systems are allowed to be tested using alternative methods.
NFPA 25 paragraph 184.108.40.206:
Where discharge from the system discharge devices would create a hazardous condition or conflict with local requirements, an approved alternate method to achieve full flow conditions shall be permitted.
The discharge patterns from all of the open spray devices shall be observed (NFPA 25 paragraph 220.127.116.11 and similarly NFPA 25 paragraph 18.104.22.168.5):
- to ensure that patterns are not impeded by plugged discharge devices
- to ensure that discharge devices are correctly positioned
- and to ensure that obstructions do not prevent discharge patterns from covering surfaces to be protected
Where obstructions occur, the piping and discharge devices shall be cleaned, and the system retested.
Typical hazardous conditions are created when the test water contains salt, which could lead to unsafe or dangerous situations if sprayed on electrical equipment or equipment prone to corrosion.
A conflict of local requirements arises when for e.g. an atrium deluge system cannot be tested because of the damage to equipment, furniture and administration systems being employed within the facility. Here the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) can give permission to test solely with vapor instead of a full wet test.
The philosophy behind the Dry Deluge Test is that the wet side, up to one of the block valves of the deluge valve is tested wet, this is implemented to ensure proper pump performance and deluge valve activation.
The rest of the system, from this block valve 100% downstream to the open nozzles are tested dry, with vapor.
By implementing these two test methodologies, the system is fully tested to its maximum degree of readiness for operation.
First the pump performance, fire and gas detection, and deluge valve activation are tested wet, and the open part of the system is integrally tested dry with vapor.
Utilizing these two tests in combination will allow for a full system operational check that will allow for the system to be maintained and certified as fit for purpose, usually extending the periods between wet deluge testing with full approval by regulatory bodies.
Siron Dry Deluge Testing also meets the criteria set out by:
- NFPA 25 Chapters 8, 10, 11, 13
- FM Global Datasheets 2-81, chapters 2.3.4, 2.3.5, 2.3.8, 2.3.14, tables 3 and 6
- CCV Technisch Bulletin 80
- Norsok S-001-Technical Safety, chapter 20.4.4
- European Commission – The Offshore Installations (Offshore Safety Directive) (Safety Case etc.) Regulations 2015
- NFPA 15 Chapters 6.2.4, 10.2.4, 10.2.5, 10.4.3.1
- Water deluge systems: Testing and performance measurements – UK HSE Offshore Information Sheet No. 1/2010
- API Recommended Practice 14G Fourth Edition, April 2007 – Section 7.4 Deluge and Sprinkler Systems
Deluge systems, water spray systems, water mist systems, foam systems and compressed-air-foam systems are all required to be tested annually as stipulated by the local regulatory requirements.
Siron Dry Deluge Testing can successfully test all the above systems while conforming to the NFPA 25 and other regulatory testing framework.
Regular Testing Method
Normally, deluge systems are annually tested with water, very often brackish water or even sea water. Because of this, these routine wet deluge tests cause many unforeseen complications, as well as risks to personnel during the complete operation.
over an entire platform is a hazard for the expensive processing equipment and many platform activities will be disrupted while testing, wet testing causes:
- Growth of MIC (Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion
- Corrosion and salt crystallization in flow pipes and nozzles
- Blockages of piping and spray heads
- Excessive firewater discharge will overflow the sump / drain tanks
- Freezing of firewater can be quite dangerous to operators in Arctic conditions
- Risk of unplanned business loss and plant shutdown due to water ingress
- Exacerbation of any existing corrosion within carbon steel systems
Blockages inside the spray nozzle
by a piece of mussel’s shell, leading to a half spray cone (both with vapor and water) instead of a complete spray cone.
Blockages due to corrosion scaling,
leading to a fully blocked nozzle, where no vapor was exiting. Each additional salt water wet deluge test will make the problem of corrosion scaling worse. It is a counterproductive process and the safety system becomes less safe by testing it with water.
Testing with water incurs a high volume salt water spray over all electrical equipment,
junction boxes and SCADA systems. In the UK, it is required to install water ingress protection to all junction boxes, potentially leading to weeks of additional preparation time and also costs.