Fire Water Pumps: Facts, Applications, Development, and Trends

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1.- Executive Summary:
Fire protection is based on the study and practice of mitigating the unwanted effects of fires. It involves the study of the behavior, suppression and investigation of fire and its related emergencies, as well as the development, production and application of passive and active protection systems. Fire water pumps play an important role within the active protection systems and its development and applications have an interesting story that will be the main purpose of this report. The scope of this project report is to address the facts about the fire pumps and their applications, provide the story of its development and future trends, which will be mainly the advances in the controller systems and management of the fire pump system.

2.- Facts about Fire Pumps:
2.1- Definition
A fire pump is a part of a fire sprinkler system's water supply and can be powered by electric, diesel or steam. The pump intake is either connected to the public underground water supply piping, or a static water source (e.g. tank, reservoir, lake). The pump provides water flow at a higher pressure to the sprinkler system risers and hose standpipes. 2.2- Fire Pump Installations

A typical fire pump installation includes several components:

Pump that is specified to the correct water pressure and flow. •Pump driver, either an electric motor or a diesel engine. •Fire pump controller for automatic operation of the pump driver. •Gear drive for transmitting power from the pump driver to the pump itself. •Water relief valve to relieve or limit excess pressure in the event of diesel overspeed. •Water supply, either from a natural or man-made pond or from a water tank.

2.3- Operation and types of pumps
Fire pumps may be powered either by an electric motor or a diesel engine, or, very occasionally a steam turbine. If the local building code requires power independent of the local electric power grid, the installation of an emergency generator is necessary. The fire pump starts when the pressure in the fire sprinkler system drops below a threshold. The sprinkler system pressure drops significantly when one or more fire sprinklers are exposed to heat above their design temperature, and opens, releasing water. Alternately, other fire hoses reels or other firefighting connections are opened, causing a pressure drop in the fire fighting main. Fire pumps are needed when the local municipal water system cannot provide sufficient pressure to meet the hydraulic design requirements of the fire sprinkler system. This usually occurs if the building is very tall, such as in high-rise buildings, or in systems that require a relatively high terminal pressure at the fire sprinkler in order to provide a large volume of water, such as in storage warehouses. Fire pumps are also needed if fire protection water supply is provided from a ground level water storage tank. Types of pumps used for fire service include: horizontal split case, vertical split case, vertical inline, vertical turbine, and end suction.

Electric Fire Pump Diesel Fire Pump

Portable Fire Pump Fire Pump Installation

2.4- Jockey Pump
A jockey pump is a small pump connected to a fire sprinkler system and is intended to maintain pressure in a fire protection piping system to an artificially high level so that the operation of a single fire sprinkler will cause a pressure drop which will be sensed by the fire pump automatic controller, causing the fire pump to start. The jockey pump is essentially a portion of the fire pump's control system. Pressure maintenance (jockey or make-up) pumps should be used where it is desirable to maintain a uniform or relatively high pressure on the fire protection system. A jockey pump should be sized to make up the allowable leakage rate within 10 minutes or 1 gpm (3.8...
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