fire protection research
Research: New Energy Carrier Vehicles in underground transportation facilities
FOGTEC is taking part in the research project SUVEREN (Safety of New Energy Carrier Vehicles in Underground Infrastructure Facilities), sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, which started in August 2017.
Due to the fact of global warming and in order to reduce CO2 emissions, vehicles with new energy carriers like batteries, compressed natural gas, and hydrogen as well as different types of biofuels will gather a growing share in the composition of our society´s means of transportation. These new energy carriers will increasingly be found in urban infrastructure environment and in public transportation vehicles, too.
Today´s safety concepts, guidelines and standards are based on design parameters like heat release rates, fire mitigation measures and evacuation concepts that result from the “old” conventional energy carrier risks of vehicles with combustion engines. But using new energy carriers will lead to emerging and new risks like battery fires, flashes from pressure vessels or distribution of inflammable or explosive gases. We may assume that these changing risks will also result in new safety challenges for our society and buildings.
Together with Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und –prüfung BAM, STUVA e.V. as well as the Institute for Applied Fire Research IFAB, FOGTEC is developing scenarios, guidelines and a training programme for design companies, operators and owners of underground transportation facilities – satisfying our need for safety and taking into account new risks emerging from the latest energy carrier technology available in transportation. Associated partners are DB Station & Service AG (Berlin), the capital city of Munich, CETU Centre d´Etudes des Tunnels (France) and INERIS (France).
Potential new risks and future boundary conditions due to the use of new energy carriers in vehicles will be examined, especially regarding the demands of underground infrastructure facilities. As a result, norms and guidelines will be developed.
You can find further information regarding this research project at http://www.suveren-nec.info/.
fire protection in tunnel systems
As part of the UPTUN project, which was funded by the European Union, it was scientifically proven that FOGTEC water mist systems are capable to effectively control fires in tunnels.
The project showed how temperatures around the fire source are lowered, it is made more difficult for the fire to spread and the range of visibility is significantly improved.
UPTUN was one of the most comprehensive European research projects on fire protection in tunnels and involved 41 partners from 17 European nations. Members of the research group comprised tunnel operators, consultants, universities, research institutes and manufacturers. The topic areas included the detection of fires, active fire detection, evacuation and rescue of people and protection of building structures.
The goal was to compile a list of measures for improvements to safety and fire protection – not only for new building projects, but also for the upgrade of existing tunnel systems.
Even today, the results from the UPTUN research group are still regarded as a landmark for the design of firefighting systems in tunnels. The detailed report 251 Engineering Guidance for Water Based Fire Fighting Systems for the Protection of Tunnels and Subsurface Facilities is available for download here.
SOLIT / SOLIT2
Safety of Life in Tunnels Research Programme
The SOLIT – Safety of Life in Tunnels – research project was launched as a FOGTEC initiative. After it was successfully shown in the first part of the project that FOGTEC water mist systems can highly effectively fight class A and B fires in tunnels, a second part of the project (SOLIT2) was conducted. Both parts of the project were funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy by order of the German Bundestag.
Together with research partners STUVA, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bung Ingenieure GmbH, TÜV Süd and the Institute for Applied Fire Safety Research (IFAB), SOLIT2 comprised an investigation using a FOGTEC water mist system that was examined for optimal use of a fixed firefighting system in combination with other fire protection measures. The advisory board included, among others, BAST, ADAC, Fire brigade of Hamburg and TÜV-Rheinland.
The goal of the project was to enable other measures such as structural fire protection and smoke extraction systems to be designed less expensively, thereby reducing the overall costs of a tunnel and at the same time maintaining the same safety level and/or increasing safety and availability without increasing costs.
The basis of this research was a comprehensive test programme using full scale fire tests during which the various fire protection concepts were tested based on representative scenarios. All project goals were fully attained.
The results were summarised in comprehensive guidelines, which today constitute the basis for fitting firefighting systems in road tunnels for many countries.
FIT – Fire in Tunnels network
The European Union-funded network FIT - Fire in Tunnels - was initiated following the devastating fires in the MontBlanc, Gotthard and Tauern tunnels.
FOGTEC was the only fire protection company among the 33 members from 12 European nations to participate in the four-year long project.
The goals of the initiative were as follows:
- To collect, evaluate and distribute results from European and national research projects
- To set up databases containing fundamental knowledge about fires in tunnels
- To develop recommendations for the assessment of fires
- To develop recommendations for the design of tunnel systems in line with fire protection
- To develop recognised regulations for tunnel operators and fire services for prevention, training, emergency management and handling of rescue operations
The initiative ended in 2005.