Evaluating Hybrid Fire Suppression Systems at the 2015 SFPE

Victaulic Hybrid Fire Suppression Systems

Evaluating Hybrid Fire Suppression Systems at the 2015 SFPE

Posted on January 19, 2015

Victaulic’s own Larry Carmen, senior project engineer, is scheduled to speak at the 2015 SFPE North America Conference & Expo Tuesday, November 10 at 10:15 am, Track B: Fire Safety in Buildings, on Evaluating Hybrid Fire Suppression Systems for the Protection of the Aero-derivative Gas Turbines. Prior to this week’s event, Larry highlighted a little bit about his background and role at Victaulic along with a closer look at what he will be covering at this year’s SFPE conference. Learn more by taking a look at the latest Q&A feature:

Please describe your background leading up to Victaulic.  

I have a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute.  Prior to coming to Victaulic, my experience had been designing lighting and building control equipment.


What is your role at Victaulic and what are your responsibilities? 

I am currently a senior project engineering, and work to develop fire protection products for our Victaulic Vortex® Hybrid Fire Extinguishing System and our VicFlex™ Sprinkler Fitting System product line.  My work on Victaulic Vortex includes supporting, developing and expanding the technology.  I also participate in NFPA and UL standards developments related to Victaulic Vortex, as a member of the technical committees.

What was your first reaction when you learned about the Victaulic Vortex System?

I was very excited to see a system that extinguishes fires with minimal water usage and water related damage, and also a system that uses safe levels of nitrogen. The Victaulic Vortex Hybrid Fire Extinguishing System extends the boundaries of existing technologies providing supreme protection and fire suppression with limited residual moisture, no toxic chemicals and full design flexibility. Additionally, the system seamlessly integrates with alarm and detection systems as well as facility security technology, and unlike other technologies that use toxic agents, can activate immediately upon detection of a fire without having to wait for evacuation. It’s a pretty remarkable product and I enjoy working on it.

What are you speaking about at SFPE 2015?

I will be speaking about how we apply Victaulic Vortex to protect aero-derivative style gas turbines used for electrical generating plants. Specifically I will discuss how a utility company provided us with an opportunity to test the system on an operating unit under load, enabling the research team to assess the system’s efficacy in real-world scenarios. Testing would be deemed successful if the system could cool the turbine skin to less than 380°F within 10 minutes. Field-testing results indicate that the system is capable of meeting these requirements and adequately protects aero-derivative turbines under normal operating conditions. Additionally a proof point that the system is not damaging to equipment, overcoming historic objections to the use of water mist style systems on such turbines for fear of damage due to warping.

What are the key points of your presentation and key takeaways you hope the audience will walk away with?

A clear understanding of how the system works and specifically how it obtained cooling without excess wetting and direct application without damage in this particular instance. Also, how the testing occurred on an operating unit rather than a mockup in a laboratory.

This system is meant to replace the co2 systems the utility people work with and are use to. Co2 systems have a history of harming personnel when not properly locked out, also a history of being a maintenance nightmare with material handling and replacement. My hope is to highlight the unique qualities the Victaulic Vortex system has and how it’s an innovative, safe and effective fire protection solution for protecting turbine enclosures, among other applications.

What are you looking forward to at SFPE 2015? 

I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn more about the developments happening in the fire protection and fire engineering industry and also listening to the other speakers to hear what they are working on that may benefit/influence what we are doing here at Victaulic.

If you are attending this year’s SFPE Conference & Expo be sure to stop by Larry’s track to learn more. For more information about Victaulic’s fire protection and suppression technology visit victaulicfire.com.

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