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  1. #1
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    Default Idea for Firefighting Mentorship Project

    Hey, I'm a Junior in High School, and I'm part of this class called ISM (Independent Study Mentorship) in which I'm mentored by someone in the career field of my choice for a Semester, then at the end of the semester we have to Present a project that shows what we learned over those 3.5 months. I had an idea for a project but I wasn't sure if it was good, here it is:

    Design a Portable Foam Eductor system that has a Remote control system where if the user needed to, they could turn off the Eductor (plain water would be flowing through the Eductor and hose) for a period of time, and then they could remotely turn the Eductor on again. This would be used in the situation where there was a Hydrocarbon fire in one area, and in another area there was a normal fire and you didn't want to waste the foam or get the foam where it doesn't need to be.

    Please respond and tell me what you think, Thanks!


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    Tactically, any fire of any significance that is even remotely close to hydrocarbons or flammable liquids of any kind is going to be fought totally with foam, due to the potential for run-off of the product that is on fire. Even if I have a building on fire 50 feet away from a tank lets say, I am still hitting the building with foam.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    I know of several refineries that have high volume pumps (diesel stationary) with river source supplies that currently use balanced pressure proportioners at the pump house. Many times with flange leaks or broken feed lines it is necessary to cool the surrounding tanks and lines to prevent rupture from over pressurization. The initial attack begins with straight water for cooling until valves can be closed, then the operation switches over to foam at 3 to 6 percent. With limited manpower on firefighting teams, it is a PITA to send one of the crew back to the pump house (maybe 2,000 feet) to cut in the foam. Yes, this could be an effective type of control unit for some installations. It will be more critical now that our EPA has mandated the addition of ethanol to gasoline. Even AR-AFFF is ineffective on flowing polar solvent fires. For this type of foam to be effective, the foam needs to remain in contact with the polar material long enough to form the film. Imagine the heat radiation from one burning tanker in a loading rack, when there are 6 others flanking the one on fire. Hell yes we are going to throw plain water on the exposures. Even where you gear up for this sort of problem, there are limits to the amount of foam concentrate that is available.

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    Ohhhh so this would be for a Refinery? What type of Foam Mixing Technique would they be using? Eductor? Batch Mixing?

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    Batch mixing would require pre-mixing in a large volume. Material would need to be mixed in quantities of roughly 1/2 million gallons or more. Not a feasible operation since the water would have micro-organisms and cause problems with bacterial and algae growth in the mixture. Eductors are designed to operate at atmospheric pressure (air pressure used to bring the concentrate into the flowing line) and at a specific flow rate that needs to match the nozzle being used to generate the foam.
    A balanced pressure proportioner has a gear pump on the concentrate line with an automatic pressure control valve that injects the correct amount of concentrate into the clear water line after the fire pump. Thus large variations in flow and pressure can be used with the correct percentage of concentrate always being fed into the water coming from the fire pump or pumps. The hydrant system is then used to distribute the foam mixture directly to monitor nozzles or to an engine connected to the hydrant system. Some stationary systems are designed to sequentially cut in more and more fire pumps as the demand on the hydrant system is increased. Most are diesel operated since a major problem in a fixed installation might well involve the electrical supply. Not unusual to have 2,000 gpm pumps and a series of three or more to supply up to 10,000 gpm of foam solution. At a 10 : 1 expansion or as much as 14,000 cu ft per minute of finished foam. Some old installations still use steam pumps of up to 6,000 gpm on a single pump.

    www.ansul.com/ansulgetdoc.asp?fileid=8282
    Last edited by KuhShise; 09-20-2011 at 01:55 AM.

  6. #6
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    ... Can you please talk in language that I can maybe understand? I have a very vague idea of what you're talking about, but it's still really hard to understand. Should I just read the link?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBiskynis View Post
    ... Can you please talk in language that I can maybe understand? I have a very vague idea of what you're talking about, but it's still really hard to understand. Should I just read the link?
    He is refering to industrial foam systems for a refinery or such. Many of these places have large foam systems in place all the time. Many of the systems supply things such as deluge sprinkler systems for filling racks, direct injection systems for bulk storage tanks, large aspirator heads on top of the bulk storage tanks, etc.

    Take for instance one of the bulk storage tanks in my first due. The facility has 10 bulk storage tanks. Each tank has four aspirating heads that flow 250 GPM per tank. So That means when one of those tanks catches on fire we will flow 1000 GPM of foam solution to the tank. At 3% that is 30 gals of foam a min, or one five gal buket of foam every 10 secs. Add to the fact that NFPA recommends that at a min to start suppression on a bulk storage tank you need atleast 60 mins of foam solution or 1800 gals of concentrate. This is just for attack on the tank itself. This does not include exposure protection of the other tanks(these numbers are just rough figures for use as an example)

    Then when you consider the plain water that gets pumped about 58000 gals of water. You can see why many of these systems draw water from a river instead of the municiple water supply.

    This is an example for a smaller size tank. Many of these tanks the numbers can climb into the 10000 gal of foam concentrate range.

    Hope that helps

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    BBiskynis: My apologies. I didn't check the link and somehow the wrong location was inserted. Try this one: www.ansul.com/ansulgetdoc.asp?fileid=8282

    You might try looking at the bottom of the page at the flow diagram, and then I think it will make more sense. The way the percentage of foam concentrate gets added to the water is by injecting a controlled amount into the stream. This amount is controlled by changing the pressure of the concentrate according to the amount of water flowing and the pressure of the water controls the pressure of the foam concentrate pump.
    Last edited by KuhShise; 09-20-2011 at 02:07 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    He is refering to industrial foam systems for a refinery or such. Many of these places have large foam systems in place all the time. Many of the systems supply things such as deluge sprinkler systems for filling racks, direct injection systems for bulk storage tanks, large aspirator heads on top of the bulk storage tanks, etc.

    Take for instance one of the bulk storage tanks in my first due. The facility has 10 bulk storage tanks. Each tank has four aspirating heads that flow 250 GPM per tank. So That means when one of those tanks catches on fire we will flow 1000 GPM of foam solution to the tank. At 3% that is 30 gals of foam a min, or one five gal buket of foam every 10 secs. Add to the fact that NFPA recommends that at a min to start suppression on a bulk storage tank you need atleast 60 mins of foam solution or 1800 gals of concentrate. This is just for attack on the tank itself. This does not include exposure protection of the other tanks(these numbers are just rough figures for use as an example)

    Then when you consider the plain water that gets pumped about 58000 gals of water. You can see why many of these systems draw water from a river instead of the municiple water supply.

    This is an example for a smaller size tank. Many of these tanks the numbers can climb into the 10000 gal of foam concentrate range.

    Hope that helps
    Yeah that actually helps alot. That's what I thought he was talking about, but I wasn't totally sure if I was right, thanks!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by KuhShise View Post
    BBiskynis: My apologies. I didn't check the link and somehow the wrong location was inserted. Try this one: www.ansul.com/ansulgetdoc.asp?fileid=8282

    You might try looking at the bottom of the page at the flow diagram, and then I think it will make more sense. The way the percentage of foam concentrate gets added to the water is by injecting a controlled amount into the stream. This amount is controlled by changing the pressure of the concentrate according to the amount of water flowing and the pressure of the water controls the pressure of the foam concentrate pump.
    Yeah, just from glancing over it, it seems to make more sense now, and this could really help me on my project, thanks!

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