Fire prevention company Brigit Systems recently hosted a presentation at its new headquarters in Honeydew to introduce the EnviroMist/GreenMist range of watermist fire suppression systems to the local market. Based on patented rotor technology from Telesto Systems in Poland, this next-generation technology produces an ultrafine mist of water droplets which is a highly effective extinguishing media.
Started in 2006, the Brigit group of companies provides fire detection, suppression and prevention products and services, giving total fire protection from a single source. Brigit is an OEM for EnviroMist/GreenMist/Envirogen/Brigit227 and distributor in sub-Saharan Africa for international corporations including Wagner, SEVO Systems, C-TEC and Telesto Mist Systems. All products conform to international standards.
The company is currently putting the finishing touches to its refilling and cylinder refurbishing plant where all kinds of gas filling will be done. “For that we need a big facility,” says MD, Deon van Zyl. “Our goal is to make filling affordable.”
Brigit’s long-term plans include a facility for manufacturing, while the company is also working on new ideas for working with its partners in the future.
Fire Mist Association
Brigit is also very involved with the newly formed Fire Mist Association Africa (FMAA). “There has been a lot of interest. FMAA supports all SABS approvals and we are currently busy with various accreditations,” he adds.
Room integrity and risk analysis
Room integrity testing is another important service. For a gas to be effective it has to be retained in the room and room integrity is a requirement for SLAs. Risk analysis is another of Brigit’s services.
Van Zyl emphasises the fact that Brigit has the ability to carry out complete system design with specifications to assist consultant engineers with tender requirements. “We make use of sophisticated and proven computer programs specially developed for gaseous systems. Every system is designed in accordance with ISO 14520,” he continues.
All gaseous systems provided from Brigit have international design standards and approvals. “We are bringing international standards to the local market. Our programs are approved, designed and tested with full components test and discharged test approved from international bodies. We are currently in the process of completing all coefficients test with VDS in Germany and all discharge test with BSI to obtain Kitemark approval.”
Brigit’s product and service range varies according to the specific needs of its clients. These include kitchen and vehicle fire suppression systems that are scalable to match the specific needs of the equipment and optimise efficiency. Brigit provides protection for mobile equipment in the following markets: agriculture, waste management, steel mills and processing facilities, timber, transit, construction and mining.
Concept of watermist
Zygmunt Lada, group CEO of Telesto Mist Systems, explains how Telesto’s watermist technology atomises water into extremely small droplets of 25 μ which hang in the air. These have a very large surface area – a litre of water can generate a surface area of 2000 m².
The larger the surface area generated, the greater the vaporisation, cooling and coverage potential of the water, factors critical for fire extinguishing. A litre of atomised water will extinguish a fire far more effectively than the equivalent volume of liquid water. The mist evaporates in a fire source so there is no collateral damage to property.
Advantages of EnviroMist/GreenMist
Low-pressure mist systems are very sophisticated and are safe for both personnel and equipment. “In traditional hosing methods with a continuous stream of water, 95% of the water is ineffective and generates collateral damage,” says Lada. “The beauty of a mist is that it is only active in the presence of fire. You can walk in a mist and even smoke, but if there is a fire the mist starts to evaporate, generating inert steam which excludes oxygen and cools the area without flooding.”
The cooling process is very gentle and does not generate thermal shock, an important factor where metals are involved. Even with burning transformer oil, no face protection is needed as the mist creates a screening effect. The system is absolutely safe in terms of electroconductivity. Distilled water is used so there are no residues – ideal for electronics.
The low-pressure RotorMist technology is three years old and it is the only unit in the world that can generate a continuous stream of droplets all the same size. A supply cylinder contains a mixture of water and gas under pressure and a rotor with two tubes. The centrally positioned tube transports the mixture of water and gas to the mist generating nozzle. The second tube has specially designed holes which open as the fluid level decreases.
This supplies compressed gas to the rotor from the top. From the bottom of the rotor the water is delivered at the same pressure. The rotor turns, generating a mixture of pressurised gas and water. The rotation speed, which depends on the flow, stabilises the pressure of the mixture to 4 bar. The mixture of water and gas under pressure is forced through the holes in the nozzle at supersonic speed so that the water jets collide, generating a stream of mist. The speed of the rotor output is constant so the drop size is constant.
There are a wide range of applications for the Enviromist and GreenMist systems. Examples include edible oils, bookshelves, electrical fires and plastics in manufacturing areas, kitchens and shopping malls. The RotorMist systems can be scaled up, with or without automatic detection, for the protection of mining equipment, generators, turbines and transformers, giving local protection instead of total flooding.
“Mist spray technology is the solution for the future,” concludes van Zyl.
High-Tech Security Solutions spoke to some system integrators to get their reactions to this new technology.
Sperosens specialises in mining and other industrial areas and has been in the business since 1988. The company is a Brigit distributor and takes Brigit’s solutions to the market.
End-users include mining houses such as Anglo, large industrial companies such as Sasol and buildings. On the fire protection side Sperosens assembles its own systems, for example compressed foam systems. “Sperosens developed the first standard in the world for portable condensed aerosol technology,” says marketing and support manager, Jan Mulder. On the suppression side, Sperosens uses available technology to meet the specific application.
“Our relationship with Brigit is quite recent and it has gone very well as they deliver a quality service. They supply not only product but also the designs and hardware – the whole package,” he continues. Sperosens does the installation and service.
“Watermist technology has come a long way. People don’t think about collateral damage,” he comments, quoting the example of the Macro fires, where huge damage was caused, “and dry chemical powder will wreck a kitchen.”
“This is a high risk game – it’s about insurance and the safety of people. Often people cut corners to save money and don’t comply with the standards. The result is inferior design solutions which don’t work at the end of the day; but Brigit works according to the rules and doesn’t cut corners,” he concludes.
Datacentrix is traditionally an IT company, but two years ago started focusing on services and building data centres. It has now become a solutions-driven company, a very different focus.
“We have been collaborating with Brigit since it started in 2006,” says business development manager, Brian Lendrum. He explains that Datacentrix designs the full data centre and then hands over to Brigit for the design and certification of the fire protection system before installation by Datacentrix. Room integrity testing is important for Datacentrix from the certification point of view, and not a lot of companies do this.
“Brigit is an holistic company. From the design to the certification they are there, right through the process, advising us and training our staff,” Lendrum adds. “Other companies supply fire equipment but that is the extent of their involvement and an independent certifier then has to be brought in. A Datacentrix principle is that we certify to the highest possible level and Brigit has the same view. Brigit sticks to the standards, and this is critical in the data business where it is so important to protect data assets.”
He sees EnviroMist as exciting, with fantastic opportunities in diesel generators because of the ability to have gentle cooling on a hot engine to avoid damage. Transformers also have very good potential. “Power generation will be massive,” he concludes.
Multi-Net Systems has been in the fire industry for 21 years. The company is engaged in two big projects with Brigit. The one is a large 28 ton installation in SABC studios using HFC227 (also now as FM200) gas suppression systems. The second is a 6 ton installation using Novec1230 Fire Protection Fluid in the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) Library of Excellence – a heritage site in downtown Johannesburg.
Director, Johan Smith sees EnviroMist as the next step in fire protection, with a big niche market in mining where it will lessen the demand on water supplies. He says that mines have a lot of transformer fires and insurance requirements are very strict so standards are very important. Multi-Net is aiming to focus on one mine and get into the business of transformer and diesel protection.
“Brigit supplies everything and helps us from start to finish, also assisting with commissioning. Their service is excellent and they are very dynamic and willing to help. Brigit goes the extra mile. If we have a problem they make a plan – a winning recipe,” he concludes.
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