Here at the Fire Protection Industry (ODS & SGG) Board we
are committed to promoting all things new in our industry,
especially when it comes to technology. We have a particular
interest in discovering examples of companies that have
transitioned to alternative systems that do not use ODS or SGG
scheduled agents. Here at the Technology Corner, you will also find
information on new ISO standards, news regarding major
technological advancements in the industry and general information
on alternative technologies.
If you would like to contribute to our Technology Corner and
share your expertise on any of the areas mentioned above, please do
not hesitate to get in touch with us by phone on 03 8892 3161 or
via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about alternative
systems used in fire protection, view our factsheet by
Santos Port Bonython
opts for fluorinated ketone
Santos, one of the most prominent independent oil and gas
producers in the Asia-Pacific region, has transitioned to
environmentally cleaner extinguishing agents. Santos removed
all of its HCFC Blend A cylinders from their Port Bonython
processing facility in South Australia, replacing it with
fluorinated ketone. To learn more about Santos' decision-making
process, read our latest GasBag by clicking here.
Before and after: Santos Port
Bonython removed its HCFC Blend A containers (pictured left) in
favour of containers that use fluorinated ketone (pictured
New ISO standard for Oxygen reduction
The newly published Standard ISO 20338 Oxygen reduction systems
for fire prevention (ORFPS)- Design, installation, planning and
maintenance,provides another alternative for special hazards system
designers and end users to consider when evaluating options for the
protection of critical infrastructure or assets.
ISO 20338 which was published in late 2019, specifies the
minimum requirements for the design, installation and maintenance
of ORFPS, including those required to ensure safety of
Whilst ORFPS are a relatively new arrival on the fire protection
scene, they potentially offer some intriguing benefits for some
applications where gaseous fire protection systems might normally
be used. ORFPS are designed to create and maintain an oxygen
reduced atmosphere (typically below 15% oxygen) within an
enclosure to prevent the ignition of combustible
It is important to note though, that the installation of an
ORFPS, whilst theoretically preventing the initiation and
propagation of fire, does not negate the need for installation of
other fire protection systems, such as smoke detection and alarm
Some of the potential benefits of ORFPS
- Continuous (24/7) flaming fire prevention
- Elimination of damage from flaming combustion
- Environmentally friendly as no ODP or SGG are used
Potential applications include:
- Archive stores
- Electrical switch rooms
- Data centres
- Museums and preservation of historically significant
Metro opts for IG-55
For Sydney Metro, the decision to install a fire suppression
system containing IG-55 at its newly constructed Rouse Hill control
room was underpinned by an overarching desire to carefully consider
its social responsibility.
For Australia's largest public transport infrastructure project,
being environmentally responsible means mitigating or reducing
pollution and emissions, and demonstrating stewardship towards the
A Sydney Metro spokesperson told the Fire Protection Industry
(ODS & SGG) Board the project works closely with Principal
Contractors to ensure the successful delivery and implementation of
sustainability standards, targets and initiatives.
"In this specific instance (installing IG-55), the requirement
of the use of a zero ozone depletion potential gas was stipulated
in the contract, including having a minimum global warming
potential, not detrimental to human health and is approved and
permitted for use in NSW," the spokesperson explained.
The project's decision to use a non-ozone depleting-substance
was vindicated in July 2019, when an accidental discharge occurred
in its Rouse Hill control room.
Although disruptive at the time, the fact Sydney Metro had an
IG-55 based system meant it avoided emitting a large mass of
environmentally harmful chemical agent usually required in
applications such as a control room.
The Sydney Metro spokesperson touched on the project's ongoing
efforts to ensure it remains focused on environmental management
and sustainability - especially when it comes to fire
"The project has a sustainability plan which aims to minimise
our global warming potential and the use of alternative substances
for fire suppression was part of that approach.
"From Metro Trains Sydney's perspective [Sydney Metro's
operator], the safety risks and regulatory framework associated
with the use of IG-55 are lower, and therefore provided benefits in
an operational context," the spokesperson added.
For Sydney Metro, developing effective and appropriate responses
to the key challenges of today and tomorrow such as climate
resilience is a key pillar that underpins its sustainability
"Sydney Metro will continue to focus on reducing our impacts on
climate change and reduce high CO2 potential substances where
suitable alternatives exist," the project spokesperson said.
By choosing to move away from scheduled ODS and SGG agents to a
cleaner alternative such as IG-55, the project has paved the way
for other major organisations to follow suit.
Some key technical points about inert
- IG-55 is an inert gas which is made up of 50% nitrogen and 50%
- Inert gases reduce the oxygen in a risk environment to the
point that fire cannot be sustained.
- In most cases it ensures oxygen in the room does not decrease
to an unsafe level for humans.
- Using inert gas can avoid unwanted chemical reactions affecting
the protected equipment or other valuable assets.
- Inert gas systems have some advantages over ODS and SGG systems
including more flexible pipework installation, longer hold times
and better environmental profile.
To read more about Sydney Metro's approach to sustainability,
click the following link https://www.sydneymetro.info/our-approach-sustainability