Do you have a Firetec Engine bay Extinguisher? Cool Air are stockists

Discussion in 'Mech Tech' started by JenW, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Aren't all the invisible ones (a) on the 'good' side of the firewall and (b) to do with the breather system so if you don't over fill the problem is minimized?

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  2. Did it result in a foamy mess? How did they initiate the fire? I am guessing the extinguisher vented in less than a minute, in a real situation, the ignition source and heat would still be there andd all fuel the wrong side of a check valve would quite possibly reignite?

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  3. a gas system also cools the engine bay so reduces chance of re-ignition.

    from vw aircooled works site:

    "The fire extinguisher is mounted by a one piece bracket above the engine. The head release valve is design to give 360° gas dispersion to ensure the whole engine bay is covered once activated.
    The is a CE approved automated fire suppression system is temperature activated at 79°C This is a European standard temperature which all approved automatic engine bay fire systems must activate at. (It is air temperature NOT metal temperature. A standard engine bay on a hot day max 30°C). The system is designed to protect an area twice the size as a standard VW engine bay. Taking into account airflow through the engine bay.
    When activated the vial melts releasing the clean gas at 240 psi, the nozzle is designed to ensure 360° dispersal. Gas will completely fill the engine bay and leak out the vents and underneath. The gas is released at -19oC so will cool down the engine bay and bring down any petrol vapours preventing any re-ignition. (Unlike Co2 extinguishers which work by removing the oxygen so have a risk of re-ignition once air is again present.)

    This clean gas system uses heptafloropropane as its agent. The gas chemically reacts with the fire, it is a free radical scavenger and chemically stops the process of the fire spreading, along with cooling down the engine bay. The gas is active to as low as 6% so does not have to be used in a enclosed air environment.

    Heptafloropropane is safe to breathe in and is certified to be used in occupied spaces. (It is the propellant often used in inhalers.) This system is a small scale version of what is currently used within oil rigs, museums, bank vaults, army vehicles, marine craft, and NASCAR along with many other places where sensitive electrical equipment or products of high value are present. The main reason why clean gas fire systems are used, is to limit any damage what may be done not only by the fire but also by any powder or foams residue.

    Foam systems are not particular suited for VW camper-van's because they contain water so should not be used on electrical fires. Also foam systems are only really effective if used through a diffuser system rather than a pipe system.

    Powder fire systems are effective at putting out both electrical and petrol fires, but have the major draw back that if you set one off in your engine bay the residue means its an engine out job to clean up. Also unless your powder system contains an anti corrosive agent there cause a lot of damage to the electrics.

    Our clean gas system as well as being extremely effective way of putting out fires, also prevent all these issues, as there is no mess or damage caused by the extinguisher media.
    Another great advantage of our automated system, is that if you do have a fire then the system will automatically cut out the fuel pump, preventing you pumping fuel into the engine bay. If you run a mechanical fuel pump then the stalling agent present in the extinguisher cylinder will cut out the fuel pump.

    Our system contains a pressure switch on the cylinder head as standard. If you are running an electrical fuel pump the system can be wired up so that if activated the electronic fuel pump is automatically cut off. This has a massive advantage because upon researching fires within VW campervans we found that the majority of buses were lost because people in a panic jumped out the van and forgot to turn the key so fuel was being pumped into the engine bay. By using this simple method the electronic fuel pump is automatically turned off cutting off the fuel supply. However, it should be noted that electric pumps will still allow fuel to flow by gravity even when turned off, only way to ensure no fuel flows is to install the fuel cut-off solenoid."
  4. I've just ordered the aircooled works solution along with a fuel cut off solenoid and new 100% bio fuel fuel lines.
    I'll still carry another 2l foam fire extinguisher and fire blanket in the cab but hope that it provides the necessary protection if needed.

    I will also regularly check the fuel hoses even after replacement.
    taiga79, Mellow yellow and rob.e like this.
  5. Read the whole thing ta. But to focus on their research: if the air temp in the engine bay has got to 80 degrees because of a fire, I am guessing that on top of the initial problem, significant damage has been done already by the fire before the suppression system kicks in, you are not going anywhere that day, you are not sorting a bad crimp and replacing a hose and carrying on. In fact you might have already noticed the smoke, cracked the engine lid open a bit and doused the engine bay with hand held foam before the suppression system kicks in!
    Back to the quote, I am still wondering what incremental benefit there is over good housekeeping, a solenoid and a level head.

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  6. I fitted an engine bay fire extinguisher (firetec) as something that may knock the flames back momentarily to give the occupants more chance to get out before a fire becomes critical.
  7. Most of the fuel and some of the breather hoses within the engine bay are easily visible but the tank filler hose and the breathers on top of the tank are difficult to see. If the hoses behind the bulkhead are split there will be fumes regardless of how much fuel there is in the tank.
  8. Even the hidden ones perish, I've recently done the filler elbow which was 9 years old but shot.

    That was fitted 10th June 2010, and until recently I hadn't had any fuel smells, but I bet it didn't go all at once.
  9. Moons

    Moons Moderator

    Unsure of its mentioned in here - the ones that deploy in less than a minute, especially gas - how is that a good thing if the van is onfire and you are travelling at speed, doesn't the content mostly get blown away?

    I'm assuming many fires happen when the vehicle is moving, not stationary, at least at first.
  10. True but they are on the other side of the firewall, there is no source of ignition and danger is further minimized by not filling the tank to the brim

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  11. Doesn't the fire only become critical if there is no solenoid valve to shut off the fuel? The fuel source will be rapidly consumed and fire go out - messy, but not critical.

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  12. I don't know if the risk is lower or not, the fuel vapour is quite flammable too.

    What do you class as brimmimg the tank? I fill up until the pump clicks off.
  13. I didn't realise a solenoid valve was fitted as standard?
  14. You have to insert one into the fuel line - pick one up from eBay for less than £20

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  15. Vapour is very flammable, but as the suppression system is in the sealed engine compartment so I can't see how it would help if there is a problem the other side of the firewall.
    I stick the petrol nozzle in as far as possible and like you stop at first click, but any leaks there will hopefully have no source of ignition.

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  16. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    I very much doubt the fire will just go out.
  17. What's it got to burn? I might also wave a fire blanket at it or something - wait hang on it is insured for £1m!

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  18. The simulator that I looked at was setup to simulate the fire so standard engine (that looked like it had seen the demo a fair few times), fuel source (not petrol) was added, ignition source, waited to the magical 80DegC, extinguisher trigger; no foam mess as its powder, so like you say removes the air aspect of the fire triangle but still leaves the fuel and heat remaining.

    The thing for me though the extinguisher is only one of my weapons against that engine fire happening, I run temp sensors in the bay and on the engine, I regular replace the fuel hoses, I have a fuel cut off switch, I have an additional fire extinguisher in the cab, I went and spoke to the fire crew who came out to me when I had to pull over as fuel was leaking out of the bus (I'll find the thread) to ask how do I deal with it... so yeah it would make a mess, but like I say I just see it as just something to rid the initial fire not to deal with it totally.

    Got to shoot to work but natter once I am back.. Some great points made above ^^^
  19. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    Wiring, rubber hoses, engine bay seal (probably oil soaked), hardboard in roof of bay, battery, oil, vapour from your tank etc etc.
    Iain McAvoy and 77 Westy like this.
  20. A spark in your probably not totally air sealed engine bay igniting the fuel vapour, though if that actually happened, I'm not sure a fire suppression system would do much anyway.

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