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Title:
FIRE FIGHTING DEVICE IN SHUNTS AND RELATIVE HEAT GENERATORS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2011/145067
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a system for extinguishing fires in flues and related heat generators, in particular wood-burning fireplaces, based on an extinguishing system that makes use of nebulized water obtained by means of high pressure delivery, through nozzles with a hole of very small diameter, in the order of one micron. Said system comprises delivery means (7), connected through a pipe (4) to a water-tap or to a tank and is characterized in that means (6) suitable to increase the water pressure are provided, so as to obtain jets of nebulized water through said delivery means (7), said first delivery means (7) comprising a plurality of nozzles (20) positioned close to the brazier or burner of said heat generator and hydraulically connected to said pipe (4).

Inventors:
GRANDE, Maurizio (Via Regione Monte Pennone 3, Graglia, I-13895, IT)
LANNI, Giuseppe (Viale Lucania 26, Milano, I-20139, IT)
ROZZONI, Francesco (Via Galliari 26, Treviglio, I-24047, IT)
Application Number:
IB2011/052183
Publication Date:
November 24, 2011
Filing Date:
May 18, 2011
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
GRANDE, Maurizio (Via Regione Monte Pennone 3, Graglia, I-13895, IT)
LANNI, Giuseppe (Viale Lucania 26, Milano, I-20139, IT)
ROZZONI, Francesco (Via Galliari 26, Treviglio, I-24047, IT)
International Classes:
A62C3/04; A62C35/58
Domestic Patent References:
WO2003009900A1
Foreign References:
US4393941A
FR2842742A1
US4736801A
BE1000565A4
GB2266238A
US4341267A
US4393941A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GRIMALDI, Stefano (Con Lor Spa, Via Renato Fucini 5, Milano, I-20133, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A system for extinguishing fires in flues and related heat generators, in particular wood-burning fireplaces (1 ), said system comprising first delivery means (7), connected through a pipe (4) to a water-tap or to a tank, characterized in that means (6) suitable to increase the water pressure are provided, so as to obtain jets of nebulized water through said delivery means (7), said first delivery means (7) comprising a plurality of nozzles (20) positioned close to the brazier or burner of said heat generator and hydraulically connected to said pipe (4).

2. The system for extinguishing fires according to claim 1 , characterized in that said means (6), suitable to increase the water pressure, comprise a pump suitable to increase the water pressure to over 100 bar.

3. The system for extinguishing fires according to claim 1 , characterized in that said nozzles (20) have a hole with a diameter of between 100 and 300 μιτι. 4. The system for extinguishing fires according to claims 1 to 3, characterized in that said first delivery means (7) comprise a plurality of nozzles (20) positioned on two arrays (21 , 22), so as to be able to deliver water in two different directions, said lower array (21 ) facing downward, toward the brazier or burner, so as to deliver nebulized water directly thereon, and said upper array (22) facing upward, toward the inlet of the flue pipe (3), so that the nebulized water delivered from said first delivery means (7), drawn by the ascending current of the flue gases, enters the flue pipe (3) and travels along the inside thereof lowering the temperature.

5. The system for extinguishing fires according to claims 1 to 3, characterized in that said first delivery means (7) are protected by a screen (10) actuated by a pneumatic piston (11 ).

6. The system for extinguishing fires according to claim 5, characterized in that said screen (10) is constituted by U-shaped curved plate which completely surrounds said first delivery means (7) and is inserted with the ends (10a) thereof into two grooves (11a) produced in the wall (11 b) of the fireplace (1), said pneumatic piston (11 ) being positioned outside the brazier, beyond the wall (11b), and actuating a pin (11c), which passes through said wall (11b) and is configured in such a way as to act against specific protrusions (10b), produced in the screen (10), so that, when the pneumatic piston (11 ) is activated, the pin (11c) thrusts against the protrusions (10b) of the screen (10), which is thus extracted from the grooves (11a), releasing the delivery means (7).

7. The system for extinguishing fires according to claims 1 to 3, characterized in that second delivery means (8) are provided positioned outside said flue pipe (3), connected to said pipe (4) and suitable to deliver nebulized water to the outside of said flue pipe (3) so as to cool it.

8. The system for extinguishing fires according to claim 7, characterized in that said second delivery means (8) comprise a pair of nozzles (20), one of which delivers downward, while the other delivers upward.

9. The system for extinguishing fires according to claims 1 to 3, characterized in that thirds delivery means (9) are provided positioned near the upper end of said flue pipe (3), connected to said pipe (4) and suitable to deliver nebulized water, so as to cool, in addition to the upper part of said flue pipe (3), also the attic in order to prevent overheating from causing it to catch fire.

10. The system for extinguishing fires according to claim 9, characterized in that said thirds delivery means (9), suitable to deliver nebulized water, so as to cool, in addition to the upper part of said flue pipe (3), also the attic in order to prevent overheating from causing it to catch fire, comprise a plurality of nozzles (20), arranged along one or more ring-shaped pipes (23), connected to the main pipe (4).

11. A device according to at least one of claims 1 to 10, characterized in that automatic means (15) are provided suitable to detect the presence of a fire.

12. The device according to claim 11 , characterized in that said automatic means (15), suitable to detect the presence of a fire, comprise a flame detector device (16), positioned in the upper part of the flue pipe (3) and connected, through an optical fiber (18) to an electronic control unit (19), suitable to emit a signal, if the flames reach the upper end of the flue pipe (3), said signal automatically activating the extinguishing system.

Description:
TITLE

FIRE FIGHTING DEVICE IN SHUNTS AND RELATIVE HEAT GENERATORS

DESCRIPTION

The present invention relates to a system for extinguishing fires in flues and related heat generators, in particular wood-burning fireplaces, based on an extinguishing system that makes use of nebulized water obtained through high pressure delivery, through nozzles with a hole of very small diameter, in the order of one micron.

Fires that usually occur in flues and related heat generators are normally a consequence of incorrect design and/or incorrect installation and/or, in particular, lack of maintenance thereof.

With use, carbon deposits tend to form on the inner walls of the flue, caused by incandescent particles that are not yet completed burnt, which rise from the heat generator (brazier or burner) and are conveyed upward by the ascending current that forms, in the flue, as a result of heating of the gaseous column present therein. Upon coming into contact with the much colder walls, said particles are extinguished and deposited thereon, forming a layer that increases continually in thickness with use. If the flue is not subjected to adequate cleaning at regular intervals, in time the thickness becomes so great that it considerably increases the insulation of the flue itself, which in the event of the fire remaining lit for long periods, causes the deposits to overheat to the point that it is no longer possible to cool the incandescent particles that deposit, which set fire to the deposits themselves.

There is also a very high risk that, as a result of overheating of the upper section of the flue, the fire may extend to the attic, which is often made of wood or covered in matchboard or other combustible material. Said heat generators, which comprise wood-burning fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, atmospheric boilers, blown air boilers, forced draught appliances, forced air condensing boilers, condensing boilers and the like, which produce heat in various ways, are present in public and private furnished residential buildings. If conventional means are used to extinguish a fire in the flue, a large amount of water pours into the room below, where said heat generators are located, causing damages even greater than those caused by the fire itself, almost always with considerable private and public costs. There is therefore the need to put out the fire limiting the extinguishing agent as much as possible, in the case in hand the agent used by Fire Fighters, namely water.

Another serious drawback consists in the fact that the thermal stress to which the walls of the flue are subjected is very high and usually, after taking action, these must be restored.

The patent BE 1000565A4 describes a device constituted by a plurality of nozzles positioned along a quadrangular shaped closed duct, to be positioned in the heat generator, so as to be able to spray water in the event of a fire.

The patent GB 2266238 describes a device comprising a spraying device positioned at the end of a pipe that enters the flue from the upper end and is secured to the structure permanently, so as to be able to spray water in the event of a fire.

The patent US 4341267 describes a device comprising a spraying device, fed by a container of CO 2 foam positioned outside the chimney, said sprayer being placed at the end of a pipe that enters the flue from the upper end and permanently secured to the structure, so as to be able to spray foam in the event of a fire.

The prior art solutions mentioned herein have the serious drawback of using large amounts of water, resulting in serious damages caused to furnishings. The patent US 4393941 describes a portable device, used by Fire Fighters to put out chimney fires, comprising a nozzle head connected, through a flexible hose, to a water tap, said nozzles spraying water in a horizontal and radial direction with respect to this head. By lowering the nozzle head from the upper part of the flue, and making it descend vertically by acting on the flexible hose, the spraying element is positioned in the immediate vicinity of the fire. In this way the use of a limited amount of water is sufficient to put out the fire, undoubtedly a much smaller amount than would be use if large amounts of water were poured into the upper opening of the flue.

Although using the devices in accordance with the aforesaid patent the amount of water used is limited, it is still considerable, both because the fire is not extinguished instantly, and because in order to be sure that the fire has been extinguished completely, larger amounts of water than those strictly necessary must be sprayed. This is also due to the fact that the position of the fire is such that it cannot be inspected visually. Consequently, a certain amount of water still enters the room below and is liable to cause serious damages.

The present invention aims to solve the aforesaid problem by proposing a system, in accordance with claim 1 , for extinguishing fires in flues and related heat generators, in particular wood-burning fireplaces. Said system comprises delivery means, connected through a pipe to a water-tap or to a tank and is characterized in that means suitable to increase the water pressure are provided, so as to obtain jets of nebulized water through said delivery means, which comprise a plurality of nozzles positioned close to the brazier or burner of said heat generator and hydraulically connected to said pipe.

According to a preferred embodiment, the system according to the invention is placed permanently in the heat generator and in the flue, is capable of detecting the onset of a fire and is activated automatically.

The system according to the invention is based on an extinguishing system that uses nebulized water delivered at high pressure (indicatively 100 - 200 bar), through nozzles with holes of very small diameter (indicatively 100 - 300 μητι). Said system, which uses extremely limited amounts of water, acts directly in the critical points of the fire and extinguishes it rapidly and without damages to the internal and external environments, or to the flue itself.

The invention makes use of the large heat exchange capacity between the environment and the finely nebulized water to drastically reduce the temperature of the flue gases. This takes place as the finely nebulized water, with droplets having a diameter of 50 - 150 μιτι, evaporates instantly to remove heat from the fire. The resulting rapid increase in the volume of the single droplets, due to the change in the state of the water, causes rarefaction of the oxygen and creates a barrier against radiation of the heat of the fire.

As can be seen, the extinguishing mechanism consists in the formation of steam which is dispersed to the outside through the flue, assisted in this by the strong ascending current caused by the fire. Only toward the end of the operation, when the finely nebulized water no longer evaporates will it start to run downward. However, as these amounts are considerably lower than those used by prior art devices, most of the water will be absorbed into the porosities of the combustion residues and only insignificant amounts thereof will reach the outside of the heat generator.

The invention shall now be described, by way of non-limiting example, according to a preferred embodiment and with reference to the accompanying figures, wherein:

• Fig. 1 shows a fireplace, with related flue, on which a fire extinguishing system according to the invention is mounted;

• Fig. 2 shows the fire extinguishing system according to the invention;

• Figs. 3 (a, b) are respectively a front view and an axonometric view of the mouth of the fireplace, in which the delivery nozzles are visible;

· Figs. 4 (a, b) show in detail the nozzles for extinguishing the flames in the brazier and device for the protection thereof;

• Fig. 5 shows in detail the nozzles for cooling the intermediate part of the flue;

• Fig. 6 shows in detail the nozzles for cooling the upper part of the flue and the attic;

· Fig. 7 shows a fire detection device.

The example of embodiment described below relates to an installation for extinguishing fires in wood-burning fireplaces and related flues.

With reference to Fig. 1 , the number (1 ) indicates a wood-burning fireplace connected to the outside environment by means of a retaining masonry flue (2), into which a stainless steel flue pipe (3) is inserted.

The fire extinguishing system according to the invention, shown in Fig. 2, comprises a pipe (4), connected to the water supply or to a tank, which enters the mouth (5) of the fireplace (1 ), then runs along the flue pipe (3), inside the retaining masonry flue (2), along the entire length thereof.

Along the pipe (4) there are positioned a high pressure pump (6), first delivery means (7) positioned close to the brazier, second delivery means (8) positioned along the flue pipe (3) and third delivery means (9), positioned close to the upper end of the flue pipe (3).

Figs. 3 (a, b) show, according to a front view and according to an axonometric view, the mouth (5) of the fireplace (1) with said first delivery means (7), shown in detail in the subsequent Fig. 4a, positioned close to the brazier. Figs. 5 and 6 show in detail said second and third delivery means (8) and (9) respectively.

The first delivery means (7), being positioned in close proximity of the brazier, are protected by a device, shown in Fig. 4b, comprising a screen (10) activated by a pneumatic piston (11 ). The screen (10) is constituted by U-shaped curved plate which completely surrounds the delivery means (7) and is inserted with the ends (10a) thereof into two grooves (1 1 a) produced in the wall (11 b) of the fireplace (1 ). The pneumatic piston (1 1 ) is positioned outside the brazier, beyond the wall (1 1 b), and actuates a pin (11c), which passes through said wall (11 b) and is configured in such a way as to act against specific protrusions (10b), produced in the screen (10). When the pneumatic piston (1 1 ) is activated, the pin (1 1c) thrusts against the protrusions (10b) of the screen (10), which is thus extracted from the grooves (1 1a), releasing the delivery means (7).

A water purifier device (12), for example of magnetic type, combined with a conventional mechanical filter with ΙΟμηι mesh, is preferably fitted downstream of the pump (6). Another filter (13), with 5 μΐτι sieve, is preferably fitted in the first delivery means (7).

The system is completed by a solenoid valve (14) to open and close the flow of water, preferably controlled by automatic fire detection means (15), for example of optical type, with image processing (Fig. 7).

Said automatic fire detection means (15) comprise a flame detection device (16), located in the upper part of the flue pipe (3), protected by a quartz screen (17) and connected, through an optical fiber (18), to an electronic control unit (19), of known type, which using prior art techniques, carries out image processing, emitting a signal if, following a fire the flames reach the upper end of the flue pipe (3), said signal activating the solenoid valve 14), the pump (6), the magnetic water purifier device (12) and the pneumatic piston (11 ).

In the event of a fire, the system (15), constituted by the flame detection device (16) and by the electronic control unit (19), activates the solenoid valve (14), the pump (6), the magnetic water purifier device (12) and the pneumatic piston (11), opening the flow of high pressure water in the pipe (4).

Said first delivery means (7), shown in detail in Fig. 4, comprise a plurality of nozzles (20) positioned on two arrays (21 , 22), for example with seven nozzles each, so as to be able to deliver water in two different directions.

The lower array (21 ) delivers the nebulized water downward, directly onto the burning smolders, while the upper array (22) delivers the nebulized water upward, so that it is drawn by the ascending current of the flue gases into the flue pipe (3) and travels along it, drastically lowering the temperature thereof, until the carbon deposits in flames have been extinguished.

Said second delivery means (8), shown in detail in Fig. 5, are connected to the pipe (4) and are positioned along and outside the flue pipe (3). They are variable in number, according to the length of the flue. For a flue of five meters in length, a number of 8 nozzles (20) can be indicated as a guide.

According to a preferred embodiment, each of said second delivery means (8) comprises a pair of nozzles (20), one of which delivers downward while the other delivers upward. By delivering nebulized water on the outside of the flue pipe (3), the temperature thereof is reduced preventing excessive heating of the retaining masonry flue (2).

Said third delivery means (9), shown in detail in Fig. 6, are positioned at the upper end of the flue pipe (3), in the immediate vicinity of the attic. According to a preferred embodiment, said third delivery means (9) comprise a plurality of nozzles (20) arranged along one or more ring-shaped pipes (23) connected to the main pipe (4). Said nozzles (20), for example six nozzles (20) for each ring (23), deliver nebulized water prevalently outward, so that in addition to cooling the upper part of the flue pipe (3), the attic is also cooled to prevent overheating from causing it to catch fire through heat radiation.

The invention has been described purely by way of non-limiting example, according to a preferred embodiment, with regard to installation in a wood-burning fire and related flue. Those skilled in the art can easily adapt the system according to the invention to other heat generators and related flues, suitably installing the first delivery means (7) in the burner/brazier area, the second delivery means (8) along the flue pipe and the third delivery means (9) close to the upper end thereof. In the case in which the flue is particularly short, said second and third delivery means (8) and (9) can be omitted. In this case, the first delivery means (7) must be dimensioned so as to be able to extinguish the fire alone.

Those skilled in the art may also find numerous other embodiments, all falling within the scope of protection of the claims below.