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Publication numberUS3016956 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 16, 1962
Filing dateMay 19, 1959
Priority dateMay 19, 1959
Publication numberUS 3016956 A, US 3016956A, US-A-3016956, US3016956 A, US3016956A
InventorsJohn W Olandt
Original AssigneeSpecialties Dev Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fluid distributing system
US 3016956 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

ilnite tat atet 3,436,956 FLUID DISTRIBUTING SYfiTEM .l'ohn W. Olandt, North Arlington, NHL assignor to Specialties Development Corporation, lielleville, Ni, a corporation of New Hersey Filed May 19, 1959, $91. No. 814,199 5 tjlaims. (Cl. 169-11) The present invention relates to high pressure fluid medium distributing systems of the type wherein a supply of fire extinguishing agent is released for distribution to one or more zones or spaces, and, more particularly to such systems wherein the supply of fluid medium is divided into portions which are released sequentially.

Where fire hazards exist in buildings or installations which are unattended except for periodic visits of maintenance personnel, it is essential that a fire extinguishing system be provided therein which will detect the presence of a fire in any of the hazard areas and will automatically go into operation to extinguish that fire.

The systems previously provided for this purpose are capable of extinguishing a single fire but must be manually reset after each fire by the maintenance personnel before it can operate to extinguish a subsequent fire.

In many buildings and installations, the fire hazards are of such a nature that several fires could occur in the same or different hazard areas before the system could be reset. In such cases, the previously known systems would be effective only in temporarily delaying the destruction of the building or installation.

It is preferable in systems for this purpose, that the supply of extinguishing agent be stored in a number of containers which are discharged in sequence to maintain a continuous fiow of agent over an extended period of time. It has been found that the most effective flow of agent is achieved when each successive container starts to discharge at that time when the preceding container is completely, or nearly completely, discharged.

In prior systems wherein a number of containers of extinguishing agent are discharged sequentially, a timer has been used to control the actuation of the discharge valves of the containers in a manner such that each of the discharge valves is actuated after a preset period of time has elapsed since the actuation of the previous valve.

Such an arrangement is generally unsatisfactory because it fails to compensate for variations in the rate of discharge of the agent. For example, the rate at which gaseous carbon dioxide will discharge from a pressurized container through a given valve is over three times greater at 70 F. than it is at 40 F. It can be seen therefore that a carbon dioxide system installed in a heated building and provided with a timer properly adjusted to give the most effective continuous flow of agent at 70 F., would provide an interrupted flow if the heating system failed and the temperature in the building dropped appreciably. Such an interrupted flow of agent would allow the fire to repropagate itself during the period when no agent was being discharged.

In systems using a timer, interrupted flow is also en countered if one of the containers should fail to discharge. In such a case the next container would not begin to discharge until the end of the present time period allotted for the discharge of the inoperative container, and the fire would repropagate during this period.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an automatic fire extinguishing system not sub ject to the foregoing difficulties.

Another object is to provide such a system capable of automatically extinguishing two or more fires occurring at spaced intervals without resetting.

Another object is to provide such a system wherein the discharge of the extinguishing agent is controlled in a 3,016,956 Patented Jan. 16, 1962 manner to obtain the most effective utilization thereof.

Another object is to provide such a system including a supply of pressurized extinguishing agent divided into portions to be discharged sequentially wherein the discharge of each portion is controlled to obtain the most eifective utilization of the agent.

A further object is to provide such a system including a supply of pressurized extinguishing agent divided into portions to be discharged sequentially in response to a fire wherein the sequential discharging of the portions is interrupted when the fire is extinguished and is reinstituted automatically in response to a second fire.

Other and further objects of the invention will be obvious upon an understanding of the illustrative embodiment about to be described, or will be indicated in the appended claims, and various advantages not referred to herein will occur to one skilled in the art upon employment of the invention in practice.

In accordance with the present invention, the foregoing objects are generally accomplished by providing a fire extinguishing system comprising in combination a supply of fire extinguishing agent, conduit means connected to the supply and extending to an area to be protected, fire detecting means in the area to be protected, pressure detecting means in the conduit means, and means responsive to the fire detecting means and the pressure detecting means for discharging a portion of the supply each time the pressure in the conduit means is below a predetermined value upon the detection of a fire by the fire detecting means.

A preferred embodiment of the invention has been chosen for purposes of illustration and description, and is shown in the accompanying drawing, forming a part of the specification, wherein:

The single figure of the drawing is a schematic illustration of a system in accordance with the present invention.

Referring to the drawing in detail, there is shown a system in accordance with the present invention which includes a supply of carbon dioxide under pressure stored in six containers 1%, 11, 12, 1d, 15 and 16 provided with electrically operable discharge control valves 17, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 24 espectively; a conduit network 25 connected to the containers and extending to the protected areas 26, 27 and 29; fire detectors 30, 31 and 32 respectively positioned in the areas 26, 27 and 29; a pressure switch 34 in the conduit network; a time delay switch 35; and a stepping relay 36 operated by the fire detectors 3d, 31 and 32, the pressure switch 34, and the time delay switch 35, to sequentially actuate the valves 17, 19, 20, 2.1, 22 and 24.

The conduit network 25 comprises a collecting manifold 37 provided with short conduits 39 connected to each of the containers, a distributing manifold 49 provided with branch conduits 41, 42 and 44 extending into the areas 26, 27 and 29 respectively, and a main delivery conduit 45 connecting the manifolds 37 and 39.

Electrically operable direction valves 46, 47 and 49 respectively are provided in the branch conduits 41, 42 and 44, each of which terminates in discharge directing means (not shown) suitable for extinguishing fire in the associated area.

A source of direct current electricity having a positive terminal 50 connected to a conductor 51 and a negative terminal 52 connected to ground is provided to supply the nececssary power for operating the valves and the stepping relay.

The fire detectors 3%), 31 and 32 each include a heat sensing unit 54, 55 and 56 respectively and an electrical switch 57, 59 and 64 respectively under the control of the associated heat sensing unit and adapted to be placed in a closed position when a fire is detected by the sensing unit. One of the contacts of each of the switches 57,

59 and 60 is conected to the conductor 51 by means of conductors 61, 62 and 64 respectively, and the other contact of each of the switches is connected by means of a conductor 65, 66, and 67 to one end of relay coils 69, 70 and 71 respectively. The other end of each of the relay coils is conected to ground thereby placing each of the switches in series with their respective coils across the terminals 50 and 52.

The direction valves 46, 47 and 49 are of the type which open when electrical current is passed therethrough and reclose when the flow of current stops.

Each of the three relay coils 69, 70 and 71 controls the operation of a normally open switch 72, 74 and 75 connected in series with the respective valves 46, 47 and 49 between the conductor 51 and ground. The relay coils 69, 70 and 71 respectively, also control the operation of three additional normally open switches 76, 77 and 79 which are connected in parallel between the conductor 51 and a conductor 80.

The pressure switch 34 is positioned at an opening 81 in the main conduit 45 and includes a piston 82 in communication with the opening 81, a spring 84 urging the piston toward the opening, and a normally closed switch 85 mechanically connected to the piston to be operated thereby. One of the contacts of the switch is connected to the conductor 86 and the other contact is connected to a conductor 86 leading to the time delay switch 35.

The time delay switch 35 includes a heater 87, a stationary contact 89, and a contact 90 mounted on a bimetallic strip 91 which bends and moves the contact 90 away from the contact 89 when heated by the heater 87. The contact 90 is connected to the conductor 36 through the bimetallic strip 91, and the contact 89 is connected to a conductor 92 leading to the stepping relay 36.

The stepping relay comprises a stepping coil 94, a reset coil 95, six stationary contacts 96, 97, 99, 1612', 161 and 102, and a movable contact 104 under the control of the coils 94 and 95. The stepping coil 94 is connected to the conductor 92 at one end thereof and to ground at the other end thereof, and the reset coil 95 has one end connected to ground and the other end connected to the conductor 51 through a normally open reset switch 105. The movable contact 104 is connected to the conductor 51, and the stationary contacts 96, 97, 99, 100, 191 and 102 are respectively connected through conductors 106, 167, 109, 116, 111 and 112 and the discharge valves 17, 19, 26, 2-1, 22 and 24 to ground. The movable contact 104 is secured to a ratchet wheel 113 rotatably mounted on the shaft 114.

The ratchet wheel 113 is rotated in a clockwise direction by a plunger 115 which is held in a retracted position by a spring 116 and is moved to engage and rotate the ratchet wheel when the stepping coil 94 is energized. A spiral spring 117 positioned about the shaft 114 has one end attached to the ratchet wheel 113 and the other end attached to the shaft 114 and is wound by the clockwise rotation of the ratchet wheel. A latching bar 118 pivotally mounted on a pin 119 adjacent the ratchet wheel 113 is held in engagement with the ratchet wheel by a spring 120 to prevent counter clockwise rotation of the wheel under the action of the spiral spring 117.

The bar 118 is under the control of the reset coil 95 and is moved out of engagement with the wheel 113 when the coil 95 is energized. The relay 36 is constructed so that each time the stepping coil 94 is energized the plunger 115 rotates the ratchet wheel sufficiently to move the movable contact 104 to the next stationary contact. The latching bar 118 then maintains the ratchet wheel in this position until the stepping coil 94 is deenergized and reenergized. When the reset coil 95 is energized, the latching bar 118 is moved out of engagement with the ratchet wheel 113 and the wheel 113 rotates under the action of the spring 117 to return the movable contact 104- to the position shown in the drawing.

The discharge valves 17, 19, 2t 21, 22 and 24 are of the type which open when electrical current is passed therethrough, therefore, each of the valves is opened when the moveable contact 104 engages the respective stationary contact to connect the valve across the electrical supply.

In operation, when a fire occurs in one of the areas to be protected 26, 27 or 29, the fire detector heat sensing unit 54, 55 or 56 located in that area responds to the heat produced by the fire and closes the associated fire detector switch 57, 59 or 60. The relay coil 69, 70 or 71 connected to the closed fire detector switch is then energized to close the pair of relay switches 72 and 76, 7 4 and 77, or 75 and 79 associated with the relay coil, thereby actuating the proper direction valve 46, 47 or 49 and placing the conductor 80 in electrical communication with the positive terminal 56. Electrical current then flows from the terminal 51) to the conductor 80 and through the switch 65, the conductor 86, the bimetallic strip 91 and the contact 91 to the contact 89. A portion of the current flows through the heater element 87 to ground while the remainder fiows through the conductor 92, and the stepping coil 94, to ground. The stepping coil 94 is thereby energized and moves the moveable contact 104 clockwise to engage the stationary contact 96 and allow current to flow from the conductor 51 through the contacts 104 and 96, the conductor 106, and the'valve 17 to ground, The valve 17 is opened by this current flow allowing the pressurized fire extinguishing agent to flow into the collecting manifold 37, through the delivery conduit into the distributing manifold 40, and through the open direction valve 46, 47 or 49 into the area containing the fire.

As the container 19 begins to discharge, the conduit 45 becomes pressurized and the pressure switch piston 82 moves against the spring 84 and opens the switch 85 to deenergize the stepping relay coil 94. The opening of the switch 85 also stops the current flow through the heater element 87 before the strip 91 has been heated sufficiently to cause it to bend away from the contact 89. The switch 85 remains open until the pressure of the extinguishing agent being discharged from the container 19 drops to a predetermined valve.

Should the fire continue to burn after the discharge of the agent from the container 10 has been completed, the reclosing of the switch 85 reenergizes the stepping coil 94 causing the moveable contact 104 to move to the stationary contact 97, thus energizing the valve '19 to effect the discharge of the container 11. This action is repeated until the fire is extinguished.

Should any of the containers fail to discharge after the stepping relay has placed the discharge valve of the container in communication with the conductor 51, the conduit 45 remains unpressurized and the switch 85 does not open. Thus, if a fire is still being detected by the heat sensing unit 54, or 56, electrical current flows continuously through the heater 87 and the bimetallic strip 19 is heated to the point where it bends and moves the contact 90 away from the contact 89 to deenergize the stepping coil 94 and the heater 87. The strip 91 then cools j and assumes its original shape bringing the contacts 90 and 89 together to reenergize the stepping coil 94 thus moving the moveable contact 104 into contact with the next stationary contact to discharge the next container.

When the fire has been extinguished, the fire detector switch 57, 59 or is returned to its open position, the relay coil 69, or 71 connected thereto is deenergized, and the switches 76 and 72, 77 and 74, or 79 and associated with the relay coil are opened to deenergize the conductor and to reclose the direction valve 46, 47 or 49. The moveable contact 104 remains in contact with the stationary contact associated with the last container discharged.

Should another fire occur in any of the areas 26, 27 or 29 before the system is reset, the fire detector 30, 31, or 32 in the affected area causes the associated relay coil 69, 70 or 71 to be energized thus closing the switches 76 and 72, 77 and 74, or 79 and 75. The proper direction valve 46, 47 or 49 is thereby opened and the stepping relay 36 is energized to initiate the discharge of the next container, and, as previously described, subsequent containers are sequentially discharged until this second fire is also extinguished.

After one or more fires are extinguished, the system can be reconditioned by closing the switch 165 to return the moveable contact 104 to the illustrated position and by replacing the exhausted containers with charged containers.

From the foregoing description, it will be seen that the present invention provides a fire extinguishing system capable of automatically extinguishing two or more fires at spaced intervals without resetting wherein the discharge of the extinguished agent is controlled in a manner to obtain the most eifective utilization thereof.

As various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the parts herein, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention and without sacrificing any of its advantages, it is to be understood that all matter herein is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in any limiting sense.

I claim:

1. A fire extinguishing system comprising in combination receptacle means adapted to contain a supply of fire extinguishing agent under gaseous pressure, conduit means connected to said receptacle means and extending to an area to be protected, fire detecting means in the area to be protected, pressure detecting means in said conduit means, discharge controlling valve means for said receptacle means, and means responsive to said fire detecting means and said pressure detecting means for operating said valve means to place a portion of said receptacle means in communication with said conduit means each time the pressure in said conduit means is below a predetermined value only during the detection of a fire by said fire detecting means.

2. A fire extinguishing. system comprising in combination a plurality of receptacles adapted to contain a supply of fire extinguishing agent under gaseous pressure, conduit means connected to said receptacles and extending to an area to be protected, fire detecting means in the area to be protected, pressure detecting means in said conduit means, discharge controlling valve means for each of said receptacles, valve actuating means responsive to said fire detecting means and said pressure detecting means for actuating one of said discharge valves when a fire is initially detected by said fire detecting means and for actuating another of said valves each time the pressure in the conduit decreases to a predetermined value only throughout the period the fire is detected.

3. A fire extinguishing system comprising in combination a plurality of receptacles adapted to contain a supply of fire extinguishing agent under gaseous pressure, conduit means connected to said receptacles and extending to an area to be protected, electrically operable discharge controlling valve means for each of said receptacles, a source of electrical energy, switch means connected to each of said valve means and to said electrical supply for connecting any of said valve means to said electrical supply, electrically operable means for actuating said switch means to connect a diiferent one of said valve means to said electrical supply each time said electrically operable means is energized, fire detecting means in the area to be protected including switch means for energizing said electrically operable switch actuating means when a fire is detected to effect the discharge of one of said receptacles, and pressure detecting means in said conduit means including switch means for deenergizing said electrically operable switch actuating means during the period when a predetermined pressure is present in said conduit means due to the discharge of agent, whereby said electrically operable switch actuating means are reenergized when the pressure in said conduit means drops below the predetermined pressure upon continued detection of fire.

4. A fire extinguishing system comprising in combination a plurality of receptacles adapted to contain a supply of fire extinguishing agent under gaseous pressure, conduit means connected to said receptacles and extending to an area to be protected, electrically operable dis charge controlling valve means for each of said receptacles, a source of electrical energy, switch means connected to each of said valve means and to said electrical supply for connecting any of said valve means to said electrical supply, electrically operable means for actuating said switch means to connect a different one of said valve means to said electrical supply each time said electrically operable means is energized, fire detecting means in the area to be protected including switch means for energizing said electrically operable switch actuating means when a fire is detected to eilect the discharge of one of said receptacles, pressure detecting means in said conduit means including switch means for deenergizing said electrically operable switch actuating means during the period when a predetermined pressure is present in said conduit means due to the discharge of agent, whereby said electrically operable means are reenergized when the pressure in said conduit means drops below the predetermined pressure upon continued detection of fire, and time delay switch means for temporarily deenergizing said electrically operable means when the said electrically operable switch actuating means remains energized for longer than a predetermined period of time.

5. A fire extinguishing system comprising in combination a plurality of receptacles adapted to contain a supply of fire extinguishing agent under gaseous pressure, conduit means connected to said receptacles and extending to a plurality of areas to be protected, a plurality of electrically operable direction valve means in said conduit means, each constructed and arranged to place one of the areas in fluid flow communication with said conduit means, electrically operable discharge controlling valve means for each of said receptacles, a source of electrical energy, switch means connected to each of said discharge valve means and to said electrical supply for connecting any of said discharge valve means to said electrical supply, electrically operable means for actuating said switch means to connect a different one of said discharge valve means to said electrical supply each time said electrically operable means is energized, fire detecting means in each of the areas to be protected including switch means for energizing said electrically operable switch actuating means and one of said direction valve means when a fire is detected to discharge one of said receptacles into the area containing the fire, pressure detecting means in said conduit means including switch means for deenergizing said electrically operable switch actuating means during the period when a predetermined pressure is present in said conduit means due to the discharge of agent, whereby said electrically operable switch actuating means are reenergized when the pressure in said conduit means drops below the predetermined pressure upon continued detection of tire, and time delay switch means for temporarily deenergizing said electrically operable means when said electrically operable switch actuating means remains energized for longer than a predetermined period of time.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,023,569 Allen et al. Dec. 10, 1935 2,261,026 Heigis Oct. 28, 1941 2,475,489 Gathercoal July 5, 1949 2,566,873 Britton Sept. 4, 1951 2,601,010 Trad June 17, 1952 2,753,944 Kincaid July 10, 1956 2,827,203 Stumpp Mar. 18, 1958 2,891,625 Hube June 23, 1959

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3866687 *Apr 18, 1973Feb 18, 1975Banner Philip MAutomatic fire extinguisher means
US3921722 *Mar 27, 1974Nov 25, 1975Query Grady WFluid distribution system
US3937402 *Mar 27, 1974Feb 10, 1976Query Grady WFluid distribution system
US4058167 *Jul 13, 1976Nov 15, 1977Clifford Paul Robert GreenanFire protection apparatus
US4566542 *Aug 3, 1984Jan 28, 1986William A. EnkFire protection system for aircraft
US4741403 *Aug 8, 1986May 3, 1988Iron Work Nishimura Co., Ltd.Automatic fire extinguishing system
US4858640 *Oct 30, 1987Aug 22, 1989Kaufmann Klaus DieterProcess for feeding gas stored in a cavern storage facility into a consumer network, and a layout for implementing such a process
US5850876 *Oct 7, 1996Dec 22, 1998Pyrozone Pty. Ltd.Apparatus and system for the storage and supply of liquid CO2 at low pressure for extinguishing of fires
US6279612 *Aug 10, 1999Aug 28, 2001Spare Tank Co., Inc.Auxiliary propane fuel tank system for vehicles
EP0170749A1 *Aug 9, 1984Feb 12, 1986William Armand EnkFire protection system for aircraft
Classifications
U.S. Classification169/11, 169/16, 137/266, 222/638
International ClassificationA62C37/00
Cooperative ClassificationA62C37/40, A62C37/44
European ClassificationA62C37/04