Secure the mounting bracket to the mounting surface Install the detector Some system designs require that the detector be inverted. Directions for correcting the orientation of the fascia for an inverted detector are available in the Product Guide Prepare Detector: Wiring, Pipe Inlet and Exhaust Ports Remove the appropriate plugs for electrical cable installation J , air sampling pipe inlet port K , and exhaust port F. Use correctly rated cable glands to maintain the required IP rating. Note: Do not glue the inlet and exhaust pipe into the detector ports.
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Metrics details Abstract The Phillip J. The initial technology was invented and patented by David Packham and Len Gibson, who worked with John Petersen on prototype development, field trials, and applications engineering. Martin Cole was responsible for the successful commercial development and many further patented technical developments. The VESDA technology and its pre-eminent role in the introduction of aspirated smoke detection ASD internationally has led to a major global impact on public safety.
The recipients of the Philip J. Martin Cole. Ample commendation is given to their deceased co-inventor and passionate advocate Len Gibson. Introduction The Phillip J. DiNenno Prize. The VESDA aspirated smoke detection system was orders of magnitude more sensitive than traditional point type smoke detectors, and provided new opportunities for improving public safety across a wide spectrum of the built environment.
The creative spark for the VESDA invention came about during a remarkable series of huge bush fires ignited for research purposes in the forests of Western Australia in A laboratory nephelometer, mounted in an aircraft, was used to monitor very low concentrations of smoke in large bushfire smoke plumes. It seemed to offer great potential to detect similar low smoke concentrations from smoldering fires in high airflow telephone exchanges and early computer centres, where point type smoke detectors were being found to be inadequate for the task.
Several prototype nephelometer-based smoke detection systems were developed and trialled by initially sampling airflows in air-conditioning ductwork in several Australia telephone exchanges, transmitter facilities, a space tracking station and a hospital, and the principle of high sensitivity, very early warning smoke detection was borne. Later, small bore pipework or aspirated smoke sampling systems were added, together with three level alarms outputs, outside air compensation, and other patented developments.
The VESDA detectors, based on the nephelometer light scattering principles to detect smoke particles, used xenon-flash tubes as the light source and photo-multipliers as the scattered light receivers until Later developments, using photo-diode receivers, coupled with xenon, laser diode or subsequently pulsed LED light sources together with increasingly robust state-of-the-art electronics, came with commercialisation. Development of the VESDA system market started in Australia, but quickly led to widespread use in North America, UK, Asia, and then globally for the protection of telecommunication facilities, data centres, IT fabrication plants and other high value or mission critical premises.
As the technology and the applications engineering was developed further, the use of VESDA was extended into many other life safety, property protection and business continuity applications worldwide. However, without the continuing passion and determination of the core group of innovators, namely David Packham, Len Gibson now deceased , John Petersen and Dr.
Martin Cole, through the decade of the s and beyond, this innovation would not have been brought to commercial success and the wide public safety benefits which have now been achieved. Technical achievement Detection is a critical component in any fire safety strategy for a building.
The earlier the detection, the more time available for prompt action, whether for alerting occupants to evacuate safely and thus saving lives, or for minimization of the impact of fire and smoke on property or business operations. Very early detection to sense and terminate incipient fires before any appreciable smoke or heat occurs is ideal.
Through the s and s, point type ionization smoke detectors were becoming more widely available in Australia and throughout the world, although many earlier type heat detectors were still being installed Johnson These smoke detectors were increasingly being required in Australian Government facilities such as airports, telephone exchanges, computer centres, Defence buildings and other mission critical facilities.
This mirrored developments in North America and many other countries. Computer and telecommunication facilities in that era were moving from electro-mechanical equipment to solid-state electronics. Increasing equipment densities and power consumption were leading to higher airflows being needed for cooling. Often this led to serious service interruptions and major business and community impacts. Longer-term, insidious damage was often caused by corrosion from the HCl vapours being emitted from overheated PVC cable insulation.
Through this same decade of the s, Australia suffered major bushfire tragedies in Western Australia in , Victoria in , Tasmania in and Victoria again in , with many lives lost and vast areas of bushland and property destroyed. As a result, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization CSIRO had established a Bushfire Research Group Styles which was trying to find answers to the bushfire threat through the application of aerial prescribed burning for forest fuel management, and a better understanding of the nature, properties and behaviour of bushfire smoke in smoke plumes above large forest fires Vines et al.
David Packham was part of the CSIRO Bushfire Research Group which was internationally regarded and had published many papers on bushfire behavior and smoke characteristics. Packham had studied the characteristics of smoke through the use of a laboratory nephelometer, a light scattering device built at CSIRO based on the available concepts of Alquist and Charlson in the USA and more particularly an original wooden box nephelometer designed for determining visual range for military purposes developed by Beuttell and Brewer in about Alquist and Charlson In , Gibson visited CSIRO and met Packham to learn more about the properties of smoke and see if that knowledge could be used to help address his telephone exchange problems.
It turned out that they had a mutual interest in aviation, and both flew missions as pilots in light aircraft over large bushfires and through smoke as fire spotters to aid the real-time mapping of forest fires for the Victorian fire authorities Packham Support was provided by John Petersen and his technical team at the PMG later Telecom Australia in terms of applications engineering and experimentation with duct sampling systems and associated pumping and suction systems.
The VESDA smoke detector prototypes manufactured firstly at CSIRO, and later in several phases in the PMG workshops in Melbourne, utilized pulsed xenon flash tubes and photo-multipliers to detect broad wavelength, white light scattered off smoke particles carried into the detector labyrinth by air pumped out of an HVAC return duct. The high intensity light source and high sensitivity photo-multiplier receiver design enabled very low concentrations of smoke to be detected. The broad spectrum enabled the device to detect quite a significant range of particle sizes, the theory of which Packham, Gibson and others published in various reports and journal articles from to Gibson and Packham , Gibson, , Packham et al.
Trials were conducted in telephone exchanges, remote transmitter stations, a NASA space tracking facility at Honeysuckle Creek, computer rooms, and at a Victorian hospital Hamilton et al.
Packham, Gibson and Petersen discovered they could detect smoldering fires many minutes earlier, and at smoke concentrations several orders of magnitude lower, than was the case with point type smoke detectors. Again they published their results, which included long term monitoring of installations and showed at what levels the alarm threshold could be set for reliable high sensitivity smoke detection balanced against the frequency of potential false alarms.
Packham et al. Gibson and Petersen quickly understood at that time that some telephone exchanges, computer centres and Defence facilities had air-conditioning systems which could fail or could be shut down at times to save energy. As a result, detection from a return duct would be seriously degraded.
They therefore conceived a small bore pipework sampling system mounted initially at ceiling level to draw air samples back from rooms to be protected, regardless of whether the air-conditioning system was on or off.
They conducted many experiments as well as field trials in telecommunication facilities, to show such duct sampling and pipework sampling systems using the VESDA concept could still work extremely effectively in this manner, even in high airflow environments.
Neilson, They developed some empirical rules for sampling pipework designs. A second part of the original VESDA invention and CSIRO patent was the concept of a twin channel device to detect the difference between particulate concentrations entering a telephone exchange, which could cause false alarms, and those smoke particles generated internally be a fire.
After setting up his own private design and installation company Monit-Air, Petersen joined Cole at IEI in to lead the national sales effort and applications engineering. Johnson, Timms, , Johnson, As well, Cole had the drive to implement innovative high quality product design and advanced automated manufacturing techniques in as the basis for international sales and distribution.
Styles, All these developments allowed VESDA systems to provide high sensitivity smoke detection and respond to the challenges from the transition to very high energy and full digital equipment systems in telecommunications and many other industries the s and s. At the same time, Cole knew IEI and their distributors, as well as system design engineers, needed to be able to do a better job of designing the pipework sampling for aspirated systems where HVAC systems could be turned off.
He was not satisfied with the basic empirical rules developed from the work of Gibson and Petersen, nor with his own charts published in , nor with some further attempts by Notarianni Notarianni, and others Cole, a.
Supervised by Monash University, Cole set about conducting his own fluid dynamics research. Development of the first laboratory test and approval standards in Australia, well as modification of Australian Standards and later internationally recognized standards such as NFPA 75 for fire protection of IT equipment and NFPA 76 for fire protection of telecommunications facilities to allow for ASD systems, greatly helped the demand for and acceptance of this very high sensitivity VESDA smoke detection.
There was also a much wider spread of use of VESDA beyond telecommunications and computer facilities into many life safety applications which has seen this VESDA and other ASD technologies continuing to have a huge impact on public safety in very many countries around the world up until the present day.
By , Xtralis indicated that the number had grown to over , installations, incorporating many millions of individual VESDA units. However, their market penetration was very small. VESDA has always been amongst the market leaders of ASD technologies which now provide protection to many thousands of facilities worldwide, including global telecommunication businesses, and international data centres, as well as clean rooms and many other high value facilities.
The impact of ASD systems in terms of lives saved, asset damage reduced, heritage values saved, and business interruption minimized is not that easy to quantify. The benefit comes from detecting such small fires that many minutes, or hours in some cases, of extra time is provided for evacuation of building occupants, or for action to be taken much more safely to extinguish or control much lower energy fires. The comparison needs to be made against risk to lives and losses in similar facilities which might occur with point type smoke detectors or sprinklers, at much larger fire sizes, or where there is no fire detection at all.
One way of looking at the impact of ASD systems such as VESDA is through the continuing innovations which have progressed from the original technology development. It started with the conceptual innovation and applications engineering of Packham, Gibson and Petersen, and the subsequent manufacturing and commercial innovations of Cole at IEI. What followed was the impetus created which gave support to on-going investment of subsequent commercial owners and developers of a number of ASD systems which has demonstrated and confirmed the power and benefits of the original idea of very high sensitivity, very early smoke detection.
These on-going technical developments for an ever widening range of applications have made ASD the choice of major customers for very many different projects internationally.
Ming He, In many cases the VESDA systems are not only protecting important assets and financial business streams, but in many cases, they are the first line detection and alarm systems protecting very large numbers of occupants, giving valuable extra time for evacuation and emergency services response.
The installation of VESDA in telecommunication facilities, telephone exchanges, data centres, high technology manufacturing, industrial control rooms and other related facilities appears to have a primary focus on asset protection and business or operational continuity. However, the very early smoke detection by VESDA also provides life safety protection for the employees working in these buildings as they have much smaller fires to tackle and extinguish.
In addition, with telecommunication facilities, and now data centres with VOIP, if those facilities fail due to fire, this can indirectly affect many life safety related functions such as people contacting the emergency services and aged care duress systems. And a lack of early detection in many mission critical buildings, particularly Government facilities, can potentially impact national defence, national security and all emergency services operations, which is where VESDA and ASD performance is crucial.
Similarly, if fires in control systems in industrial plants go undetected or are detected late by other than VESDA and ASD systems, high hazard processes in chemical, nuclear and other industrial plants can get out of control and endanger lives, as in incidents such as Flixborough Venart, in the UK.
For telephone exchanges in particular, a number of significant fires occurred internationally in telecommunication facilities having just point type fire detection and without VESDA or ASD, with major impacts upon their operational delivery as well as major asset damage. Canberra Times Isner, It was a high airflow environment and was fitted, at the time of the fire, with point type ionization smoke detectors.
Subsequent testing in-situ by Johnson and the staff of Scientific Services Laboratory SSL showed that an aspirated pipework sampling system connected to a VESDA detector gave alarms a significant number of minutes before the conventional point type detectors did in some tests, and in some test fires, the point type detectors did not operate at all.
The additional time for staff to be alerted and be able to take action was critical and as a result VESDA systems were recommended and installed. Two subsequent fires in with VESDA installed were quickly identified and extinguished with minimal impact and no service interruption. If the VESDA had failed to detect the fire and it had developed in the telephone exchange concerned, the majority of the telecommunications traffic not only for the public but also for the emergency services in the whole state of Queensland would have been disrupted.
IEI, In , at a university school of psychology, an electrical fire in a wall cavity of a computer laboratory failed to set off a conventional detection system in the laboratory. While the laboratory suffered some damage, 8 out of the 13 computers in the laboratory were saved. However, far more importantly, the very early detection in the main computer room meant no loss of vital university records, data and equipment critical to university functioning, or exposure of staff or students Leslie, At the Swanbank Power Station, a major fire in an ash plant control cubicle in caused extensive damage and downtime when the cabinet was completely burned out.
In , another fire occurred, but was quickly detected and extinguished by control room operators. Only three cable terminals and one wire were burned, with minimal disruption Anderson, A very small fire occurred in a capacitor in a light fitting in the adjoining warehouse and was detected by a VESDA smoke detection system.
Off-site staff were alerted and eventually got through to the financial officer, who switched off the electricity and a service technician came and replaced the light fitting. The company claims that the incident was close to escalating which could have destroyed large quantities of stock as well as computer and other records, and been a commercial disaster for the company, as well as impacting on the staff member potentially exposed IEI, The staff in the building were able to be evacuated very quickly and safely.
All of these incidents demonstrate that, where before the VESDA innovation there were major losses in a range of mission critical facilities, the installation of VESDA and other ASD systems have saved lives both indirectly and directly in many cases, and saved property, reduced business interruption and contributed enormously to public safety.
VESDA Smoke Detection
When high value assets, equipment or irreplaceable items are at stake, early warning of a smoke or fire problem, is essential. Our air sampling or air monitoring equipment actively pulls in room air to a special chamber where it can detect the presence of particles that are created in the very early stages of combustion, even before smoke is visible. This provides the valuable time necessary to initiate a flexible, appropriate response. Conventional smoke detectors struggle to activate with high amounts of air passing through their chambers. VESDA smoke detection is far more responsive than conventional smoke detectors.
Intelligent VESDA-E VEP
VESDA air-sampling smoke detectors are renowned for their ability to consistently deliver protection for a diverse range of global businesses and their challenging environments, providing enhanced life safety and business continuity solutions. With the realisation of the consequences of a fire to critical data within computer server rooms, the need to detect a fire at the earliest stage becoming vitally important. Aspirating Smoke Detection system are becoming more and more an integral part of a Gas Suppression System. A VESDA system continually draws air from an area, through a pipe network, back to a central detector which continually monitors for very small amounts of smoke. Delayed detection means late suppression and more damage. The active, cumulative, air sampling performed by VESDA detectors throughout the protected area overcomes this problem, enabling earlier and more reliable detection. Protecting areas up to m2 sq.