Using CFD to design effective smoke and ventilation systems in power generation and energy from waste facilities

Posted by Conor Logan on 09/11/21 10:00

Power generation plants and energy from waste facilities, whatever their size, present several design challenges in relation to ventilation and smoke extraction.

With over 85 years in ventilation and smoke control design, manufacture and install, Colt has worked with numerous power generation and energy from waste facilities. To help us navigate the challenges presented by these complex projects, one of the key tools we use to assist with designing effective systems in power generation, is in-house computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Before we explain the benefits of CFD further, let’s take a look at some of the most common problems a designer working on a power generation project might encounter.


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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

The anatomy of a smoke control system

Posted by Conor Logan on 14/10/21 11:00

While it’s often understood that the basic function of a smoke control system is to control the movement of smoke in a fire to help keep buildings and their occupants safe, we also frequently get asked what components go into designing an effective smoke control system.

To answer that question in simple terms, we can compare a well-designed smoke control system to a human body, as all the same basic elements are needed to keep each functioning properly:

  • Decision-making control panel (brain)
  • Sensors and detectors (eyes/ears)
  • Equipment and devices (muscles)
  • Cable Network (nervous system)
  • Power Supplies (cardiovascular system)
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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Smoke and fire curtains. What they are, how they work and the UK regulations surrounding them.

Posted by Conor Logan on 09/09/21 10:00

What are smoke and fire curtains?

Smoke and fire curtains are both components that can form part of a fire safety system, but there are distinct differences in their roles and how they operate.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Specifying, commissioning and testing smoke ventilation systems.

Posted by Conor Logan on 27/08/21 10:00

Smoke control is a ‘wide science’: it requires in-depth knowledge of the building layout, the technical aspects and the bewildering array of building regulations in force. Each type of building has its own peculiarities and some have specific regulations and guidance on smoke ventilation.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Smoke Control in buildings with atria

Posted by Conor Logan on 30/06/21 10:00

Many residential and commercial buildings feature atria as a design feature to create a light well or to incorporate lifts or stairs into the design in a visually aesthetic way. However, they also provide a passage whereby smoke and fumes resulting from a fire could easily spread up through the entire building and affect multiple floors. Therefore, having effective smoke control and suppression systems in place in buildings with atria is essential.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Smoke control in shopping centres: design approaches and challenges

Posted by Conor Logan on 08/06/21 10:00

In retail premises such as shopping centres, the Building Regulations have a strong emphasis on the provision of life safety systems such as smoke control.

A well-designed smoke control system should be able to maintain smoke free escape conditions at low level to allow the building to be evacuated with minimum risk of smoke inhalation, injury or death.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Smoke control requirements in educational buildings: what you need to know.

Posted by Conor Logan on 26/05/21 10:00

While smoke control is vital in any type of public building where people gather, it is perhaps even more so in schools and other buildings the more vulnerable members of society assemble. In this blog, we will cover the regulations around smoke control requirements in educational buildings and share some design considerations that are vital when configuring fire safety systems for buildings with children as the main users.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

7 reasons why you shouldn't use HVAC control systems for smoke ventilation

Posted by Conor Logan on 02/06/20 10:00

Smoke ventilation systems today require sophisticated control systems with highly complex sequences of operation. HVAC control systems could be seen as a viable solution, as they can be extremely flexible and offer a high degree of programmability. However, while they may be adequate for simple applications, there are a number of issues that mean they do not deliver on all the functionalities needed for more complex schemes.

Here are 7 reasons why:

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Are fire alarm control systems any good for smoke ventilation?

Posted by Conor Logan on 25/07/19 16:32

The upsurge in large-scale residential schemes and commercial towers with fire fighting shafts has created the need for much more sophisticated control systems with highly complex sequences of operation for their smoke ventilation schemes.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, Controls

5 reasons why you shouldn't use HVAC control systems for smoke ventilation

Posted by Conor Logan on 10/01/17 12:00

 


Smoke ventilation systems today require sophisticated control systems with highly complex sequences of operation. HVAC control systems could be seen as a viable solution, as they can be extremely flexible and offer a high degree of programmability. However, while they may be adequate for simple applications, there are a number of issues that mean they do not deliver on all the functionalities needed for more complex schemes.

Here are 5 reasons why:

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

7 key features of a smoke ventilation control system

Posted by Conor Logan on 11/10/16 12:00

As a property owner or developer, when you have to make a decision on the best control system for smoke ventilation in your building, you are faced with a bewildering amount of information and conflicting opinions as to the most effective approach. Should you opt for a fire alarm control system, an HVAC/BMS control system or one specifically designed for smoke ventilation? Should you choose open or closed protocol?

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, Controls

Choosing control systems and power supplies for smoke and fire curtains

Posted by Paul Compton on 30/08/16 12:00

Smoke and fire curtains are usually controlled (either individually or in groups) by a zone control panel. The curtains are allowed to fall automatically under the influence of gravity when the power is lost, which can happen in a fire or during a simple power cut. However if there is an electricity outage where there is no emergency, this can be a nuisance, and it can be prevented by using either a local Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) or a Battery Back-Up (BBU).

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Topics: Smoke Control, Fire Containment, Controls, Curtains

How to select modulating controls when specifying glass louvred ventilators

Posted by Graeme Clark on 22/03/16 12:00

Following our recent article on the “Top three considerations when specifying glass louvred ventilators” we have been inundated with questions about modulating controls. Clearly this is a topic that resonates with many in the industry, and in this article we aim to provide some guidance on how to modulate louvred window ventilators.

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Topics: Natural ventilation, Smoke ventilation, Controls, Louvre

BMS and smoke ventilation systems: what the control system must deliver

Posted by Conor Logan on 01/09/15 11:30

Part 3 - Opening up the Closed Protocol Debate

Control systems for smoke ventilation need to meet the demand for increasing complexity of modern building complexes, such as large-scale residential schemes or high-rise tower buildings. As a property owner or developer, when making your choice of a fire alarm control system for your building, you will have to decide between an HVAC/BMS control system or one specifically designed for smoke ventilation, and between open or closed protocol.

As you make your considerations, it is important to keep in mind the key requirements your control system has to meet.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, Controls

BMS and smoke ventilation systems: reducing complexity in smoke ventilation systems controls

Posted by Conor Logan on 25/08/15 11:30

Part 2 - Why are there more complex demands these days?

The debate about the relative merits of open and closed control protocols is relatively recent. It has arisen because of the evolution of the smoke ventilation market towards more complex systems.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, Controls