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

Are fire alarm control systems any good for smoke ventilation?

Posted by Conor Logan on 08/11/16 12:15

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

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

BMS and smoke ventilation systems: what are controls protocols?

Posted by Conor Logan on 18/08/15 11:30

Part 1 - Selecting the right solution to control smoke ventilation systems

As a property owner or developer, when you have to select the best solution to control your building’s smoke ventilation system, you will most likely encounter the debate about the pros and cons of open and closed control protocols. This is the first in a series of articles that I hope will help you navigate the bewildering amount of information that is available on the subject.

I will start with the basics: what is a protocol and what does it mean when we say it is open or closed. 

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, Controls

Smoke and fire curtain control system power supplies: keep it simple!

Posted by Paul Compton on 17/02/15 11:30

Following on from our previous blog covering specifying fire curtains, we now turn to automatic controls for smoke and fire curtains.

Again we’ve been seeing lots of long-winded specifications calling for quite sophisticated control functions and features, mentioning potentially confusing features such as ‘epicyclic gearbox retarders’ which seem to be very specific to certain manufacturers rather than being an application or project requirement. These kinds of specifications may well be over complicating matters and potentially could build in reliability issues as well as increasing capital and maintenance costs unnecessarily. 

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Topics: Fire Containment, Smoke Containment, Controls, Curtains

Smoke and natural ventilation systems: why one sub-contractor is best

Posted by Graeme Clark on 02/12/14 11:30

Over the past couple of years it has become increasingly common for smoke and natural ventilation systems to be separated into different sub-contractor packages. For example, extract ventilators supplied by the roofing contractor, inlet vents by the glazing/cladding contractor, and wiring/controls by the M&E contractor.

In theory this makes sense because it may seem easier to procure the system in local packages. In practice it often doesn’t work.

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Topics: Natural ventilation, Smoke ventilation, Controls, Wiring

Inverter control for car park ventilation: Good or bad idea?

Posted by Paul Compton on 03/06/14 11:30

The debate: what is it all about?

Over the last few years there has been a lot of discussion about use of inverter control for smoke extract fans. This has centred on concerns that the changing characteristics of the fan motor as it heats up may cause inverter failure. Inverter manufacturers do offer models with an “emergency mode”, where the majority of protections are disabled with the intention of allowing the motor to run to destruction.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke Containment, Regulations, Controls, Car Park Ventilation