Welcome to the new world of turbine-aided fire fighting!
Published: 11 July, 2014
Italian company puts a turbine to work atomising water into a fine mist.
EmiControls based in Bolzano (South Tyrol, Italy) has now started production of the TAF20, which it says will ‘introduce a paradigm shift in the world of fire fighting’. The TAF20 is the result of research into achieving more efficient fire and smoke control through the combination of water atomization with innovative vehicles and bolt-on installations.
The TAF20 is basically a turbine mounted on a tracked vehicle.
The turbine atomises large quantities of water into a fine mist to achieve a greater cooling effect over a large surface area. This method is more efficient at dispersing smoke and soot particles than conventional fire monitors.
The mist smothers burning objects and can also access parts of the fire source which are out of reach to a conventional extinguisher jet.
The turbine is suitable for use with extinguishing foam and flame inhibitors, and can be used for ventilation. It can be lifted to a height of up to four meters, and the vehicle rotates 360° (the angle of the turbine ranges from -20° to +50°).
Up to 3,500 l/min water can be atomised to an effective spray that targets the source of the fire.
It is envisaged that the active binding of the soot particles and the high efficiency of the fan will prove particularly advantageous in tunnel fires. In such cases, the TAF20 is sent by remote control into the tunnel ahead of the fire fighting crew who can follow at a safe distance.
The large surface area of water gives the product enormous potential for use in industrial plants. The flames are knocked down quicker and with less water.
In urban areas the damage caused by fire water runoff could be minimised due to the reduced quantity of water used by the TAF. The reduction in smoke and soot emissions would benefit neighbouring residents and fire fighting crews.
The TAF system has undergone a number of tests by different institutions, including the Saxony-Anhalt Fire Services Institute, MPA Dresden, MOL Refinery, and TST Tunnel Safety Testing.
About the inventors
EmiControls emerged in 2011 from the international TechnoAlpin Group, which has been engaged in the construction of turnkey snow-making systems since 1990 and is world leader in this field.
Today TechnoAlpin is represented in over 40 countries around the globe and employs some 350 people all over the world. The headquarters of both the TechnoAlpin Group and the subsidiary EmiControls are located in Bolzano (South Tyrol, Italy).