SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - A collaborative research project evaluating the effect of high volume, low speed (HVLS) commercial fans on the effectiveness of automatic sprinklers has been awarded the 2012 Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal, further establishing safety guidelines, and consumer and insurer confidence for the fan category.
Awarded by the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Research Foundation, the project, "High Volume/Low Speed Fans and Sprinkler Operation," was a collaborative effort between insurer sponsors and HVLS manufacturers, including MacroAir, originator of the HVLS fan category in 1998 and a leading manufacturer today.
The two-part study provided direct input to update NFPA Standard 13 titled, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, and concluded that HVLS fans, when installed in accordance with NFPA 13 requirements, do not impact the performance of ESFR (early suppression, fast response) and CMDA (control mode density area) sprinkler systems.
"This project is an excellent example of industry collaboration to support research to address the incorporation of new technology into NFPA codes and standards," said Kathleen Almand, executive director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation.
The research project was conducted in two phases between 2008 and 2010
with numerous scenarios testing installation spacing, speed and other variables of HVLS fan operation on both ESFR and CMDA sprinkler systems upon fires started within rack storage and palletized commodities.
The project is the first collaborative industry research effort to offer an evaluation of HVLS fan interaction on sprinkler effectiveness, as well as directly contribute to NFPA code and standards documentation intended to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other risks.
"From the beginning of this project, we recognized the significance the research outcome would have on our industry and the importance of our participation, both in the form of our product and knowledge base," said Eddie Boyd, president of MacroAir. "We were confident in the performance of the MacroAir HVLS fan tested alongside the sprinkler systems. This is a great step forward for our relatively young industry, and our company is committed to participating in future collaborative efforts that strengthen and position HVLS fans as a safe, effective and cost-saving HVAC solution."
MacroAir contributed air flow and performance data from previous company evaluations and a 24' AirVolution fan (formally named the MaxAir Whisperfoil XL during project research), which was used in a majority of the full-scale tests. Other project participants included HVLS manufacturers Big Ass Fans and Rite-Hite Fans; insurer sponsors included CNA Insurance, FM Global, Liberty Mutual, Travelers Insurance, Zurich Insurance and XL Group. The medal was accepted during the NFPA Annual Conference in June 2012 by AON Fire Protection Engineering, which served as project contractor on behalf of the team.
For more information about the National Fire Protection Association, Standard 13, and "High Volume/Low Speed Fans and Sprinkler Operation" Phase I and II research findings, visit www.nfpa.org.
To learn about MacroAir fans and the company's contribution to the HVLS industry category and commitment to product innovation, visit www.macroairfans.com.
Since developing the first HVLS prototype in 1998, MacroAir continues to serve as an HVLS industry leader through its commitment to innovation and design of the most durable and cost-effective commercial ceiling fans on the market. As the "engineers of air,(TM)" MacroAir produces energy-efficient, long-lasting HVLS fans that are utilized by companies such as Coca-Cola and can be found in barns, warehouses, manufacturing plants, airplane hangars and retail establishments across the U.S. and around the world. To learn more about the HVLS industry and MacroAir's line of HVLS fans, visit www.macroairfans.com or call 866/668-3247. Find the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and engage with MacroAir experts via LinkedIn and Google+.