The winning project of the 2012 Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal was “High Volume/Low Speed Fans and Sprinkler Operation”. This project focused on informing spacing and other installation requirements in NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems, by initiating a comprehensive research program with two phases.
Phase II research activities included the evaluation of the effect of the high volume low speed (HVLS) fans upo the performance of both ESFR (early suppression, fast response) and CMDA (control mode density area) sprinklers protecting both rack storage and palletized commodities. The fans provided a significant energy savings for industrial facilities and were quickly introduced into the market without an assessment of their impact on sprinkler effectiveness and no guidance in NFPA 13. The timeliness of this research provided direct input into NFPA 13, removing this barrier to the further use of the fans.
The award was presented to Garner Palenske of AON Fire Protection Engineering.