Case Studies

NASA Sophisticated Engine Rooms, Equipment Space, and Control Rooms.

Selecting an effective replacement fire protection system for NASA’s crawler transporters, the largest self-powered machines in the world. They carried the Space Shuttle with 1,350,000 kilograms of rocket fuel; failure was not an option. Adding to the complexity were the number of hazards in various discrete spaces including sensitive electrical equipment, hydraulic, equipment and engine spaces with limited spare space and punishing vibrations which made protection extremely difficult. When designed they used a halon system which
had to be replaced. They also wanted a solution with no or low GWP.

What to use for a halon replacement?

Alternatives considered:

FM-200               Rejected, tank size, piping size, Global Warming Potential
CO2                      Rejected, tank size, piping size
Ecaro (FE-25)    Rejected, tank size, piping size, Global Warming Potential
NOVEC 1230      No GWP, possible to fit in tanks. (See detail chart below.)

NOVEC 1230 vs. Stat-X®

Issue Novec 1230 Stat-X® Aerosol Fire Suppression
Room Integrity With ventilation, diesel engines, and
many compartments and penetrations,
even with a steel structure, achieving
room integrity was difficult. Gas
systems, and NOVEC flashes into a gas
on release, require careful room sealing
whose expense often exceeds the direct
costs of the extinguishing system.
Stat-X particulate is much less sensitive
to leakage rates and room pressure
changes during discharge are minimal.
The design program compensates for
leakage rates. Stat-X solutions have
been created for leakage rates as high
as 7{c0800b06ac212de69cfc05ac3a21173968e58200577490a0cd190f48e00a292d} and high airflows.
Pipe Runs The crawler had a number of widely
separated areas to protect with many
individual compartments requiring
extensive piping in tight quarters.
NOVEC allows smaller diameter pipes
as it can run as a liquid in them.
Stat-X is connected to panels with low
voltage electrical connections allowing
small diameter fixed or flexible electrical
Vibration—4.4 MM Kg
loaded weight with treads
driven by diesel engines
Maintaining integrity of the pipe runs
and seals despite the vibrations.
Stat-X generators have been tested to
the most rigorous military specs including
extensive vibration and drop tests.
Expense For this application—not a problem. Much less expensive, particularly due to
ease of installation.

The Solution:
NASA installed a NOVEC 1230 system. They were unaware of Stat-X when they made the decision. With the NOVEC installation they were unable to resolve piping leakage issues caused by the difficult pipe runs and vibrations. The NOVEC system also repeatedly failed room integrity test. They were unable to commission the system despite extensive efforts. They tore out the NOVEC and replaced it with a Stat-X at a dramatically lower cost for both shuttle crawlers.