A sprinkler system consists of a pipe system with sprinklers, traversing all areas of the building that are to be protected. When the system is in operational readiness, a liquid-filled glass bulb seals the sprinkler. If the air temperature exceed a preset threshold value due to a fire, the expanding liquid bursts the glass bulb and activates the sprinkler. The extinguishing water hits the deflector which distributes it evenly across the fire source. Thus the fire as a rule can be extinguished with just a few sprinklers, and the damage is reduced to a minimum. At the same time, an alarm is sent to the in-house and external fire fighting services.
The ESS 5000 electronic control panel serves both as a control panel for electrically driven sprinkler pumps and as a monitoring panel. Depending on the version it can be used both for powering the sprinkler pump from just the mains and also with redundant power via an auxiliary power supply. Optionally the ESS 5000 can also be used for certain fire detection- and extinguishing control functions.
In wet installations the piping network is completely filled with pressurized water. If the sprinkler bulbs captured by the heat of the fire burst, water immediately flows out.
Dry systems are used in frost-hazard or high-temperature areas. Here the sprinkler pipes are filled with compressed air or nitrogen. The extinguishing water is supplied as far as the dry alarm valve station. The drop in pressure when the sprinklers are opened causes the dry alarm valve to automatically open, the pipework is flooded and water escapes at the sprinkler.
Pre-action dry systems are a combination of fire detector and sprinkler system. Water damage, e.g. In the event of unintended damage to a sprinkler, is avoided, because before the extinguishing water escapes, the fire detection system must also respond. This additional fire detection and extinguishing control function is assumed in Minimax sprinkler systems by the ESS 5000. If a sprinkler should open without the fire detection system responding, an appropriate error message is sent via the electrical monitoring on the ESS 5000.
In both wet- and dry systems Minimax recommends the installation of inspection valves above the alarm valve stations. The use of inspection valves avoids the sprinkler pipes having to be drained and then refilled in the course of the regular maintenance (half-yearly or annual) of the alarm valves. This makes the breaks in operations required for this substantially shorter. For wet systems, considerable quantities of water are saved and then danger of corrosion in the pipework above the alarm valves is reduced since no supply of oxygen-rich fresh water takes place.
Furthermore if solutions for corrosion protection or for other purposes are mixed into the water, costs for replacing these solutions during a refill are saved. In dry systems inspection valves are particularly practical if the pipework is filled with nitrogen instead of compressed air for the purposes of corrosion prevention.