With the ever expanding construction of refrigerated food distribution warehouses, owners are maximizing building heights in order to increase storage rack heights and the amount of product that can be retained. This sets the stage for large high-challenge fires to develop. Traditional fire protection of these refrigerated and freezer type facilities was limited to double interlock pre-action systems with rows of fire sprinklers also being included in the storage racks. In-rack type sprinklers have always been problematic and damage from fork-lifts can cause system discharges that can ruin the stored products and also result in water becoming frozen within the system piping.
An innovative approach was taken that departed from the previous control mode and suppression mode design methods that eliminated the need for in-rack sprinklers. QUELL Preaction and Dry Systems were developed with the idea of employing a sprinkler operation area sufficient to “surround and drown” a high-challenge fire. System design relies upon specific hydraulic calculation requirements utilizing Ultra K17 sprinkler heads along with fluid delivery time calculations utilizing a special version of the SprinkFTD Fluid Delivery Calculation Program with enhanced features only available to licensed Quell contractors.
QUELL system design criteria currently allows for Class II and Class III commodities to be stored up to 40’ high with a 48’ ceiling height. Class IV commodities can be stored up to 30’ high with a 35’ ceiling height. Also, Quell technology is presently the only method available for providing dry pipe sprinkler protection to cartoned Group A unexpanded plastic commodities stored above 25’ that does not require the use of in-rack sprinklers.
A QUELL training and certification program is required for licensed sprinkler designers and installers to learn key aspects of the QUELL systems and the parameters that are critical to the successful employment of a QUELL system. American Fire Protection Group is one of only very few QUELL trained and certified contractors in the fire protection industry.
If you’re interested in learning about a QUELL system, talk to the experts at American Fire Protection Group.