NFPA Project on HVLS Fans and Sprinkler Systems Wins Research Foundation Medal

July 2nd, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post

The 2012 Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal was awarded to the research project on “High Volume/Low Speed Fans and Sprinkler Operation”. This two-phase project was conducted to study the impact of High Volume Low Speed Fans (HVLS) on fire safety. Issues raised on their usage as they relate to general sprinkler performance garnered special attention and resulted in the conception, design and execution of a comprehensive research program based on full-scale fire tests.

Our review on the results of these fire tests can be found here.


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 complete article can be found at the NFPA website.

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