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Environmentally Friendly Fire Suppression System for Cargo using Innovative Green Technology

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EFFICIENT (Environmentally Friendly Fire Suppression System for Cargo using Innovative Green Technology)

Reporting period: 2017-08-01 to 2019-01-31

Fire suppression and explosion protection have used halons in many applications because they are electrically non-conductive, dissipate rapidly without residue, are safe for limited human exposure and are extremely efficient in extinguishing most types of fires. However, they have a very strong Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP). The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was designed to reduce the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances in order to reduce their abundance in the atmosphere and thereby protect the earth’s fragile ozone Layer. Many international organisations like the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have mandated earliest production and import phaseout of halons. Substitutes are reviewed on the basis of ozone depletion potential, global warming potential, toxicity, flammability, and exposure potential. The EFFICIENT project will aim to identify the various halon free agents available and undertake an extensive investigation of their fire suppression effectiveness and extinguishing concentration. It will also establish the agent distribution profile over time at standard atmospheric conditions. Based on the inputs from these investigations, the project will design a suitable fire suppression system for cargo holds of aircraft which are reliable, consistent and safe. A demonstrator will be developed to test the fire suppression system in accordance with the full-scale fire tests prescribed by the minimum performance standards promulgated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The main objective of the specified work is the development and testing of an environmentally friendly and sustainable fire suppression system intended for use on board aircraft for aircraft cargo hold fire protection. The work to be conducted will contribute to making substantial progress in finding an adequate replacement agent for those currently used Halons and in designing an economically viable halon-free fire suppression system while maintaining an equivalent level of safety compared to any state-of-the-art system in this area.
Keeping in line with the SRIA future requirements, EFFICIENT will identify and develop innovative Environmentally Friendly Fire Suppression System configurations with the potential to fulfil the Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA) key challenges relating to European industrial leadership, prioritizing research, the environment and the energy supply, while meeting the impact of market needs, environmental protection and flight safety requirements. The succeeding paragraphs bring out the objective of the project linked to SRIA’s key drivers.
WP1: Requirements and Concepts
The requirements and concepts were defined, as well as the overall system boundaries and the interfaces. The candidate suppression agents are pre-selected and characterised. Finally, a risk and opportunity analysis were completed.

WP2: System Design
The design and the specification of the system, the sub-systems, the components and their interfaces, taking into account the boundary conditions formulated under WP1, are progressing. The definition of the boundary conditions formulated under WP1 is partly achieved. Additionally, the development of the controls and indications concept is in progress, in order to provide adequate information allowing to perform a preliminary system safety analysis.

WP3: Demonstrator Development
During WP3, detailed demonstrator design with consideration to RTCA-D0160 requirements is in progress. In this context, the fire suppression test rig will be built in accordance with FAA's Minimum Performance Tests.

WP4: System Design
During WP4, a detailed plan for the determination of the (volumetric) extinguishing concentration is being processed. In this phase, a pre-test analysis and determination of the extinguishing concentration of the candidate agents to meet the required fire suppression performance is in progress.

WP5: Project Management
The Proof of signature of Implementation Agreement and Consortium Agreement, among the EFFICIENT consortium which is constituted by the Institutes: Cranfield University – Coordinator (CU), London South Bank University (LSBU) and Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) was accomplished.
During the initial kick-off meeting, the setting up of the organisational structure and the framework to coordinate EFFICIENT project was performed. At the end of WP1 several meetings having been held that supported with recommendations the evolution of the project.

A dedicated communication plan was prepared and is updated regularly:
- A common project graphical identity was developed (logo, standardised templates, etc.) and implemented throughout the project.
- A public website with dedicated sections targeting the different audiences described above. The website is being prepared by Cranfield University with support and input from all partners and be regularly updated to gain interest. Use of additional social media will be assessed and implemented if applicable.
- Workshops will be organised at the fringes of relevant conferences to present the EFFICIENT results and technologies. The relevant materials will be re-used on other events the EFFICIENT partners will attend whenever feasible.
- EFFICIENT partners will publish the project results in renowned peer-reviewed scientific-technical journals and conferences. In addition, the results will be presented at the major conferences and events.
To quantify the ambition of the EFFICIENT project it is necessary to measure advances both for the individual EFFICIENT technologies as well as for the integrated final EFFICIENT environmentally friendly fire suppression system configurations. While EFFICIENT will investigate various alternatives available in terms of a suitable agent but also a reliable system which meets the requirements of safety, less weight and the requirement to comply with minimum performance standards.
EFFICIENT will investigate the potential of a number of revolutionary (radical) Halon free fire suppression towards eliminating the impact on the environment. The technologies are aimed at producing better economic and environmental benefits of the technologies and the associated risks will be assessed on a formal and consistent basis in an effort to identify the most promising technologies. The selected technologies will be matured to TRL 6 and a roadmap will be provided for further development and sustenance of these technologies. Low TRL development of supporting technologies, such as nozzles, piping system, etc. will be supported by proof of concept. Thus the EFFICIENT consortium can draw on this experience, established development, evaluation processes and tools to achieve the objectives. The technology concepts investigated in EFFICIENT aim at entry into service by the year 2020 Therefore, many technological aspects and detailed technical solutions have already achieved high TRL levels in other contexts of application. Hence, when elevated to the level of a consistent and robust concept formulation after the EFFICIENT project is successfully completed, comparatively rapid advancements of the technology concepts can be expected.