What Does VESDA Stand For And What Is Its Purpose?

October 23, 2015

A single minute can mean everything when a fire starts. Wisps of smoke are still invisible and relatively harmless, but they could burst into a full blaze at any moment. Imagine being able to clear everyone from a burning building before the fire takes hold. Fire fighters could then focus on saving the property and know that everyone was already safely outside. The installation of VESDA (Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus) detectors provides this early warning system. This broad range of sensor-driven equipment is designed to stand sentinel and continually sample the environment, sniffing for the first tenuous signs of smoke.

VESDA gear is built from a core sampling unit and a network of capillary lines, tiny tubes that continually breathe the air of the building and check each measured sample for infinitesimal particles of smoke. It's a specialized air sampling system that sets the bar high in terms of reliability and versatility. The equipment and its super-accurate sensor package is typically hidden from view in a maintenance room or a distant cabinet, a trick that standard fire detection equipment can't match because standard sensors must be strategically located in areas where airflow can be evaluated. Instead, the housing of our specialist air aspirating unit is bonded to a series of conduits, and those conduits contain the sampled air as it's drawn in from every corner of the structure. Like a smoke hunting vacuum cleaner, air is pulled into the sensor assembly from every hallway, every room and passage.

The advantages of engineering a distributed smoke detection network in this manner are many. The system can be easily configured for any environment. Office complexes use VESDA systems, as do industrial facilities and shopping centres. Even smaller spaces and convoluted passages are no challenge for the aspirating tubes as long as the network coverage is optimally distributed. Such distribution optimization also positively impacts airflow analysis and ignition point analysis, as the uniformity of the system is free of the blind spots associated with localized smoke detection technology. In fact, the network of capillary samplers can pass through narrow ceiling voids and open space with equal ease, ensuring the base unit has access to even the most isolated pockets of air.

As for the detection equipment, the digital circuitry and its associated electronic sensors, the enclosed nature of the sampling web bows to precise analysis, meaning air from a large cathedral or the environment of an oil refinery is treated with equal efficiency. Air from these diverse environments and many more pass through the tubes, enter an analysis stage, and experience rigorous examination through a series of lasers and ultrasonic sensors. Risk assessment in this scenario thus assumes a near clinically controlled context, a layout where smoke and other hazardous events can be reliably measured from second to second.

Connor Pincus Group. Consulting Engineers.

Address: 1196 Toorak Road, CAMBERWELL, VIC 3124

Phone: (03) 9835 5000
Fax: (03) 9835 5050

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