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Christmas Tree Extinguisher

Postby Supersnail » Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:04 pm

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He should use CO2 instead of water. He could fit a much greater volume of oxygen displacing CO2 in the same space.... and there would be less risk of electrocution or the water shorting out other circuits.

Postby Contextion » Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:46 am

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Yeah he could just have a fire extinguisher in the shape of an angel that would go off when a fire was started. If water is to be used he might as well just have a bunch of ornament shaped balloons filled with water that will burst with fire. You also could just coat your tree with that unburnable paint and prevent the fire before its started.

Postby toyotaboy02 » Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:06 pm

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a Co2 system would probably be harder to trigger.. if it wasn't, then automatic extinguishers at companies might have something like that. It would be very easy to activate a cheap aquirium pump and shoot it through a nozzle to spray it.. And if your worried about the water making things worse, you could always fill it with that waterless water that 3m developed.

Postby Supersnail » Sat Jun 16, 2007 5:49 am

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toyotaboy02 wrote:a Co2 system would probably be harder to trigger.. if it wasn't, then automatic extinguishers at companies might have something like that. It would be very easy to activate a cheap aquirium pump and shoot it through a nozzle to spray it.. And if your worried about the water making things worse, you could always fill it with that waterless water that 3m developed.


Either a H2O or CO2 system would use the same type of trigger. Likely a electronic solenoid valve triggered by a simple thermocouple sensor, or some such. Either system would also have to be battery powered (trickle charged battery hooked up to the mains to maintain the charge) because a tree fire could possible involve an electrical fault that may indeed cause a loss of AC power to the system.

The idea of using a aquarium pump would simply introduce another point of failure in the system. Not only that, but a pump would have to lift the water to the top of the tree (6ft plus) and still be able to provide enough pressure to spray the water down over the tree in a great enough rate to be effective. If you were to use water, a more reliable method would be to pressurize the water with a inert gas like CO2, but using straight CO2 would be simpler because the gas could deliver itself without help from any pump or pressurization system, because the CO2 is naturally under pressure.

In the space that you could place an H2O system that could contain 1ft³ (approx 2 gal), you could place a CO2 system that could contain more than 40ft³. Not only can you store more volume of CO2 in the same space, it would also weigh less than half as much as a H2O system. 2 gallons of water is 16 pounds by itself plus all the extra hardware require to deliver the water to the top of the tree. Compare that to 5 pounds for 40 cubic feet of carbon dioxide under pressure with no extra hardware required to lift the gas to the top of the tree.

EDIT: Just thinking about this... A CO2 system could simply use a perforated tube running up the tree with no need for the angel (use whatever tree topper you like). The tube would flood the entire area of the tree with the gas. CO2 would also give you the ability to use a smaller diameter tube, making it easier to hide the system.

Postby Contextion » Sat Jun 16, 2007 7:20 am

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That 3m waterless water - a.k.a. Novec 1230 - is some neat stuff. Check out this laptop submerged in the liquid. It still works.

Image
Last edited by Contextion on Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

Postby AmericanCynic » Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:44 am

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It doesn't need a solenoid valve or any such complexity. A simple fusible link like any sprinkler head would work.

As for Novac, first, it's Novec, not Novac. Second, it's not all that special in terms of fire suppression. Any number of clean agents can do similar things. Its claim to fame is that it's liquid until dispensed and not damaging to the environment. But like most clean agents, it's way too expensive to use in the home.

Postby Supersnail » Sat Jun 16, 2007 3:30 pm

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True, a fusible link might work, but IIRC, fusible links, like in sprinklers, are dependent on the heat piling up on the ceiling and are somewhat slow to react. If you have a 6ft tree, and 8ft ceilings, by the time the heat gets low enough to trigger the valve, the tree may well be fully involved. With a solenoid valve, you could have several small sensors placed throughout the tree, and suppress the fire before it causes much damage. You could also set the device up to disconnect the tree lights from the mains.

OBTW, did you know that pure water is a good electrical insulator?

Postby toyotaboy02 » Sat Jun 16, 2007 3:57 pm

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aren't there reasonably priced chips that detect temperature? perhaps you could have several of these chips monitoring temp at various heights inside the tree, and have it digitally start the system.

Postby Supersnail » Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:20 pm

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Digital isn't necessary. The system could be completely analog. Thermocouples, thermistors, or resistance thermometers that trip a relay at a set value triggering the solenoid valve and de-energizing the relay that allows ac current to the tree lights.

However, an ADC would be cheap and allow for more precision in the circuit, but is that kind of precision really needed in this type of circuit? I wouldn't think so.