Danfoss pumps chosen to protect Chinese cultural heritage from fire

Friday, September 25, 2020
PAH high-pressure pumps selected to power advanced high-pressure water mist fire suppression system in China

PAH high-pressure pumps selected to power advanced high-pressure water mist fire suppression system in China

Hubei Province has long been the economic and cultural hub of Central China. In a region where civilization has thrived for millennia, the Hubei Provincial Archives has the important responsibility of maintaining and protecting the province’s collection of nearly one million extremely valuable books, paintings, calligraphy and other historical documents. When the government decided to build a new 60,000 m² building to house these very flammable treasures, many of which date back to the Ming Dynasty, the Danfoss series of high-pressure PAH pumps and other components were selected to power the advanced High-pressure water mist fire suppression system

Hubei Province’s new archives building is purpose-built to store Central China’s largest collection of historical documents. Because its unique collection is largely paper-based, engineers from fire-suppression specialist HeFei KDLian proposed early on that the system should be a water mist. This system suppresses flames by reducing heat and removing oxygen – resulting in considerably less water damage to the precious documents should the system need to be activated in case of fire.

According to HeFei KDLian General Manager, Jin Weidong, “The sheer size of the archive building places special demands on the high-pressure components of the water mist system. With 15 floors above ground, one floor underground, and a building height of 63.7 m, the system must include many high-pressure pumps and other components, all of which need to be regularly maintained. Thus, long maintenance intervals and the highest standards of reliability were critical selection criteria.”

Almost as important, however, were the demands to save space. The client and their architects placed a high premium on developing a fire-suppression solution which would leave as much room as possible for the growing archive.

HeFei KDLian has extensive experience with the Danfoss range of high-pressure pumps and had used them in many projects before this. Thus, its engineers were confident in selecting the PAH pumps as the high-pressure fire-suppression system’s workhorse. In all, the new Hubei Provincial Archive uses 85 PAH 80 as both main pumps to provide misting pressure and jockey pumps to pressurize water from the water supply to the main pumps throughout the 60,000 m² structure.

“We know PAH pumps to be extremely reliable and very low main­tenance,” says Jin, “with a service interval of 8,000 hours compared to 500 for other pumps. But they are also much more compact than competing three-piston pumps, which require four times as much valuable space as the Danfoss system.”  

HeFei KDLian also chose to use Danfoss solenoid valves, check valves, and pressure relief valves. “Roughly half of all critical com­ponents in the archive’s water mist system are from Danfoss,” ex­plains Jin. “This simplifies many things for the end user and for us. Fire suppression systems for such sensitive applications are strictly controlled by the government, and the testing and administrative work to fulfill compliance requirements is substantial. Having one proven supplier with an excellent quality control systems and track record, in China and abroad, significantly reduces the administrative workload.”


Jin notes that Danfoss PAH high-pressure pumps’ IATF 16949 cer­tification also played an important role in the selection process. “IATF 16949 is a very stringent quality management system,” he says. “Its focus on preventing defects and establishing processes that drive continual improvement are vital when choosing pumps for an application as sensitive as this.”

Planned to open in 2021, the Hubei Provincial Archives is ready to house the province’s massive collection of historical artifacts.

“Despite the scale of this new water mist fire-suppression system, installation was smooth,” relates Jin. “Cooperation with the end user, architects and construction companies – and Danfoss, both in China and Denmark – has been excellent. We are proud to be part of this effort to preserve our cultural heritage for the next many generations to study and enjoy.”

Related products

Download the case study as PDF