Cal Poly

Research

Compressed air foam systems for structural firefighting

Compressed air foam (CAF) used for firefighting involves applying a solution of water and a class-A foam concentrate in a mixture with compressed air to control or extinguish a fire. In the 1970's this technique gained popularity for use in wildland fire fighting, and in the decades that followed it was further adapted for fighting structural fires. This included it being incorporated into apparatus used by urban/suburban fire departments.

Over the years the use of this technology for structural firefighting has not evolved as fully as had been anticipated. Despite generally favorable reviews on the overall extinguishing capabilities of CAFS, questions and concerns remain on certain performance characteristics such as operational tactics, maintenance, and reliability. This project seeks to provide a comprehensive scientific study on the use of CAFS for structural firefighting.

This two year project is led by California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) and involves a collaborative effort with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) in coordination with fire service partners. One of the tasks of the project is to conduct a workshop with interested and experienced parties to discuss safety effectiveness implications associated with CAFS, and to review and discuss the proposed project research plan. Please follow this link to download the FPRF report that documents all pertinent information relating to this workshop, which was held in December, 2011, in Montgomery County, MD.

Follow this link to download the full report.

Smart Grid and NFPA Electrical Safety Codes and Standards

NIST and other government agencies are undertaking a comprehensive series of programs to develop technology and information to enable the rapid transition to the next generation of power distribution through the Smart Grid initiative. This transition has major impacts for the safety of the built infrastructure as it interfaces with the grid through energy storage systems, photovoltaics, metering and control systems, etc. In order to receive widespread acceptance of this new technology, its safety aspects must be addressed through the nation's infrastructure safety codes and standards.

This report, prepared by researchers at Cal Poly, presents the results of a project whose overall goal is to facilitate the safe integration of Smart Grid technology in the nation's electrical safety infrastructure. It describes a review of technologies likely to impact electrical safety and presents an assessment of needed changes to codes and standards and a roadmap for needed research on this topic.

Follow this link to download the full report.

Electrical Vehicle Charging and NFPA Electrical Safety Codes

Recent forecasts indicate that almost one million Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) or Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEV) charge points will need to be installed in the United States by 2015, with approximately one-third of these being non-residential charging units. The National Electrical Code® addresses the safety of the built infrastructure wrt to charging and in 2011 a Task Force was established to explore this issue and its implications for the NEC. This project was undertaken in support of that Task Force.

This report, prepared by researchers at Cal Poly, presents the results of a project whose overall goal is to facilitate the safe integration of electric vehicles in the nation's electrical safety infrastructure. It describes a review of technologies likely to impact electrical safety and presents an assessment of needed changes to codes and standards and a roadmap for needed research on this topic.

Follow this link to download the full report.

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