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3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid Fire Wire – Summer 2020

Fire Wire is 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid’s quarterly fire suppression newsletter, developed for specifying engineers, architects and everyone else working in special hazards fire protection.

Transforming Electric Utility Fire Protection

  • A gas turbine power plant silhouetted against a blue sky.

    Could power plants have a safer future without CO2 fire suppression systems, while at the same time maintaining a commitment to sustainable fire suppression agents? Over the years, CO2 had become nearly ubiquitous as a fire suppression option for major electric utilities – yet its lethality not only puts workers at risk but also requires extinguishment delays due to lockout periods.

    In 2019, a major electric utility worked with 3M to find a solution to replace its aging CO2 fire suppression system. The utility needed a fire protection agent that would combine effective, quick extinguishing performance with worker safety to protect its gas turbines and enable it to meet surge generating capacity needs. Plus, the system and agent needed to meet the NFPA 37 standard and follow guidance in the NFPA 850 recommended practice for gas turbine fire protection, including a 20-minute hold time at extinguishing concentration. The tests, conducted using 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid, were highly successful and included a demonstration of a hold time 450% longer than NFPA standards. As a result, the utility began installing new systems using 3M Novec 1230 fluid to protect its facilities – a smart, safe, sustainable CO₂ replacement and fire suppression solution for the future of power generation.


Working and Learning Online in Fire Suppression


Fact or Fiction: 3M Novec 1230 fluid won’t leave any residue on archival materials, artifacts or other delicate items

  • Two megaphones pointing in opposite directions, labeled “Fact” and “Fiction”

    Fact. 3M Novec 1230 fluid evaporates 50 times faster than water, and does so without leaving any sticky, soggy or other unpleasant residue behind. So, not long after a discharge, and after the fire is extinguished, any materials in the protected space will be free of any residue and free of damage.

    Historical documents, paintings, delicate historical artifacts and vital business records are often kept in carefully climate controlled spaces to extend their lifespan and protect against even the natural humidity of the air. So. it’s not enough to just put out a fire if everything in the protected space ends up soaked with water from a sprinkler discharge. Instead, 3M Novec 1230 fluid evaporates cleanly and without residue. That’s why, according to one specifying engineer, “for national treasures, world treasures, irreplaceable treasures, Novec’s really the only option.”1

    Check out a few of the historical archives, museums and more one-of-a-kind items protected by systems using 3M Novec 1230 fluid:

    The St. John’s Bible Gallery1 (PDF, 567 KB)

    The Smithsonian Institution (PDF, 469.43 KB)

    An Italian company’s most valuable exhibits and dossiers (PDF, 241.78 KB)


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