Fike Charges into Fluoroketone Market

June 18, 2018

4/12/18

By MDM Publishing Ltd
Gulf Fire

With its recent launch of chemical clean agent FK-5-1-12, Fike International Sdn. Bhd. now features one of the most diverse and comprehensive fire suppression lineups for use in both commercial and industrial environments.

FK-5-1-12 is the most eco-friendly chemical clean agent available. It offers all the effectiveness of other chemical agent solutions but with zero ozone-depleting potential and a global warming potential of just one. Its non-conductive and non-corrosive properties make the clean agent safe to use in all environments. And little residue equals little downtime and cleanup required after discharge.

All of these properties make FK-5-1-12 one of the most sought after chemical agents of today’s special fire hazard solutions, and it is now a key asset in Fike’s product portfolio.

The Fike Difference

There are several manufacturers of FK-5-1-12 fire suppression systems. However, Fike’s FK-5-1-12 fire suppression systems offer the following distinct advantages:

  • Best-in-Class Flow – Only Fike’s FK-5-1-12 fire suppression solution comes equipped with proprietary Impulse Valve Technology. Featuring Fike’s reverse-acting Axius™ Rupture Disc, the Impulse Valve allows for a full, unrestricted flow of agent upon discharge. This results in minimal friction losses, allowing for longer pipe runs, smaller diameter pipes and greater design flexibility.
  • Cost Effective – Why pay more for less? Fike is among the lowest priced sources of FK-5-1-12 extinguishant, and, with Fike, you’re not just purchasing the chemical agent. You’re also purchasing the state-of-the-art Fike hardware and the dedicated customer service Fike is known for – at an industry-leading price.
  • Fast Acting – Upon discharge the agent fills the protected area in less than 10 seconds, suppressing fires well before damage occurs. Because it operates at pressures 40 percent greater than a standard 360 psi system, the Fike system naturally has longer flow capabilities. This provides more design flexibility, including the option to locate the system further from the protected space.
  • Custom-Fit Solutions – At its core, Fike is a problem solver. And sometimes problems are solved with multiple solutions, such as through the use of water mist, inert gases and/or chemical agents. The addition of FK-5-1-12 allows Fike the flexibility to further develop custom-fit options for virtually any application.
  • Data Centers – FK-5-1-12 is safe for electronics and requires no cleanup, making it the ideal agent for protecting data centers and other environments containing sensitive electronics.
  • Control Rooms – Because it is non-conductive and leaves behind little residue, FK-5-1-12 is the agent of choice for protecting the control rooms that manage systems in manufacturing, processing or power-producing facilities.
  • Valuable Assets – In environments like museums and historical archives, water can be as damaging as the fire it extinguishes. Fike’s FK 5-1-12 system extinguishes a fire in its most incipient stage, and is itself non-damaging to even the most sensitive materials.
  • Other Applications – Fike has helped design and outfit hundreds of organizations with custom-fit fire suppression solutions, from machine shops to medical facilities to everything in between.

Its effectiveness at quickly suppressing fires while also protecting the environment has established FK-5-1-12 as one of the most trusted chemical agents available. And now, coupled with Fike’s Impulse Valve Technology, experience and customer service, FK-5-1-12 just got even better.

Notice: Fike® FK-5-1-12 systems may not be transported through, or installed in, any of the following countries: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, the UK, or the USA.

For more information, go to www.fk-5-1-12.com.

Original article can be found here.

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Has Climate Change Run Its Course?

June 7, 2018

Illustration: David Gothard

6/4/18

By Steven F. Hayward
The Wall Street Journal

Climate change is over. No, I’m not saying the climate will not change in the future, or that human influence on the climate is negligible. I mean simply that climate change is no longer a pre-eminent policy issue. All that remains is boilerplate rhetoric from the political class, frivolous nuisance lawsuits, and bureaucratic mandates on behalf of special-interest renewable-energy rent seekers.

Judged by deeds rather than words, most national governments are backing away from forced-marched decarbonization. You can date the arc of climate change as a policy priority from 1988, when highly publicized congressional hearings first elevated the issue, to 2018. President Trump’s ostentatious withdrawal from the Paris Agreement merely ratified a trend long becoming evident.

A good indicator of why climate change as an issue is over can be found early in the text of the Paris Agreement. The “nonbinding” pact declares that climate action must include concern for “gender equality, empowerment of women, and intergenerational equity” as well as “the importance for some of the concept of ‘climate justice.’ ” Another is Sarah Myhre’s address at the most recent meeting of the American Geophysical Union, in which she proclaimed that climate change cannot fully be addressed without also grappling with the misogyny and social injustice that have perpetuated the problem for decades.

The descent of climate change into the abyss of social-justice identity politics represents the last gasp of a cause that has lost its vitality. Climate alarm is like a car alarm—a blaring noise people are tuning out.

This outcome was predictable. Political scientist Anthony Downs described the downward trajectory of many political movements in an article for the Public Interest, “Up and Down With Ecology: The ‘Issue-Attention Cycle,’ ” published in 1972, long before the climate-change campaign began. Observing the movements that had arisen to address issues like crime, poverty and even the U.S.-Soviet space race, Mr. Downs discerned a five-stage cycle through which political issues pass regularly.

The first stage involves groups of experts and activists calling attention to a public problem, which leads quickly to the second stage, wherein the alarmed media and political class discover the issue. The second stage typically includes a large amount of euphoric enthusiasm—you might call it the “dopamine” stage—as activists conceive the issue in terms of global peril and salvation. This tendency explains the fanaticism with which divinity-school dropouts Al Gore and Jerry Brown have warned of climate change.

Then comes the third stage: the hinge. As Mr. Downs explains, there soon comes “a gradually spreading realization that the cost of ‘solving’ the problem is very high indeed.” That’s where we’ve been since the United Nations’ traveling climate circus committed itself to the fanatical mission of massive near-term reductions in fossil fuel consumption, codified in unrealistic proposals like the Kyoto Protocol. This third stage, Mr. Downs continues, “becomes almost imperceptibly transformed into the fourth stage: a gradual decline in the intensity of public interest in the problem.”

While opinion surveys find that roughly half of Americans regard climate change as a problem, the issue has never achieved high salience among the public, despite the drumbeat of alarm from the climate campaign. Americans have consistently ranked climate change the 19th or 20th of 20 leading issues on the annual Pew Research Center poll, while Gallup’s yearly survey of environmental issues typically ranks climate change far behind air and water pollution.

“In the final stage,” Mr. Downs concludes, “an issue that has been replaced at the center of public concern moves into a prolonged limbo—a twilight realm of lesser attention or spasmodic recurrences of interest.” Mr. Downs predicted correctly that environmental issues would suffer this decline, because solving such issues involves painful trade-offs that committed climate activists would rather not make.

A case in point is climate campaigners’ push for clean energy, whereas they write off nuclear power because it doesn’t fit their green utopian vision. A new study of climate-related philanthropy by Matthew Nisbet found that of the $556.7 million green-leaning foundations spent from 2011-15, “not a single grant supported work on promoting or reducing the cost of nuclear energy.” The major emphasis of green giving was “devoted to mobilizing public opinion and to opposing the fossil fuel industry.”

Scientists who are genuinely worried about the potential for catastrophic climate change ought to be the most outraged at how the left politicized the issue and how the international policy community narrowed the range of acceptable responses. Treating climate change as a planet-scale problem that could be solved only by an international regulatory scheme transformed the issue into a political creed for committed believers. Causes that live by politics, die by politics.

Mr. Hayward is a senior resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Original article can be found here.


FSSA Strategic Plan 2017-2022

June 7, 2018


Is Ozone Depletion, and Not Greenhouse Gases, the Cause of Global Warming?

May 7, 2018

4/20/18

By Dr. Peter L. Ward
R&D

Chlorofluorocarbon gases (CFCs) became widely utilized in the mid-1960s-as refrigerants such as Freon, as fire retardants such as Halon, as spray-can propellants, as solvents, and as foam-blowing agents. CFCs were far more stable, far more chemically inert than alternatives and were, therefore, much safer to use. Unfortunately, they are so stable that they are likely to last in the atmosphere for more than 100 years.

Within three to five years, the time we now know it takes for CFCs to reach the stratosphere, annual average global temperatures began rising. By 1973, James Lovelock, using his new electron capture detector, found significant amounts of CFC-11 in all 50 air samples collected pole to pole. Stimulated by Lovelock’s work, Mario Molina and Sherwood Rowland discovered in 1974 that when CFCs reach the stratosphere, they can be broken down by solar ultraviolet radiation ultimately freeing atoms of chlorine. One atom of chlorine can destroy 100,000 molecules of ozone by catalytic processes that are particularly effective in polar stratospheric clouds.

Ozone is created when solar ultraviolet-C radiation dissociates an oxygen molecule into two oxygen atoms, which then combine with oxygen molecules to form ozone (O3). Ultraviolet-B solar radiation then dissociates ozone back into an oxygen atom and an oxygen molecule. This ozone-oxygen cycle, known as the Chapman cycle, is continuous so that a molecule of ozone only lasts, on average, about 8.3 days. The ozone layer, 12 to 19 miles above Earth, is the region of the atmosphere where the physical-chemical conditions are most favorable for the ozone-oxygen cycle.

When a molecule such as oxygen or ozone is dissociated, the molecular pieces fly apart at high velocity, instantly converting all the bond energy into kinetic energy of translation. Average kinetic energy of translation of all atoms and molecules making up a gas is, according to the kinetic theory of gases, directly proportional to the temperature of a gas. Thus, high concentrations of ozone show regions of localized warming that were first observed to affect weather and climate by Gordon Dobson in the 1920s.

When ozone is depleted, less ultraviolet-B is absorbed within the ozone layer, cooling the ozone layer, as observed from 1970 to 1998. More ultraviolet-B is then observed to reach Earth, where it penetrates tens of yards into oceans and is thus absorbed very efficiently. Increased ultraviolet-B also dissociates ground-level ozone pollution, warming air in industrial regions. This explains why global warming from 1970 to 1998 was twice as great in the northern hemisphere, containing 90% of world population, than in the southern hemisphere. Ozone depletion is greatest in polar regions during the winter, explaining why the greatest warming observed from 1970 to 1998 was of minimum temperatures in polar regions, a phenomenon known as polar amplification.

In 1985, Joe Farman, Brian Gardiner, and Jon Shanklin discovered depletion of the ozone layer over Antarctica by as much as 70% in austral spring. Scientists suddenly realized that ozone depletion was a much bigger problem than had been thought. Within two years, scientists and political leaders developed the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer mandating cutbacks in CFC production beginning January 1989.

By 1993, increases of CFCs in the atmosphere stopped. By 1995, increases in ozone depletion stopped. By 1998, increases in average global temperatures stopped. The ozone layer remains depleted, the ocean continues to warm, ice continues to melt, and sea-level continues to rise, but global temperatures did not change significantly from 1998 through 2013. They also had not changed much from 1945 to 1970. Thus, humans appear to have accidentally caused the warming starting around 1970 by manufacturing large amounts of CFCs and to have accidentally stopped the warming of air in 1998 while trying to limit ozone depletion.

Meanwhile, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide rose linearly, but at ever-increasing rates, showing no direct relationship to the details of observed global warming. Dozens of peer-reviewed scientific papers by leading atmospheric scientists have tried to explain, based on greenhouse-warming theory, why global temperatures did not change much from 1998 through 2013, a phenomenon dubbed the global warming hiatus. While they suggest many interesting ideas, there has been little agreement.

In 2014, the volcano Bárðarbunga, in central Iceland, extruded basaltic lava covering 33 square miles of terrain in six months, the largest basaltic lava flow since 1783. These types of lava flows, covering tens to millions of square miles, have been contemporaneous with periods of greatest global warming, ocean acidification, and mass extinctions throughout all of geologic time. For example, 251 million years ago, the Siberian basalts covered an area of 2.7 million square miles, the size of the continental United States less Montana and Texas. Imagine basaltic lava extending from New York to San Francisco—from Seattle to Miami. Eruption of these basalts warmed the ocean to hot tub temperatures, killing 95% of all species living at the time. Basalts emit prodigious amounts of chlorine and bromine that seem to cause ozone depletion, although the precise chemical path has yet to be deciphered. The eruption of Bárðarbunga appears to have caused very rapid global warming from 2014 to 2016, which began to decrease in 2017 and should return to 2013 values within a decade.

The increase in tropospheric chlorine (green line) caused by manufacturing of chlorofluorocarbon gases led to increased ozone depletion (black line), which led to increased temperature (red bars).

In the 1980s, many leading scientists were convinced that greenhouse gases were the cause of global warming, that Earth was in danger of overheating during the 21st century as emissions of greenhouse gases increase, and that scientists must demonstrate consensus in order to convince political leaders to take the expensive steps necessary to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Through the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme, they helped form the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988. The IPCC has involved thousands of climate scientists writing tens of thousands of pages of thoughtful science supporting greenhouse-warming theory. The IPCC never did question the widespread assumption, however, that greenhouse gases were the primary cause of global warming. In December 2015, this effort reached fruition with the Paris Agreement where leaders of nearly all countries agreed to work together to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

Science, however, is not done by popular vote. Science is not done by consensus. Consensus is the stuff of politics; debate is the stuff of science. Science is never settled. As Michael Crichton put it at Caltech in 2003: “In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”

IPCC scientists are so convinced by their consensus and so tired of arguing with climate skeptics, that they refuse to even think about ozone depletion. Their models calculate that greenhouse gases absorb a lot more terrestrial infrared radiation than the small amount of solar ultraviolet-B radiation reaching Earth when ozone is depleted. Yet what they fail to realize is that the energy in thermal radiation is not a function of amount; it is a function of frequency. Ultraviolet-B radiation has 48 times the frequency of infrared radiation absorbed most strongly by carbon dioxide, 48 times the energy—has the potential to make the temperature of the absorbing body 48 times hotter. Ultraviolet-B radiation has enough energy to cause sunburn, skin cancer, and cataracts, something no amount of infrared energy can do. After all, you get much warmer standing in sunlight than standing outside at night with terrestrial infrared radiation welling up around you. I can now show that greenhouse gases do not absorb enough heat to be the primary cause of observed global warming.

Climate models based on greenhouse-warming theory have not predicted temperatures correctly since 1998. The major warming they predict later this century is highly unlikely to occur. As political leaders try to find ways to reduce greenhouse-gas concentrations with anticipated costs running in the trillions of dollars, they need to understand that this may have zero effect on reducing global warming.

Meanwhile, as long as ozone remains depleted relative to 1970 levels, the ocean will continue to warm. Recovery of the ozone layer is being slowed by a considerable black market in CFCs because people in poorer countries cannot afford to replace their refrigerators and air conditioners that depend on CFCs. Plus, shorter-lived substances such as dichloromethanes are having more of a negative effect on ozone levels than previously realized. If we really want to reduce our negative effect on climate, we need to focus on reducing ozone depletion. We also need to start thinking about our options when large flows of basaltic lavas start forming.

Dr. Peter L. Ward worked 27 years with the United States Geological Survey as research geophysicist, branch chief, and program manager. He helped develop and manage a major national research program, chaired a committee at the White House, testified before Congress, worked on a committee for Vice President Gore, published dozens of scientific papers, and won two national awards for explaining science to the general public. He retired in 1998, working intensely for the past twelve years, trying to resolve several enigmatic observations related to climate change.

Ward’s analysis and theory are explained in detail on his website, WhyClimateChanges.com, and in his new book: “What Really Causes Global Warming? Greenhouse Gases or Ozone Depletion?”

Original story can be found here.


FSSA Remembers Robert (Bob) Avery

April 23, 2018

4/11/18

FSSA

FSSA regrets to inform you of the passing of Robert (Bob) Avery, 85, on Thursday, April 5, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. He was the beloved husband of Barbara, and children Bobby, Michael, Charlene, Larry, Deborah, John, Carrie; 15 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. He is survived also by two brothers: Charlie and Bill Avery.

Bob was born and raised in Dallas, Texas to the late Richard and Lilie Mae Avery and was one of four boys. He graduated from Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas and went on to start Universal Fire Equipment Company in 1965. During those years, Bob served on the committee with the Texas State Fire Marshalls office and the State Board of Insurance to develop and get fire entry systems codes and regulations assigned into law. He received the 1st certificate of regulation ECR001.

Bob was a Founding Member of the Fire Suppression Systems Association (FSSA), and served on the organization’s first Board of Directors. He was the Installers Division Chair and served on several FSSA committees.

He will be remembered as a strong loving husband and father. Bob was an active member of the Catholic Church. He loved to travel and took his family on many family outings. He had a love of gardening and enjoyed playing golf. His favorite place to be was on his yacht out on the lake with his love, Barbara by his side.

A Funeral Mass was heard on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at St. Judes Catholic Church in Allen, Texas.

Expressions of sympathy and tributes can be made at https://www.dignitymemorial.com/funeral-homes/plano-tx


Time to Break Up Johnson Controls?

April 9, 2018

Photographer: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

3/12/18

By Brooke Sutherland
Bloomberg Gadfly

Its margins still lag those of big rivals, and there’s no sign of the pressure ending soon.

Johnson Controls International Plc is taking one big step forward in its journey to become a multi-industrial company. It’s still got plenty of work left to do.

The company on Monday announced it will explore alternatives for its power solutions unit, which makes automotive batteries. This has been a long time coming.

The goal of Johnson Controls’ 2016 merger with Tyco International and spinoff of its Adient Plc auto-parts operations was to refocus the company on HVAC, fire and security products. Those tend to be high-margin, stable businesses that throw off cash — qualities favored by multi-industrial investors.

Gumming up this would-be transformation was Johnson Controls’ decision to keep its capital-intensive battery unit.

Strategically, HVAC systems and car batteries had little in common. Financially, the mismatch was problematic. The investments required for the battery business undermined Johnson Controls’ free-cash-flow conversion and ability to pay down debt from the Tyco deal.

Former Johnson Controls CEO Alex Molinaroli said last year the company wasn’t “deaf” to calls to shed this business, but executives also signaled a separation would be complicated, tax-wise. That’s partly because the Tyco merger was an inversion-style deal that moved Johnson Controls’ legal domicile to Ireland, limiting its ability to undertake tax-free spinoffs.

The recently passed U.S. tax legislation likely changed the calculus. The bill lowered the taxes companies must pay on sales of assets with significant U.S. operations, making an outright sale of the battery business a more palatable alternative, as Gadfly has argued.

The challenge for new CEO George Oliver — the former head of Tyco — will be convincing investors the building-efficiency division that’s left over after a breakup is worthy of their attention.

That unit earns less per dollar of sales than rival HVAC, fire and security operations at companies such as United Technologies Corp. or Ingersoll-Rand Plc. On Johnson Controls’ earnings call in November, Oliver suggested this shortfall was partly because of mismanagement of the business and a lack of price discipline. Price concessions to customers don’t appear to have translated into meaningful market-share gains either, Vertical Research Partners analyst Jeff Sprague has noted.

To boost growth, Johnson Controls is hiring 400 new sales people this year, after adding 50 in 2017. For now, that will mean even more margin pressure. President Donald Trump’s planned tariffs on steel and aluminum are the cherry on top. Johnson Controls and other HVAC companies are heavy users of both metals. They were already struggling to pass higher raw-material costs on to their customers via higher prices. The more input expenses rise, the greater the risk of a profit squeeze.

The ultimate impact of the tariffs on Johnson Controls and other U.S. manufacturers is unclear. Canada, Mexico and Australia have won exemptions, but the risk of a trade war is still high, and price challenges will remain top of mind.

Given these ongoing challenges, it’s not terribly surprising Johnson Controls investors had a muted reaction to the company’s breakup announcement. As of early afternoon in New York, the shares were essentially flat.

RBC analyst Deane Dray estimates Johnson Controls should be worth $42 a share if its parts fetch valuations similar to peers (adjusted for its poor cash conversion) — a mere 9 percent higher than where the company traded on Friday. A breakup was needed, but it’s no magic potion.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Brooke Sutherland in New York at bsutherland7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Mark Gongloff at mgongloff1@bloomberg.net

The original story can be found here: https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2018-03-12/johnson-controls-breakup-is-necessary-but-only-a-start


Fire Equipment Distributor Sued Over Restaurant Fire

March 7, 2018

Firefighters battle a December 2015 fire at the Portsmouth Gas Light Co. restaurant. [Rich Beauchesne/Seacostonline, file]

2/14/18

By Elizabeth Dinan
Seacoastonline.com

PORTSMOUTH — A second insurance provider for the Gas Light Co. has filed a federal lawsuit blaming three contractors for a massive Dec. 9, 2015, fire in the restaurant and seeks payment from the companies to cover fire-related costs.

The Patriot Insurance Company has filed a civil suit in the U.S. District Court of New Hampshire against Tri State Hood and Duct and its affiliate Tri State Fire Protection, as well as Portsmouth Steam of Rye. The three-count lawsuit was filed on behalf of the insurer by Portsmouth attorney John Sherman and seeks an unspecified monetary judgement, while noting damages exceed the court’s $75,000 minimum threshold. The insurer is also seeking interest, plus costs for taking the case to court.

The Patriot Insurance lawsuit claims fire damage at the Gas Light was “caused by the gross negligence, negligence, carelessness and/or negligent acts” by Tri State Hood and Duct, which was paid to inspect, maintain and clean the restaurant’s commercial kitchen hood and ducts prior to the fire.

The suit alleges Tri State Hood and Duct failed to use care during cleaning and inspection, failed to hire proper employees and failed to alert anyone of fire hazards it knew, or should have known existed. The suit claims the Hudson company failed to clean and inspect the kitchen hood and ventilation system, improperly certified they were up to code, improperly installed access panels for fire suppression ducts and chose improper materials for fire suppression ducts and access panels.

In the second count of the federal suit, Patriot Insurance claims Tri State Fire Protection was negligent with regard to inspections, testing and servicing the fire suppression system. The third count alleges Portsmouth Steam failed to properly remove grease and other combustible and flammable materials from the restaurant’s fire suppression system and ducts.

Patriot Insurance is asking for a jury trial and the three contractors have not yet responded to the lawsuit, nor did they respond to the Herald’s request for comment.

The same three contractors are named as defendants in a lawsuit filed Monday by Gas Light insurer Harleysville Insurance. That insurance company makes similar claims in a six-count suit accusing each of the contractors of negligence and breach of contract.

Fire Chief Steve Achilles told the Herald the day of the fire that the blaze started in a duct for a wood-fired oven and burned up through the roof. He said it was possible there was grease in the duct, but that remained under investigation.

Four months after the fire, Gas Light owner Paul Sorli said he had insurance protection for six months of business losses, including keeping his managers on the payroll while the business was closed. When he reopened a year after the fire, Sorli said it took 12 months, $2.5 million and help from restaurant staff, contractors and a friendly local bank to get the building repaired and the business reopened. Sorli also said the fire suppression system for the wood-fired stove failed to activate.