A reliable driver for a fire pump is critical to the operation of the system during a fire. While electric motors can be used as drivers, diesel engines are also proven to be highly reliable in this application. The fuel supply, combustion air, exhaust, operating environment, engine cooling and more must all be accounted for in the design and installation of a quality fire pump system.
While most systems use an electric motor, a diesel engine is a more reliable choice as a fire pump driver because it can run without the constant need for electrical power to operate the system. The system should be designed to have a backup electric motor controller in the event the primary fails for any reason.
When a diesel engine is selected as the driver for a fire pump, it needs to be properly sized. NFPA 20 recommends that the diesel fuel tank be sized to hold one gallon per engine horsepower, plus five percent for expansion and five percent for sump. The diesel fuel tank should be located inside the fire pump room to maintain a stable temperature and protect the equipment from extremes in ambient temperature.
The exhaust system on the diesel engine is typically a long pipe run from the engine to an outside Stack and then a silencer or other type of venting device to limit noise, heat, particulates and other pollutants. The piping should be properly sized by a qualified person, and the engine should have a manual isolation valve for each of the supply, discharge and recirculation lines.diesel engine driven fire pump