The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is advance the development of technologies for fire control. In recent years, California and other locations have experienced wildfires in millions of square acres of land, displacing thousands of people and forcing millions to breathe unhealthy air. Better fire control technologies, particularly fire hose nozzles, help address this need. The annual North America market for fire hose nozzles is $250 M. The proposed high efficiency nozzles would enable faster fire suppression, preventing billions in dollars of property damage, reducing risk to first responders, and conserving water.
This SBIR Phase I project will advance the development of a fire hose nozzle to enable higher fire suppression rates. Enhancing capabilities of fire hose nozzles without changing operational protocols requires development of non-conventional transition regions in the flow pathway to simultaneously allow increasing flow rate, range and surface area. In this project, the nozzle flow pathway will be optimized to eliminate features causing backflow and non-uniformities. A flow modulation mechanism will be developed for the optimized nozzle to allow changing stream width without sacrificing range or fire-control rates. Fire suppression rates of the optimized nozzles will be measured and compared to the existing state-of-the-art nozzles. An empirical model will be created to estimate both the duration and potential water savings.
This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.