Paradigm Group Completes Dry-Deluge Testing on Australian Tunneling Project

Paradigm Flow Services Ltd (PFS) has successfully applied their digital dry deluge testing system, Dry-Flo on a non-oilfield project on a major transport tunnel construction project in Sydney, Australia. The scope of work allowed the customer to accurately quantify and verify deluge system performance, achieved without the use of a single drop of water during the high activity commissioning phase of work.

PFS worked closely with EFTECH International Pty, an Australian mechanical, electrical and instrumentation contractor in an integrated partnership, testing 678 deluge zones incorporating over 10,000 individual sprinkler nozzles in less than 3 months. Dry-Flo is a smart digital deluge testing system that enabled water free system testing of the New M5 (18.6 km of highway) section of the New M5 WestConnex project; a 33 km motorway scheme in Sydney. The scheme is a joint project between New South Wales and Australian Government to widen and extend improve the motorway infrastructure in and around Sydney.

Andrew Manning, EFTECH International Managing Director explains, “We had been approached by our client, CDS Joint Venture, to propose innovate technologies used in other industries that could be applied to the road tunnelng sector. In 2019, the state of New South Wales implemented stringent water restrictions due to drought, so our primary focus was to propose technology that would offer environmental savings to the project. Eftech collaborated with PFS on Dry-Flo technology to dry test and commission the deluge system, ensuring the project technical requirements where met, saving millions of litres of water and time.

Hayley Young, Sustainability Manager at WestConnex comments, “Using Dry-Flo testing for tunnel construction results in a new way of approaching deluge testing in a more sustainable manner. Dry-Flo reduces the size of exclusion zones, removes the requirement for water management, or the need for the fire water feed system to be operational. This significantly improves production. Given the improvement in simultaneous tunnel production, Dry-Flo testing has a relatively short payback period.

“This trial found that Dry-Flo outperformed wet testing, and progressed tunnel schedule as most of the system could be proven (as well as any issues rectified) before the deluge lines in the tunnel were energized with water. Whilst the specialized labor and technical equipment required to implement Dry Flo® testing were higher than traditional wet testing, the savings in water use and the additional productivity achieved was of substantial benefit to the Project as a whole.”

Hugh Mackenzie, PFS MD explains, “The value proposition of our Dry-Flo system to the customer is very significant, especially when you consider the benefits of keeping the tunnel dry during commissioning to allow other activities to progress whilst saving millions of litres of water and energy opposed to what would have been required if conventional wet testing had been carried out. The data acquisition software which accurately simulates wet flow testing in virtual litres, detected various types of debris in many systems with such accuracy that we were able to immediately rectify issues on the fly, saving the end client valuable time and effort.

“We have yet again demonstrated on this World-first project that the use of Dry-Flo saves time, money, and water with less carbon impact than conventional wet testing. During this commissioning operation the system was deployed as a temporary service, however Dry-Flo can also be permanently installed to allow unmanned remote periodic testing to take place without any disruption to the fire protection system or the area it has been installed to protect.”

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