The Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) at Lakehurst, NJ, has developed, tested, and patented a high efficiency nozzle that atomizes water with 80% less water pressure and is adaptable to other applications where low liquid use is desirable. The NAWCAD solution sheers a water stream into droplets 100 microns in size. The droplets expand into a layer of fine mist that is carried to the target on a pressurized stream of air. The fine mist depletes the oxygen at the point of combustion and extinguishes the fire with up to 90% less water used.
The nozzle is fed by two hoses. The first is a water hose that can range in size from a garden hose to a fire hose. The second is a low pressure air line fed either by a compressor or compressed air tanks. The low pressure requires less physical strength to operate and leads to lower exertion rates. The apparatus is fully adjustable for air/water ratio and the desired spray distance. Various prototypes have been built and tested. Improved efficacy compared to previous solutions has been demonstrated in field trials.
- Efficient: Puts out fires faster than other solutions while using as little as 2 gallons of water per minute under 20 psi
- Easy to Operate: Low pressure air system requires less strength to operate effectively and reduces operator fatigue
- Broad Applications: Developed as an alternative to Halon systems, the NAWCAD nozzle is applicable for water constrained industrial and agricultural applications operations such as boats, ships, aircraft, and for backcountry and remote firefighting with limited or unreliable water and power supplies
- US Patent 7,523,876
- Potential for collaboration with US Navy inventor and laboratory