Company ARGAS is Slovenian SME which is engaged in anti-fire systems for many years. Director of the company is an innovator Mr. Jože Stopar, who came up with an idea how to solve the problem of extinguishing fires in road tunnels, which is present throughout the EU and beyond. He designed the project Tunnel Fire Stopper (TFS), which was submitted under Horizon 2020 - SME Instrument Phase 1 on 25.11.2015. TFS project was selected for access to funding amongst tough competition from all over Europe. Slovenian companies even have slightly poorer results in Phase 1, since average successfulness is only about 3 %. The TFS project has already received financial support after the feasibility study has been successfully validated by EC. ARGAS company is applying on SME Instrument on its own and therefore does not have project partners or consortium. Six people that have many years of work experiences and relevant knowledge will participate on TFS project.
Based on many accidents in road tunnels a new firefighting product named Tunnel Fire Stopper (TFS) was designed. The overall objective of the project is to finalize the development of the innovative Tunnel Fire Stopper to improve fire safety in tunnels, which is also a requirement of Directive 2004/54/EC that lays down a set of harmonized minimum safety standards. TFS represents a new dynamic method of improving fire safety in road tunnels compared to conventional technologies since it is able to extinguish a fire within seconds after it is detected and short intervention time is essential for combating fire as quickly as possible. TFS will contribute to the implementation of the EC directive and SAFE-T (EC funded project recommendations) in road tunnels via launching disruptive breakthrough for transport safety markets, effectively stopping fires, and reducing the effects of fire on the vehicles in tunnels, as well as the effect on the road tunnel infrastructure.
Description of TFS product
The TFS is a new innovative product that can reduce the risk and consequence of a road tunnel fire by putting it out in a matter of seconds. It does not require a lot of space because it moves on a monorail installed on the arch of the tunnel. It works automatically or is controlled remotely to arrive to fire and disperse the extinguishing agent that is carried in a tank with it, transported to fire thus successfully extinguishing the fire. Waiting for fire fighters is no longer needed and neither is the usage of hydrant networks by victims who are not qualified to use them. TFS product uses fire-extinguishing agent ‘Bioversal’ that meets the criteria of the new REACH regulation of the European Union. In terms of socio-economic benefits, the TFS is going to contribute to higher EU GDP by improving the road transport security across Europe, decrease traffic jams and increase tourism. TFS project will enable ARGAS a booming company growth, new employments, unmatchable market competitiveness, and leadership in the tunnel safety market and thus the growth of economy as a whole.
Picture: TFS prototype product
Picture: TFS in action simulation
ARGAS company is pleased that have succeeded on funding SME Instrument Phase 1. Now we are preparing project proposal for Phase 2 and we hope to be successful again.