Phone: +61 (0)7 3077 6770

Fax: +61 (0)7 3077 6769

Email: enquiry@staceyagnew.com

Address: Unit 4, 35 Limestone Street,

Darra, Queensland 4076, Australia

Smoke Testing

To complement our capabilities in design of ventilation and smoke management systems, Stacey Agnew continues to develop its own equipment and instrumentation, offering an on-site testing service, generating cold and hot smoke to visualise flow and demonstrate smoke control capability on commissioning.  The heat involved can be anywhere from a few kilowatts up to 2.5 MW, using either methylated spirits or LPG.  We can generate enough tracer smoke to obscure most of a ventilated road tunnel cross section.

For industrial ventilation applications, smoke can be used to qualitatively assess or demonstrate:

  • Local recirculation effects in buildings and tunnels;
  • Air exchange effectiveness;
  • Local air movement around equipment or workers;
  • Fume hood or dust system capture effectiveness, and;
  • Dispersion.

Where modelling has been used to design a ventilation system, smoke testing can provide a means of validating the results.

Stacey Agnew’s facilities for smoke management testing and emergency exercises include:

  • Cold smoke generators (we believe the highest capacity switchable smoke generation in Australasia);
  • Methylated spirits pans and trailer for hot smoke testing in accordance with Australian Standard AS4391;
  • RDP (Recycled Dead Pajero) LPG-powered vehicle fire with either pyrotechnic or electric smoke generation;
  • LPG burners to produce from 30 to 2,500 kW of heat;
  • SAM the council bus, with on-board facilities and an independent power supply for generating large volumes of smoke to simulate a bus fire anywhere we can drive him.  Sam can pipe the smoke to mix as a tracer with the heat plume from LPG burners or metho pans.

Stacey Agnew developed the RDP and SAM in response to an industry need for safely simulating more realistic vehicle fires for assessing tunnel systems and operational response.  The benefit of SAM is that he is fully self-contained, thereby minimising the setup time of any smoke test.

Stacey Agnew has developed specific processes and procedures for managing risks associated with hot smoke tests in enclosed spaces such as tunnels.  The smoke used in all tests is non-toxic.  Heat effects are managed through appropriate planning and engineering of the test.  While we can test to the Australian Standard, we believe that AS4391 needs improving for reasons explained here.  Feedback on our thoughts is welcome by phone or email.


Stacey Agnew thoughts on AS4391

SAM has played a key role in emergency exercises in the Clem7 and Airport Link Tunnels in Brisbane, Australia (training video extracts below) and has generated warm smoke for ventilation mode testing in Brisbane’s Queen Street Bus Station.



Methylated spirit pan test trailer.


RDP in tunnel test.


SAM generating smoke in a tunnel resulting in localised visibility below 5m.


SAM being exposed to tunnel deluge system


SAM (behind stopped cars) being used in an emergency response exercise in the Clem7 Tunnel, Brisbane 2012 (photo courtesy of Clem7 and Brisbane Motorway Services).

smoke_1 smoke_2

Visualisation in an industrial workplace.



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