Fire Industry’s Utilisation of Wireless Architectural Solutions


Technological advancements continue to shape the fire safety landscape, with wireless architectural solutions playing a pivotal role in the solutions now available to us.

Since wireless communication first gained traction in the early 2000s, the concept of wireless fire detection was seen as a solution that could ease many of the challenges faced in fire protection. Early wireless fire detection systems may have been troubled by limited range, reliability, and battery life, but in the past decade the fire safety industry has witnessed a remarkable rate of progression in wireless fire alarm technology.

Significant improvements in wireless architecture in particular have increased communication reliability and power-saving capabilities, making wireless fire detection systems a viable solution for all manner of applications.

In this article we explore the various wireless architectural solutions employed in wireless fire alarm systems and the transformative effect these have had on our potential to wirelessly protect environments from fire.

Comparing Wireless Architecture

In the contemporary fire industry, wireless fire detection systems predominantly operate on three distinct frameworks: Infrastructure Architecture, Mesh Network Architecture and Full Mesh Architecture.

Infrastructure Architecture

In infrastructure architecture, devices communicate through a centralised point, in other words relying on a single central unit or control panel for communication and coordination. The control panel facilitates all communication between devices, with the entire network able to be monitored and managed from a single location. This model offers simplicity and ease-of-management, however, it does pose certain limitations, such as the potential for single points of failure. In an infrastructure architecture, devices may need to transmit data over longer distances to reach the central hub, which can also consume more energy and drain batteries faster.

One notable example of infrastructure architecture in the fire industry is Wi-Fyre. In this system, all devices communicate with a central control panel via a wireless protocol. The central panel coordinates communication and facilitates real-time monitoring of the entire network.

Wi-Fyre is designed for use as a hybrid detection solution that enables hardwired and wireless detection technology to coexist as part of the same detection system. It can be used as part of a new fire detection solution or to upgrade, extend or replace elements of an existing hardwired installation.

Wi-Fyre Infrastructure Architecture

Full Mesh Architecture

Full mesh architecture takes the concept of mesh networks further to form a decentralised network, with devices establishing direct communication with each other. This architecture enhances reliability and resilience, as communication paths are diversified. 

In a mesh network, each device functions both as a transmitter and a receiver, enabling seamless communication with neighbouring devices, or “nodes”. This decentralised communication approach can offer several advantages, including increased reliability.  

However, full mesh architecture often demands higher power consumption and complexity in network management. This high demand for power means that battery life would be drastically reduced. To support such high-levels of power consumption wireless devices would need more batteries and more frequent replacement,  resulting in significant cost increases and maintenance. 

Full Mesh Architecture

Mesh Network Architecture

Mesh network architecture operates on the principle of interconnectedness, where devices establish communication with a local expander device. This expander device serves as a central point of contact. More than one expander can be used to create multiple paths to increase the reliability and robustness of the network, ensuring that data can flow smoothly, even if one pathway is compromised or obstructed, this is known as network redundancy. As a result, mesh network architecture offers flexibility, resilience, and efficient communication among interconnected devices in various environments.

Wi-Fyre Xenos expanders, for example, form a dynamic mesh network, where each expander acts as a node, facilitating robust communication and redundancy.

Xenos’ mesh wireless system uses a translator module and up to 15 expanders to create the wireless network and ensure the best possible redundant network communication paths (identified during system commissioning). If any expander in the chain fails, the transmission path automatically finds an alternative route to ensure communication continuity.

Wi-Fyre Xenos Mesh Network Architecture

Wi-Fyre Xenos

Wi-Fyre Xenos stands at the forefront of wireless fire detection technology, offering a comprehensive solution built upon a mesh network architecture. With Xenos, fire safety systems gain unprecedented flexibility, reliability, and scalability.

The system supports up to 60 communication channels, 6 translators per loop, 128 devices per wireless translator, and 240 devices per hybrid loop, with mesh expander technology allowing up to 15 expanders per translator and 32 devices per expander. It offers over 8 km range with 8 expansion hops, dual channel redundancy, long battery life, synchronised outputs, and user-friendly software for installation and maintenance, ensuring superior field device performance.

Xenos’ Choice of Wireless Architecture

The decision to adopt a mesh network architecture over infrastructure and full mesh alternatives stems from several inherent advantages. 

Extended Battery Longevity

Wi-Fyre Xenos devices boast 10-year battery life on inputs and 5-year battery life on outputs, which is achieved through our choice of mesh network architecture which offers greater flexibility in battery technology, enabling fewer batteries per device while still maintaining consistent accessibility. 

This is because mesh networks allow devices to communicate through intermediate nodes or expanders, reducing the overall power requirements for individual devices. By optimising communication paths and utilising efficient routing algorithms, mesh networks can achieve reliable connectivity with lower energy consumption compared to full mesh architectures.

Full mesh architecture demands higher power consumption compared to mesh network architecture primarily due to its reliance on direct communication between every device within the network. In a full mesh architecture, each device must maintain communication links with every other device, resulting in increased energy consumption as devices constantly transmit and receive data across multiple paths.

Enhanced Network Dependability

Xenos Expanders operate independently of battery constraints, as they are powered by low voltage supply units. This setup eliminates the reliance on batteries for power, ensuring consistent operation and removing the need for frequent battery replacements. 

As a result, Xenos Expanders offer enhanced control over the network’s power dynamics, enabling administrators to manage power consumption more effectively.

This power arrangement also allows for optimised primary and secondary paths within the network. Data transmission can seamlessly switch between paths in case of an interruption or failure, enhancing the network’s reliability and resilience. By leveraging both primary and secondary paths, Xenos Expanders contribute to a more dependable networking experience, ensuring continuous operation and minimising the risk of downtime or communication failures during critical situations, even in adverse conditions.

Why Choose Eurofyre?

[icon] Complete System Supplier
Eurofyre is a complete system supplier, offering the full Xenos wireless fire detection system, including expanders, detection devices and outputs, as well as programming software, survey tools and suitable fire alarm panels.
After-Sales Support
Eurofyre’s team of fire detection specialists are experts in wireless fire detection. We pride ourselves on our excellent after-sales care and support which is available via telephone or email to partners who have installed or are maintaining a Xenos wireless fire alarm system at no additional cost.
Demonstration & Training
Free training is available to Xenos partners, ensuring a high-level of competence and that you have all the knowledge you need to install wireless fire alarm systems correctly. We offer training either remotely or at our sophisticated training facility where we offer demonstrations and expert training on a range of systems, including Wi-Fyre Xenos wireless detection systems.
5 Year Warranty
All Xenos wireless devices are supplied with a limited 5 year warranty relating to faulty materials or manufacturing defects, effective from the production date indicated on each product.

For more information about Wi-Fyre Xenos, or to discuss any of the other products that Eurofyre have to offer, please feel free to get in touch either by phone on +44 (0) 1329 835 024, by email to [email protected] or via the online enquiry form situated on our contact page.

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