Fire protection for deep-freeze warehouses

N2telligence's fuel cells championing energy supply and preventive fire protection
26 June 2019
Lars Frahm n2telligence

Lars Frahm hit on the idea for his company N2telligence during a lunch break in 2004. At the time, Frahm was employed by Airbus in Hamburg-Finkenwerder and quickly realized that exhaust air from a fuel cell was exactly the right component for a kerosene tank to prevent fire. This idea eventually led to his business model for N2telligence, based in Wismar and Hamburg, where the teams are developing a fuel cell system that provides electricity and heat as well as preventive fire protection.

Clients in Paris und Johannesburg

The patents for Airbus were written in 2005. A year later, Frahm founded N2telligence GmbH with his fellow student Andreas Exler in 2006 and secured the patent rights from Airbus for unrelated sectors. Mercedes Benz, Dr. Oetker, the Air Liquide research centre in Paris and the Minerals Council South Africa in Johannesburg are among the firm’s present customers. The six employees at N2telligence, which is now a subsidiary of the Japanese Fuji Electric Group, develop the concepts from the branches in Hamburg and Wismar and are in close contact with the Airbus patent department.

Meanwhile, 16 systems are operated mainly in logistic companies. Fire protection is a top priority in large warehouses as products worth six and seven digit sums are often stored there. If they are ravaged by fire, the damage can put a company entirely out of business. N2telligence recently installed its system in the German food company Coppenrath & Wiese’s deep-freeze warehouse. The huge fire protection problems faced by such warehouses are barely imaginable, said Frahm. “A frozen chicken, for instance, is so dry that it burns like tinder.”