GEN III Smart Proportioner – remote testing system

Regular testing and maintenance ensure a most service life and useful and failure-related safety of technical appliances. The similar applies to foam-based hearth extinguishing systems and the froth proportioners installed in them.
Up to now, such testing and upkeep have required the presence of personnel on-site. However, it would be simpler and more cost-efficient for extinguishing system operators if this was attainable in a totally computerized and remote-controlled method. For instance, this is able to additionally make regular maintenance personnel journey to remotely positioned proportioners redundant. In addition, this may make positive that necessities by the producer, standards and sets of rules are noticed without any useful deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The distant testing system inside the ‘Smart Proportioner’ growth framework has been created just for this objective. It is an advancement of the distant monitoring system.
Brief overview of the remote monitoring system
The remote monitoring system is used for proportioner monitoring in testing mode during upkeep and stay firefighting operations.
In the course of distant monitoring, the proportioning rate and other working parameters are decided, recorded and forwarded to the system operator if essential. Thus, the sleek performance and operational readiness of the system are monitored and ensured this fashion.
A distant monitoring system consists of a management system, together with an elective native display unit (HMI) if applicable, and sensor expertise. The sensor expertise includes, at least, the possibility to find out the water motor’s variety of revolutions and to discover out the froth agent flow rate. These values are used to calculate the proportioning price. This determine is the core attribute through the operation and testing of a foam proportioner. Further sensor know-how is available on an optional basis.
The distant monitoring system supports the operating and service personnel on-site. It can additionally be appropriate for distant monitoring of the foam proportioner.
However, it’s a fundamental proven fact that personnel are always essential to hold out the upkeep work or the proportioning fee testing on-site because the system plays a monitoring position solely. It doesn’t actively work together with the functioning of the proportioner.
In the course of distant monitoring, the proportioning price and different working parameters are decided, displayed and forwarded. Images equipped by Author / Contributor
Evolution – from distant monitoring to distant testing
The query is tips on how to further decrease the upkeep effort on foam proportioners.
The resolution lies in the remote testing system, the subsequent step of the clever FireDos proportioners. The remote testing system allows monitoring of the proportioner and particular person upkeep, including proportioning rate testing.
The condition of the proportioner could be checked without having to begin up the fire extinguishing system. No personnel are required on-site. Proportioners in a remote place or which may be solely not often inspected by personnel on-site can be checked with out upkeep workers and related expenses, such as travel expenditure. In particular, increasing the testing interval is feasible without extra efforts. The instruction guide for FireDos proportioners requires regular starting-up, utilizing the service crank manually at least. This is intended to forestall deposits inside the gear, impairing its ease of movement and thus conserving the proportioner’s performance. The distant testing system can adopt these regular movements and check the proportioning rate, rising the service life and practical security of the proportioner.
What is the design of a remote testing system?
The remote testing system is mostly based upon the distant monitoring system. It is, nonetheless, notably prolonged by the use of actuators. This is as a result of they allow the utterly unbiased operation of the distant testing system; i.e., the proportioning price of the proportioner is tested with out activating the water pumps of the hearth extinguishing system.
The core parts embrace a central control system, with an optionally available HMI, sensor expertise, electrical ball valve drives, an electrical drive for the proportioner and a bypass line past the water motor.
The connection of the electrical drive and the proportioner is designed in order that the electrical drive may have no interference with the proportioner’s performance within the case of a fireplace. This way, the advantages of the mechanical proportioning precept are preserved.
How does the remote testing system work, and the way can the proportioning rate be checked without activating the water pumps?
If in ready-to-operate mode, the proportioner is always in the proportioning place. Upon initiation of an automated testing process, no matter if after a defined time interval, upon request by way of a cloud solution or from the fire extinguishing system/a local operator, the proportioner is put into testing operation. Specifically, the management system puts the proportioner into testing operation utilizing an electrically actuated ball valve drive while the froth agent isn’t blended into the extinguishing water but returned to the foam agent tank. At the same time, it opens the electrically actuated ball valve in the bypass line previous the water motor. Next, the electrical drive of the proportioner is activated, driving the complete proportioner at its start-up circulate rate. The start-up flow fee is the bottom operating level of a proportioner to achieve its nominal proportioning fee.
Due to the external electrical drive, the water motor works like a pump and generates a water flow via the bypass from the water motor’s outlet to the water motor’s inlet. The operation causes no change of pressure within the extinguishing water line. The fire extinguishing system is due to this fact not influenced when the proportioner is examined.
As the extinguishing water flow price simulated by the external drive can also be known because of the recognized ratio of the water motor’s variety of revolutions and the water circulate price, just the froth agent move fee must be determined to permit the next calculation of the proportioning fee. This is done by a volumetric move meter between the proportioning pump’s outlet and the ball valve, which switches between returning and proportioning mode. This permits determination of the foam agent flow price, each in testing mode and while proportioning in case of an alarm.
The proportioning fee is determined in accordance with the method as required in the standards and rules EN 13565-1, NFPA eleven, FM 4-12, and the Nordtest NT Fire 042 method.
Foam agent circulate fee [l/min]
(Extinguishing water flow fee x 100 = proportioning fee %+ foam agent move rate) [l/min]
After completion of the testing process, the electric drive of the proportioner stops, the bypass line is closed, and the proportioner is returned to proportioning mode.
Sensor know-how put in as an extra choice or inside the electrical drive allows obtaining additional data and conclusions concerning the state and condition of the respective unit. It is checked, for example, whether the ball valves are of their appropriate positions or sufficient oil is in the crankshaft housing of the proportioning pump. In addition, the pressure values on the pump inlet/outlet and the pressure on the water motor are recorded. Finally, measuring the complete system’s torque and the circulate price inside the bypass line allows checking the overall situation of the proportioner.
The information could be displayed domestically or by way of a cloud resolution. Controlling the upkeep operation can also be attainable through each interfaces.
What if there could be an alarm throughout a testing process?
An important query is: Does the proportioner work with none limitations and as usual if there could be an alarm? The answer is: Yes!
The remote testing system is designed in such a way that extinguishing water can circulate through the water motor and begin it up at any time, even when the electrical drive is working at the same time. In addition, a novel, fully computerized and purely mechanical decoupling mechanism ensures that the electrical drive does not intervene with the proportioner’s functioning and readiness to operate.
In case of an alarm, the ball valves in the bypass line and those for switching between returning and proportioning are immediately switched so that the proportioner is in proportioning mode for firefighting. Thus, the management system is put into alarm mode in this case. This alarm mode causes the disabling of all functions not necessary at that second and all ball valves to be set to their correct place.
Therefore, in case of an alarm throughout testing operation, the ball valves change to their correct place totally mechanically and the electrical drive is switched off. Even if the electric drive is still working or coming to a cease, the extinguishing water can circulate by way of the water motor and drive the proportioning pump without limitations. The alarm mode of the management system prevents re-activation of the electric drive or any unintended ball valve switching.
What advantages does a distant testing system provide?
Compared with standard proportioners and those geared up with a remote monitoring system, a distant testing system supplies various advantages. They feature the next:
ν Proportione
Display view for testing operation of the FireDos remote testing system. Images supplied by Author / Contributor
cian need to be on-site.
Regular proportioning fee testing: Regular proportioning fee testing ensures optimum functioning of the proportioner in case of a hearth. If the proportioning rate is simply too low, the extinguishing success could be compromised. Overdosing causes the froth agent to be consumed faster than intended, leading to the untimely ending of the foam operation.
Increasing practical and failure safety due to increased testing intervals: An increased test interval causes the proportioner to be examined absolutely routinely at shorter intervals of time. This notably reduces the risk of a failure remaining undetected for an extended time period. In addition, more frequent testing prevents the formation of deposits contained in the water motor.
Early fault detection and diagnostics: Faults within the proportioner or parts of the extinguishing system, immediately affecting the proportioner’s functionality, could be recognized at an early stage of time. This contains, for example, strain variations in the extinguishing water line or a jammed suction line.
Inclusion of all features and advantages of the distant monitoring system: All features and benefits of the remote monitoring system are additionally present within the remote testing system, i.e. all relevant working parameters are recorded and processed repeatedly and accurately in addition to documented in a log file. In addition, all information are displayed by a visualization.
Reduction of prices: Regular useful testing makes it potential to detect faults even earlier. This means, maintenance and repairs can take place before any more severe injury occurs. The increased performance and fault security of the proportioner ensures that the service life of the proportioners is maximized and the chance of a failure is minimized. As a end result, decreased service and operating workforce on-site reduce costs considerably, particularly if the proportioner is positioned in a distant place. In addition, functional testing of the proportioner allows early identification, analysis and presumably limiting a fault remotely. Withheld makes service visits extra efficient and subsequently more cost-effective.
Summary and prospect
The remote monitoring system already provides various advantages and helps reduce costs, nevertheless it can not reduce the workforce required on-site.
The remote testing system is a solution for lowering upkeep necessities. It is the following evolution in the midst of developing clever FireDos proportioners.
The remote testing system permits decreasing the workforce required on-site to a minimal, together with shorter testing intervals and increased failure safety. This increases the proportioner’s service life.
If the proportioner is in a fault-free state, no further upkeep by personnel on-site is necessary, aside from an oil change. The oil change can be carried out by the operator’s personnel, too, simply and without any deeper knowledge of the working principle of proportioners. If a service visit or restore ought to still become essential, remote monitoring and early fault detection will make the planning and completion of such work more efficient.
Like the remote monitoring system, the remote testing system is an optimum symbiosis of mechanical proportioners and an intelligent electronic improve. Thus, the advantages from each expertise fields are mixed with out compromising the performance of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
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