GEN III Smart Proportioner – remote testing system

Regular testing and maintenance ensure a most service life and practical and failure-related safety of technical appliances. The identical applies to foam-based hearth extinguishing techniques and the froth proportioners put in in them.
Up to now, such testing and maintenance have required the presence of personnel on-site. However, it will be easier and extra cost-efficient for extinguishing system operators if this was attainable in a fully automatic and remote-controlled method. For example, this may additionally make regular maintenance personnel travel to remotely located proportioners redundant. In addition, this is able to make positive that requirements by the producer, standards and units of laws are observed without any useful deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The distant testing system inside the ‘Smart Proportioner’ improvement framework has been created just for this purpose. It is an development of the distant monitoring system.
Brief overview of the distant monitoring system
The distant monitoring system is used for proportioner monitoring in testing mode throughout maintenance and live firefighting operations.
In the course of remote monitoring, the proportioning fee and other operating parameters are determined, recorded and forwarded to the system operator if essential. Thus, the smooth 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 relevant, and sensor know-how. The sensor know-how consists of, as a minimum, the chance to find out the water motor’s number of revolutions and to determine the foam agent circulate price. These values are used to calculate the proportioning fee. This figure is the core characteristic in the course of the operation and testing of a foam proportioner. Further sensor technology is on the market on an elective foundation.
The remote monitoring system supports the working and service personnel on-site. It can also be suitable for distant monitoring of the froth proportioner.
However, it’s a fundamental incontrovertible fact that personnel are always needed to carry out the maintenance work or the proportioning fee testing on-site because the system plays a monitoring function only. It does not actively interact with the functioning of the proportioner.
In the course of remote monitoring, the proportioning price and different working parameters are determined, displayed and forwarded. Images supplied by Author / Contributor
Evolution – from distant monitoring to distant testing
The question is how to additional minimize the maintenance effort on foam proportioners.
The solution lies within the remote testing system, the following step of the intelligent FireDos proportioners. The distant testing system allows monitoring of the proportioner and individual maintenance, together with proportioning rate testing.
The situation of the proportioner may be checked with out having to start out up the fire extinguishing system. No personnel are required on-site. Proportioners in a distant place or which may be only not often inspected by personnel on-site could be checked with out maintenance workers and associated bills, similar to travel expenditure. In explicit, rising the testing interval is feasible without extra efforts. The instruction manual for FireDos proportioners requires common starting-up, utilizing the service crank manually at the least. This is intended to stop deposits inside the tools, impairing its ease of movement and thus conserving the proportioner’s performance. The remote testing system can undertake these regular movements and test the proportioning rate, growing the service life and useful safety of the proportioner.
What is the design of a distant testing system?
The distant testing system is generally based mostly upon the distant monitoring system. It is, nonetheless, notably prolonged by the use of actuators. This is because they permit the completely impartial operation of the distant testing system; i.e., the proportioning price of the proportioner is tested without activating the water pumps of the hearth extinguishing system.
The core elements embrace a central control system, with an optionally available HMI, sensor know-how, electrical ball valve drives, an electrical drive for the proportioner and a bypass line previous 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 functionality in the case of a hearth. This means, some great benefits of the mechanical proportioning precept are preserved.
How does the distant 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 all the time in the proportioning position. Upon initiation of an automatic testing process, irrespective of if after a defined time interval, upon request via a cloud answer or from the hearth extinguishing system/a native operator, the proportioner is put into testing operation. Specifically, the management system puts the proportioner into testing operation using an electrically actuated ball valve drive while the foam agent is not combined into the extinguishing water but returned to the froth agent tank. At the identical time, it opens the electrically actuated ball valve within the bypass line previous the water motor. Next, the electrical drive of the proportioner is activated, driving the whole proportioner at its start-up flow fee. The start-up move rate is the bottom operating level of a proportioner to achieve its nominal proportioning rate.
Due to the external electrical drive, the water motor works like a pump and generates a water flow through the bypass from the water motor’s outlet to the water motor’s inlet. The operation causes no change of strain in the extinguishing water line. The fireplace extinguishing system is subsequently not influenced when the proportioner is examined.
As the extinguishing water flow rate simulated by the exterior drive can be known because of the recognized ratio of the water motor’s number of revolutions and the water flow fee, simply the froth agent circulate price should be decided to permit the following calculation of the proportioning rate. This is done by a volumetric circulate meter between the proportioning pump’s outlet and the ball valve, which switches between returning and proportioning mode. This allows dedication of the foam agent flow fee, each in testing mode and whereas proportioning in case of an alarm.
The proportioning rate is set in accordance with the method as required within the requirements and regulations EN 13565-1, NFPA eleven, FM 4-12, and the Nordtest NT Fire 042 technique.
Foam agent flow fee [l/min]
(Extinguishing water circulate fee x one hundred = proportioning price %+ foam agent flow rate) [l/min]
After completion of the testing process, the electrical drive of the proportioner stops, the bypass line is closed, and the proportioner is returned to proportioning mode.
Sensor technology installed as an extra choice or inside the electric drive allows acquiring further data and conclusions concerning the state and condition of the respective unit. It is checked, for instance, whether the ball valves are of their right positions or enough oil is within the crankshaft housing of the proportioning pump. In addition, the stress values at the pump inlet/outlet and the pressure on the water motor are recorded. Finally, measuring the complete system’s torque and the flow price contained in the bypass line allows checking the general situation of the proportioner.
The information could be displayed regionally or via a cloud solution. Controlling the upkeep operation can also be attainable via both interfaces.
What if there’s an alarm throughout a testing process?
An essential query is: Does the proportioner work with none limitations and as traditional if there could be an alarm? The reply is: Yes!
The remote testing system is designed in such a means that extinguishing water can flow via the water motor and begin it up at any time, even when the electrical drive is working at the similar time. In addition, a singular, absolutely automated 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 in order that the proportioner is in proportioning mode for firefighting. Thus, the management system is put into alarm mode on this case. This alarm mode causes the disabling of all features not essential at that second and all ball valves to be set to their right position.
Therefore, in case of an alarm throughout testing operation, the ball valves swap to their right place fully routinely and the electric drive is switched off. Even if the electrical drive continues to be operating or coming to a cease, the extinguishing water can flow via the water motor and drive the proportioning pump without limitations. The alarm mode of the control system prevents re-activation of the electrical drive or any unintended ball valve switching.
What advantages does a distant testing system provide?
Compared with standard proportioners and people outfitted with a remote monitoring system, a remote testing system offers numerous advantages. They characteristic the following:
ν Proportione
Display view for testing operation of the FireDos distant testing system. Images provided by Author / Contributor
cian have to be on-site.
How-to : Regular proportioning price testing ensures optimum functioning of the proportioner in case of a hearth. If the proportioning rate is simply too low, the extinguishing success can be compromised. Overdosing causes the foam agent to be consumed sooner than intended, leading to the untimely ending of the froth operation.
Increasing useful and failure security because of elevated testing intervals: An elevated take a look at interval causes the proportioner to be tested totally automatically at shorter intervals of time. This notably reduces the chance of a failure remaining undetected for a longer time period. In addition, extra frequent testing prevents the formation of deposits inside the water motor.
Early fault detection and diagnostics: Faults in the proportioner or components of the extinguishing system, immediately affecting the proportioner’s functionality, could be recognized at an early stage of time. This consists of, for example, stress variations in the extinguishing water line or a jammed suction line.
Inclusion of all functions and advantages of the remote monitoring system: All capabilities and benefits of the distant monitoring system are also current in the distant testing system, i.e. all relevant working parameters are recorded and processed continuously and correctly as properly as documented in a log file. In addition, all data are displayed by a visualization.
Reduction of prices: Regular practical testing makes it potential to detect faults even earlier. This way, maintenance and repairs can take place before any extra critical harm occurs. The elevated functionality and fault safety of the proportioner ensures that the service lifetime of the proportioners is maximized and the probability of a failure is minimized. As a outcome, lowered service and working workforce on-site reduce costs significantly, notably if the proportioner is situated in a remote place. In addition, practical testing of the proportioner permits early identification, analysis and possibly limiting a fault remotely. This makes service visits extra efficient and due to this fact more cost-effective.
Summary and prospect
The remote monitoring system already supplies varied benefits and helps scale back costs, nevertheless it cannot scale back the workforce required on-site.
The remote testing system is a solution for decreasing upkeep requirements. It is the subsequent evolution in the midst of creating clever FireDos proportioners.
The remote testing system permits decreasing the workforce required on-site to a minimal, along with shorter testing intervals and elevated failure security. This will increase the proportioner’s service life.
If the proportioner is in a fault-free state, no additional upkeep by personnel on-site is necessary, other than an oil change. The oil change may be carried out by the operator’s personnel, too, simply and without any deeper information of the working principle of proportioners. If a service go to or restore should still turn out to be essential, distant monitoring and early fault detection will make the planning and completion of such work more environment friendly.
Like the remote monitoring system, the remote testing system is an optimum symbiosis of mechanical proportioners and an intelligent electronic upgrade. Thus, the benefits from both know-how fields are combined with out compromising the functionality of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
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