GEN III Smart Proportioner – remote testing system

Regular testing and upkeep ensure a most service life and functional and failure-related safety of technical home equipment. The same applies to foam-based fire extinguishing systems and the foam proportioners put in in them.
Up to now, such testing and upkeep have required the presence of personnel on-site. However, it would be easier and extra cost-efficient for extinguishing system operators if this was possible in a completely automated and remote-controlled method. For instance, this may additionally make common upkeep personnel travel to remotely located proportioners redundant. In addition, this is in a position to make positive that necessities by the producer, requirements and units of laws are noticed without any functional deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The distant testing system throughout the ‘Smart Proportioner’ development framework has been created only for this function. It is an development of the distant monitoring system.
Brief overview of the remote monitoring system
The remote monitoring system is used for proportioner monitoring in testing mode throughout upkeep and reside firefighting operations.
In the course of distant monitoring, the proportioning price and other working 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 way.
A remote monitoring system consists of a control system, including an optional local display unit (HMI) if applicable, and sensor technology. The sensor technology consists of, as a minimum, the likelihood to determine the water motor’s variety of revolutions and to find out the froth agent flow fee. These values are used to calculate the proportioning rate. This figure is the core attribute during the operation and testing of a foam proportioner. Further sensor know-how is on the market on an optional foundation.
The remote monitoring system supports the operating and repair personnel on-site. It is also appropriate for distant monitoring of the froth proportioner.
However, it’s a basic proven truth that personnel are at all times essential to hold out the upkeep work or the proportioning fee testing on-site as the system plays a monitoring role only. It does not actively interact with the functioning of the proportioner.
In the course of distant monitoring, the proportioning fee and different operating parameters are decided, displayed and forwarded. Images equipped by Author / Contributor
Evolution – from remote monitoring to remote testing
The question is how to further reduce the maintenance effort on foam proportioners.
The solution lies within the distant testing system, the subsequent step of the clever FireDos proportioners. The remote testing system allows monitoring of the proportioner and individual maintenance, including proportioning fee testing.
The situation of the proportioner may be checked without having to start up the hearth extinguishing system. No personnel are required on-site. Proportioners in a distant place or which are solely rarely inspected by personnel on-site can be checked with out maintenance workers and related bills, such as journey expenditure. In particular, increasing the testing interval is feasible with out further efforts. The instruction manual for FireDos proportioners requires common starting-up, utilizing the service crank manually at least. This is intended to prevent deposits contained in the gear, impairing its ease of movement and thus conserving the proportioner’s functionality. The distant testing system can undertake these regular actions and test the proportioning rate, growing the service life and useful security of the proportioner.
What is the design of a remote testing system?
The remote testing system is mostly based upon the remote monitoring system. It is, nonetheless, particularly prolonged by the use of actuators. This is because they permit the fully impartial operation of the remote testing system; i.e., the proportioning price of the proportioner is examined without activating the water pumps of the fireplace extinguishing system.
The core components include a central management system, with an optional HMI, sensor technology, 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 so that the electrical drive may have no interference with the proportioner’s functionality within the case of a fire. This means, the advantages of the mechanical proportioning precept are preserved.
How does the remote testing system work, and how can the proportioning price be checked without activating the water pumps?
If in ready-to-operate mode, the proportioner is at all times in the proportioning position. Upon initiation of an automated testing course of, no matter if after a defined time interval, upon request via a cloud solution or from the fireplace extinguishing system/a local operator, the proportioner is put into testing operation. Specifically, the control system places the proportioner into testing operation using an electrically actuated ball valve drive while the foam agent isn’t mixed 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 past the water motor. Next, the electric drive of the proportioner is activated, driving the entire proportioner at its start-up circulate price. เกจ์วัดแรงดัน -up circulate price is the lowest operating level of a proportioner to succeed in its nominal proportioning rate.
Due to the external electrical drive, the water motor works like a pump and generates a water flow by way of 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 tested.
As the extinguishing water circulate rate simulated by the external drive can be recognized as a end result of identified ratio of the water motor’s number of revolutions and the water flow rate, just the froth agent move price should be determined to permit the subsequent calculation of the proportioning price. 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 willpower of the foam agent circulate price, both in testing mode and while proportioning in case of an alarm.
The proportioning fee is decided according to the method as required in the standards and regulations EN 13565-1, NFPA eleven, FM 4-12, and the Nordtest NT Fire 042 methodology.
Foam agent move price [l/min]
(Extinguishing water flow rate x one hundred = proportioning price %+ foam agent move rate) [l/min]
After completion of the testing course of, the electric drive of the proportioner stops, the bypass line is closed, and the proportioner is returned to proportioning mode.
Sensor know-how installed as an additional choice or inside the electric drive permits obtaining further info and conclusions in regards to the state and situation of the respective unit. It is checked, for instance, whether or not the ball valves are of their right positions or sufficient oil is in the crankshaft housing of the proportioning pump. In addition, the stress values at the pump inlet/outlet and the stress at the water motor are recorded. Finally, measuring the entire system’s torque and the move price inside the bypass line permits checking the final condition of the proportioner.
The knowledge may be displayed domestically or via a cloud answer. Controlling the upkeep operation can be attainable by way of each interfaces.
What if there is an alarm throughout a testing process?
An important question is: Does the proportioner work without any limitations and as ordinary if there is an alarm? The answer is: Yes!
The remote testing system is designed in such a means that extinguishing water can circulate through the water motor and start it up at any time, even when the electrical drive is working on the same time. In addition, a unique, absolutely automatic 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 people 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 correct place.
Therefore, in case of an alarm during testing operation, the ball valves change to their right position fully mechanically and the electric drive is switched off. Even if the electrical drive remains to be working or coming to a stop, the extinguishing water can flow through the water motor and drive the proportioning pump with out limitations. The alarm mode of the management system prevents re-activation of the electrical drive or any unintended ball valve switching.
What benefits does a remote testing system provide?
Compared with normal proportioners and those geared up with a remote monitoring system, a distant testing system offers numerous advantages. They function the next:
ν Proportione
Display view for testing operation of the FireDos distant testing system. Images supplied by Author / Contributor
cian have to be on-site.
Regular proportioning rate testing: Regular proportioning fee testing ensures optimum functioning of the proportioner in case of a hearth. If the proportioning price is simply too low, the extinguishing success may be compromised. Overdosing causes the foam agent to be consumed faster than supposed, resulting in the untimely ending of the froth operation.
Increasing practical and failure security as a result of increased testing intervals: An increased take a look at interval causes the proportioner to be examined fully mechanically at shorter intervals of time. This notably reduces the risk of a failure remaining undetected for an extended time frame. In addition, extra frequent testing prevents the formation of deposits inside the water motor.
Early fault detection and diagnostics: Faults in the proportioner or elements of the extinguishing system, immediately affecting the proportioner’s functionality, could be identified at an early stage of time. This includes, for example, pressure variations within 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 within the remote testing system, i.e. all relevant working parameters are recorded and processed constantly and appropriately in addition to documented in a log file. In addition, all knowledge are displayed by a visualization.
Reduction of prices: Regular functional testing makes it potential to detect faults even earlier. This method, upkeep and repairs can take place before any more serious harm happens. The elevated 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 outcome, decreased service and operating workforce on-site scale back prices significantly, particularly if the proportioner is positioned in a distant place. In addition, practical testing of the proportioner permits early identification, evaluation and probably limiting a fault remotely. This makes service visits more environment friendly and therefore cheaper.
Summary and prospect
The distant monitoring system already offers various advantages and helps scale back costs, nevertheless it cannot reduce the workforce required on-site.
The distant testing system is an answer for reducing maintenance requirements. It is the subsequent evolution in the middle of creating clever FireDos proportioners.
The remote testing system permits decreasing the workforce required on-site to a minimum, together 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 maintenance 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 operating principle of proportioners. If a service go to or restore should still turn into necessary, 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 clever digital upgrade. Thus, the benefits from both expertise fields are combined with out compromising the performance of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
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