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 identical applies to foam-based fire extinguishing methods 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 might be easier and extra cost-efficient for extinguishing system operators if this was potential in a totally automated and remote-controlled method. For example, this may also make common upkeep personnel travel to remotely located proportioners redundant. In addition, this would be certain that necessities by the producer, requirements and sets of regulations are noticed with none practical deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The distant testing system within the ‘Smart Proportioner’ improvement framework has been created just for this function. It is an development of the distant monitoring system.
Brief overview of the distant monitoring system
The remote 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 different working parameters are decided, recorded and forwarded to the system operator if needed. Thus, the graceful performance and operational readiness of the system are monitored and ensured this fashion.
A remote monitoring system consists of a management system, including an elective native show unit (HMI) if applicable, and sensor expertise. The sensor technology contains, at the least, the likelihood to discover out the water motor’s variety of revolutions and to determine the foam agent circulate fee. These values are used to calculate the proportioning price. This figure is the core attribute in the course of the operation and testing of a foam proportioner. Further sensor technology is out there on an optionally available basis.
The distant monitoring system helps the working and service personnel on-site. It can be appropriate for remote monitoring of the foam proportioner.
However, it’s a primary fact that personnel are all the time needed to carry out the upkeep work or the proportioning rate testing on-site because the system plays a monitoring position 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 remote monitoring to distant testing
The query is tips on how to additional reduce the upkeep effort on foam proportioners.
The answer lies in the distant testing system, the subsequent step of the intelligent FireDos proportioners. The remote testing system allows monitoring of the proportioner and individual maintenance, including proportioning rate testing.
The condition of the proportioner can be checked with out having to start up the fire extinguishing system. No personnel are required on-site. Proportioners in a distant place or which might be solely rarely inspected by personnel on-site may be checked with out upkeep employees and related expenses, such as journey expenditure. In explicit, rising the testing interval is feasible without further efforts. The instruction guide for FireDos proportioners requires common starting-up, using the service crank manually as a minimum. This is intended to prevent deposits inside the gear, impairing its ease of motion and thus conserving the proportioner’s functionality. The distant testing system can undertake these regular movements and take a look at the proportioning price, rising the service life and functional safety of the proportioner.
What is the design of a remote testing system?
The distant testing system is generally based mostly upon the distant monitoring system. It is, nevertheless, significantly prolonged by means of actuators. This is because they permit the completely unbiased operation of the remote testing system; i.e., the proportioning rate of the proportioner is tested with out activating the water pumps of the fire extinguishing system.
The core parts include a central management system, with an optional HMI, sensor expertise, 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 performance within the case of a fireplace. This means, some nice benefits of the mechanical proportioning principle 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 all the time in the proportioning place. Upon initiation of an computerized testing course of, irrespective of if after an outlined 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 whereas the froth agent just isn’t blended into the extinguishing water but returned to the froth agent tank. At the same time, it opens the electrically actuated ball valve in the bypass line previous the water motor. Next, the electric drive of the proportioner is activated, driving the entire proportioner at its start-up move fee. The start-up flow rate is the lowest operating point of a proportioner to succeed in its nominal proportioning price.
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 stress within the extinguishing water line. The fireplace extinguishing system is therefore not influenced when the proportioner is examined.
As the extinguishing water circulate rate simulated by the external drive is also recognized as a result of known ratio of the water motor’s variety of revolutions and the water move rate, simply the foam agent move fee have to be decided to permit the following calculation of the proportioning fee. This is completed by a volumetric flow meter between the proportioning pump’s outlet and the ball valve, which switches between returning and proportioning mode. This permits willpower of the froth agent circulate price, each in testing mode and whereas proportioning in case of an alarm.
เกจวัดความดันแก๊ส is determined in accordance with the formula as required in the requirements and regulations EN 13565-1, NFPA 11, FM 4-12, and the Nordtest NT Fire 042 methodology.
Foam agent move fee [l/min]
(Extinguishing water move rate x one hundred = proportioning price %+ foam agent flow rate) [l/min]
After completion of the testing course of, 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 additional possibility or inside the electric drive allows acquiring further information and conclusions concerning the state and condition of the respective unit. It is checked, for example, whether the ball valves are in their right positions or enough oil is in the crankshaft housing of the proportioning pump. In addition, the strain values on the pump inlet/outlet and the pressure at the water motor are recorded. Finally, measuring the complete system’s torque and the flow fee inside the bypass line allows checking the final situation of the proportioner.
The information could be displayed regionally or by way of a cloud answer. Controlling the upkeep operation can additionally be possible through both interfaces.
What if there is an alarm during a testing process?
An essential question is: Does the proportioner work without any limitations and as ordinary if there is an alarm? The reply is: Yes!
The distant testing system is designed in such a way that extinguishing water can move 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 singular, absolutely computerized and purely mechanical decoupling mechanism ensures that the electrical drive doesn’t intrude with the proportioner’s functioning and readiness to operate.
In case of an alarm, the ball valves within 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 features not essential at that second and all ball valves to be set to their appropriate position.
Therefore, in case of an alarm throughout testing operation, the ball valves swap to their appropriate position totally 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 control system prevents re-activation of the electrical drive or any unintended ball valve switching.
What advantages does a remote testing system provide?
Compared with normal proportioners and people equipped with a distant monitoring system, a distant testing system supplies numerous advantages. They feature the next:
ν Proportione
Display view for testing operation of the FireDos distant testing system. Images provided by Author / Contributor
cian need to be on-site.
Regular proportioning price testing: Regular proportioning price testing ensures optimum functioning of the proportioner in case of a hearth. If the proportioning fee is merely too low, the extinguishing success could be compromised. Overdosing causes the froth agent to be consumed faster than meant, resulting in the premature ending of the foam operation.
Increasing practical and failure security as a end result of elevated testing intervals: An increased check interval causes the proportioner to be tested fully automatically at shorter intervals of time. This notably reduces the danger of a failure remaining undetected for an extended period of time. In addition, extra frequent testing prevents the formation of deposits contained in 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 instance, pressure variations in the extinguishing water line or a jammed suction line.
Inclusion of all features and advantages of the distant monitoring system: All capabilities and advantages of the remote monitoring system are additionally present within the remote testing system, i.e. all related operating parameters are recorded and processed repeatedly and correctly as properly as documented in a log file. In addition, all knowledge are displayed by a visualization.
Reduction of costs: Regular useful testing makes it attainable to detect faults even earlier. This method, maintenance and repairs can take place earlier than any extra critical injury occurs. The elevated performance and fault security of the proportioner ensures that the service lifetime of the proportioners is maximized and the likelihood of a failure is minimized. As a result, decreased service and operating workforce on-site scale back prices significantly, particularly if the proportioner is located in a distant place. In addition, functional testing of the proportioner permits early identification, analysis and presumably limiting a fault remotely. This makes service visits extra efficient and due to this fact more cost-effective.
Summary and prospect
The distant monitoring system already offers numerous advantages and helps cut back costs, nevertheless it can not cut back the workforce required on-site.
The remote testing system is an answer for lowering maintenance necessities. It is the following evolution in the midst of developing clever FireDos proportioners.
The distant testing system allows lowering the workforce required on-site to a minimum, together with shorter testing intervals and elevated failure safety. 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 critical, apart from an oil change. The oil change could be carried out by the operator’s personnel, too, easily and without any deeper information of the working precept of proportioners. If a service visit or restore should still turn into needed, remote 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 clever electronic upgrade. Thus, the benefits from both technology fields are combined with out compromising the functionality of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
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