GEN III Smart Proportioner – distant testing system

Regular testing and upkeep guarantee a maximum service life and functional and failure-related safety of technical appliances. The identical applies to foam-based fireplace extinguishing techniques 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 more cost-efficient for extinguishing system operators if this was possible in a completely automatic and remote-controlled manner. For example, this is able to also make regular upkeep personnel travel to remotely situated proportioners redundant. In addition, this is in a position to be certain that requirements by the manufacturer, standards and units of regulations are observed with none useful deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The remote testing system within the ‘Smart Proportioner’ growth framework has been created only for this purpose. It is an development of the remote monitoring system.
Brief overview of the distant monitoring system
The distant monitoring system is used for proportioner monitoring in testing mode during upkeep and live firefighting operations.
In the course of distant monitoring, the proportioning fee and other working parameters are decided, recorded and forwarded to the system operator if necessary. Thus, the smooth performance and operational readiness of the system are monitored and ensured this manner.
A distant monitoring system consists of a control system, including an elective local show unit (HMI) if relevant, and sensor expertise. The sensor expertise consists of, at the least, the chance to determine the water motor’s variety of revolutions and to find out the froth agent flow rate. These values are used to calculate the proportioning fee. This figure is the core attribute in the course of the operation and testing of a foam proportioner. Further sensor expertise is out there on an elective basis.
The distant monitoring system helps the working and service personnel on-site. It is also appropriate for remote monitoring of the foam proportioner.
However, it is a fundamental proven truth that personnel are at all times essential to hold out the upkeep work or the proportioning price testing on-site because the system performs a monitoring role only. It does not actively work together with the functioning of the proportioner.
In the course of remote monitoring, the proportioning rate and different working parameters are determined, displayed and forwarded. Images provided by Author / Contributor
Evolution – from distant monitoring to distant testing
The query is the means to additional minimize the maintenance effort on foam proportioners.
The answer lies in the distant testing system, the following step of the intelligent FireDos proportioners. The remote testing system allows monitoring of the proportioner and individual maintenance, together with proportioning fee testing.
The condition of the proportioner can be checked without having to start 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 could be checked without maintenance employees and associated bills, similar to journey expenditure. In specific, growing the testing interval is possible with out extra efforts. The instruction guide for FireDos proportioners requires regular starting-up, utilizing the service crank manually at least. This is meant to forestall deposits inside the equipment, impairing its ease of movement and thus conserving the proportioner’s functionality. The distant testing system can adopt these common actions and take a look at the proportioning price, rising the service life and practical safety of the proportioner.
What is the design of a remote testing system?
The remote testing system is mostly primarily based upon the remote monitoring system. It is, however, significantly extended by the use of actuators. This is as a outcome of they permit the completely independent operation of the remote testing system; i.e., the proportioning price of the proportioner is tested without activating the water pumps of the fireplace extinguishing system.
The core elements include a central management 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 functionality in the case of a hearth. This way, the benefits of the mechanical proportioning principle are preserved.
How does the remote testing system work, and how can the proportioning price be checked with out activating the water pumps?
If in ready-to-operate mode, the proportioner is always within the proportioning place. Upon initiation of an computerized testing process, regardless of if after an outlined time interval, upon request via a cloud solution or from the fireplace extinguishing system/a native operator, the proportioner is put into testing operation. Specifically, the management system places the proportioner into testing operation using an electrically actuated ball valve drive whereas the foam agent just 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 electrical drive of the proportioner is activated, driving the entire proportioner at its start-up move fee. The start-up flow rate is the lowest working level of a proportioner to reach its nominal proportioning rate.
Due to the exterior electrical drive, the water motor works like a pump and generates a water move through the bypass from the water motor’s outlet to the water motor’s inlet. The operation causes no change of stress in the extinguishing water line. The fireplace extinguishing system is therefore not influenced when the proportioner is examined.
As the extinguishing water move fee simulated by the exterior drive can be recognized as a end result of recognized ratio of the water motor’s number of revolutions and the water flow fee, just the foam agent flow price have to be decided to allow the following calculation of the proportioning rate. This is completed by a volumetric circulate 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 flow fee, both in testing mode and while proportioning in case of an alarm.
The proportioning rate is determined based on the method as required in the standards and laws EN 13565-1, NFPA eleven, FM 4-12, and the Nordtest NT Fire 042 methodology.
Foam agent move price [l/min]
(Extinguishing water circulate rate x a hundred = proportioning rate %+ 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 know-how installed as a further option or inside the electrical drive permits acquiring further information and conclusions about the state and situation of the respective unit. It is checked, for example, whether or not the ball valves are of their appropriate positions or adequate oil is in the crankshaft housing of the proportioning pump. In addition, the strain values on the pump inlet/outlet and the stress on the water motor are recorded. Finally, measuring the entire system’s torque and the circulate fee inside the bypass line permits checking the overall situation of the proportioner.
The information can be displayed regionally or via a cloud solution. Controlling the maintenance operation is also attainable by way of each interfaces.
What if there might be an alarm throughout a testing process?
An important query is: Does the proportioner work with none limitations and as usual if there is an alarm? The reply is: Yes!
The distant testing system is designed in such a means that extinguishing water can circulate through the water motor and begin it up at any time, even when the electrical drive is working on the identical time. In addition, a novel, totally automatic and purely mechanical decoupling mechanism ensures that the electrical drive doesn’t 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 instantly 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 capabilities not necessary at that second and all ball valves to be set to their correct position.
Therefore, in case of an alarm during testing operation, the ball valves switch to their correct place totally routinely and the electric drive is switched off. Even if the electric drive continues to be operating or coming to a stop, the extinguishing water can flow by way of 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 pressure gauge ดิจิตอล and people outfitted with a distant monitoring system, a distant testing system provides various advantages. They function the following:
ν Proportione
Display view for testing operation of the FireDos remote 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 fire. If the proportioning fee is simply too low, the extinguishing success can be compromised. Overdosing causes the froth agent to be consumed sooner than intended, leading to the untimely ending of the froth operation.
Increasing useful and failure safety as a end result of elevated testing intervals: An elevated check interval causes the proportioner to be examined absolutely automatically at shorter intervals of time. This notably reduces the risk of a failure remaining undetected for a longer time frame. In addition, extra frequent testing prevents the formation of deposits inside the water motor.
Early fault detection and diagnostics: Faults within the proportioner or elements of the extinguishing system, immediately affecting the proportioner’s functionality, may be identified at an early stage of time. This consists of, for instance, strain variations in the extinguishing water line or a jammed suction line.
Inclusion of all functions and advantages of the remote monitoring system: All functions and benefits of the remote monitoring system are additionally current in the remote testing system, i.e. all related operating parameters are recorded and processed constantly and accurately as well as documented in a log file. In addition, all knowledge are displayed by a visualization.
Reduction of prices: Regular functional testing makes it attainable to detect faults even earlier. This way, upkeep and repairs can take place before any more critical damage happens. The elevated functionality and fault safety 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, reduced service and operating workforce on-site reduce costs considerably, notably if the proportioner is positioned in a distant place. In addition, useful testing of the proportioner allows early identification, evaluation and presumably limiting a fault remotely. This makes service visits more efficient and subsequently more cost-effective.
Summary and prospect
The remote monitoring system already offers varied advantages and helps cut back prices, but it can’t scale back the workforce required on-site.
The remote testing system is a solution for reducing maintenance requirements. It is the subsequent evolution in the middle of creating intelligent FireDos proportioners.
The remote testing system allows reducing the workforce required on-site to a minimal, along with shorter testing intervals and elevated failure safety. This increases the proportioner’s service life.
If the proportioner is in a fault-free state, no additional upkeep by personnel on-site is necessary, apart from an oil change. The oil change may be carried out by the operator’s personnel, too, simply and with none deeper data of the operating precept of proportioners. If a service visit or repair should still turn into necessary, distant monitoring and early fault detection will make the planning and completion of such work more environment friendly.
Like the remote monitoring system, the distant testing system is an optimum symbiosis of mechanical proportioners and an clever digital upgrade. Thus, the benefits from each expertise fields are mixed with out compromising the performance of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
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