GEN III Smart Proportioner – remote testing system

Regular testing and upkeep guarantee a most service life and practical and failure-related safety of technical home equipment. The same applies to foam-based fire extinguishing systems and the froth proportioners installed in them.
Up to now, such testing and maintenance have required the presence of personnel on-site. However, it would be simpler and extra cost-efficient for extinguishing system operators if this was possible in a fully computerized and remote-controlled method. For instance, this is ready to also make common upkeep personnel journey to remotely located proportioners redundant. In addition, this would make certain that requirements by the producer, standards and sets of laws are noticed without any functional deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The distant testing system throughout the ‘Smart Proportioner’ improvement framework has been created only for this objective. It is an advancement of the remote monitoring system.
Brief overview of the remote monitoring system
The distant monitoring system is used for proportioner monitoring in testing mode during upkeep and stay firefighting operations.
In the course of distant monitoring, the proportioning fee and other operating parameters are decided, recorded and forwarded to the system operator if essential. Thus, the smooth functionality and operational readiness of the system are monitored and ensured this manner.
A remote monitoring system consists of a management system, together with an optionally available local show unit (HMI) if applicable, and sensor know-how. The sensor know-how includes, as a minimum, the chance to determine the water motor’s variety of revolutions and to find out the foam agent move fee. These values are used to calculate the proportioning price. This figure is the core characteristic through the operation and testing of a foam proportioner. Further sensor know-how is out there on an elective basis.
The remote monitoring system helps the operating and repair personnel on-site. It can be suitable for distant monitoring of the froth proportioner.
However, it’s a fundamental fact that personnel are at all times essential to carry out the maintenance work or the proportioning fee testing on-site as the system plays a monitoring function solely. Complete does not actively interact with the functioning of the proportioner.
In the course of distant monitoring, the proportioning fee and other working parameters are decided, displayed and forwarded. Images equipped by Author / Contributor
Evolution – from remote monitoring to remote testing
The question is the way to further minimize the upkeep effort on foam proportioners.
The solution lies within the remote testing system, the next step of the clever FireDos proportioners. The distant testing system allows monitoring of the proportioner and particular person maintenance, including proportioning price testing.
The situation of the proportioner may 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 may be only rarely inspected by personnel on-site can be checked with out maintenance workers and associated expenses, similar to travel expenditure. In specific, growing the testing interval is feasible without extra efforts. The instruction manual for FireDos proportioners requires common starting-up, using 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 functionality. The distant testing system can adopt these regular movements and take a look at the proportioning price, increasing the service life and practical security of the proportioner.
What is the design of a remote testing system?
The distant testing system is usually primarily based upon the remote monitoring system. It is, nevertheless, significantly extended by the use of actuators. This is because they permit the completely independent operation of the remote testing system; i.e., the proportioning rate of the proportioner is examined without activating the water pumps of the fireplace extinguishing system.
The core components embrace 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 previous the water motor.
The connection of the electrical drive and the proportioner is designed in order that the electrical drive could have no interference with the proportioner’s performance in the case of a fireplace. This means, some nice benefits of the mechanical proportioning precept are preserved.
How does the distant testing system work, and how can the proportioning rate be checked without activating the water pumps?
If in ready-to-operate mode, the proportioner is all the time within the proportioning position. Upon initiation of an automatic testing course of, regardless of if after a defined time interval, upon request via a cloud answer or from the hearth extinguishing system/a local operator, the proportioner is put into testing operation. Specifically, the control system puts the proportioner into testing operation using an electrically actuated ball valve drive while the foam agent isn’t combined 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 electric drive of the proportioner is activated, driving the whole proportioner at its start-up circulate fee. The start-up move rate is the lowest operating point of a proportioner to succeed in its nominal proportioning price.
Due to the exterior 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 pressure within the extinguishing water line. The fire extinguishing system is subsequently not influenced when the proportioner is examined.
As the extinguishing water move price simulated by the exterior drive can additionally be identified because of the known ratio of the water motor’s number of revolutions and the water move fee, simply the froth agent move rate must be decided to permit the following calculation of the proportioning price. This is finished by a volumetric move meter between the proportioning pump’s outlet and the ball valve, which switches between returning and proportioning mode. This permits dedication of the foam agent move rate, both in testing mode and whereas proportioning in case of an alarm.
The proportioning rate is determined based on the method as required in the requirements and rules EN 13565-1, NFPA 11, FM 4-12, and the Nordtest NT Fire 042 methodology.
Foam agent circulate fee [l/min]
(Extinguishing water move rate x 100 = 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 expertise installed as an extra possibility or inside the electrical drive permits acquiring further data and conclusions in regards to the state and condition of the respective unit. It is checked, for example, whether or not the ball valves are in their appropriate positions or enough oil is in the crankshaft housing of the proportioning pump. In addition, the stress values at the pump inlet/outlet and the strain at the water motor are recorded. Finally, measuring the complete system’s torque and the move rate contained in the bypass line allows checking the general condition of the proportioner.
The information can be displayed regionally or through a cloud solution. Controlling the upkeep operation can additionally be potential through both interfaces.
What if there’s an alarm during a testing process?
An essential query is: Does the proportioner work with none limitations and as traditional if there’s an alarm? The reply is: Yes!
The remote 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 on the similar time. In addition, a singular, fully computerized and purely mechanical decoupling mechanism ensures that the electrical drive doesn’t interfere with the proportioner’s functioning and readiness to function.
In case of an alarm, the ball valves within the bypass line and those for switching between returning and proportioning are instantly switched so that the proportioner is in proportioning mode for firefighting. Thus, the control system is put into alarm mode on this case. This alarm mode causes the disabling of all capabilities not necessary at that moment 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 appropriate position totally mechanically and the electric drive is switched off. Even if the electrical drive remains to be operating or coming to a cease, the extinguishing water can circulate 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 electric drive or any unintended ball valve switching.
What benefits does a distant testing system provide?
Compared with normal proportioners and people geared up with a remote monitoring system, a remote testing system provides varied benefits. They feature the next:
ν Proportione
Display view for testing operation of the FireDos remote testing system. Images equipped by Author / Contributor
cian need to be on-site.
Regular proportioning price testing: Regular proportioning rate testing ensures optimum functioning of the proportioner in case of a hearth. If the proportioning rate is too low, the extinguishing success can be compromised. Effortless causes the froth agent to be consumed faster than supposed, resulting in the premature ending of the froth operation.
Increasing useful and failure security as a result of increased testing intervals: An elevated take a look at interval causes the proportioner to be examined fully automatically at shorter intervals of time. This notably reduces the risk of a failure remaining undetected for an extended 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 parts of the extinguishing system, immediately affecting the proportioner’s functionality, can be identified at an early stage of time. This includes, for example, stress variations in the extinguishing water line or a jammed suction line.
Inclusion of all capabilities and benefits of the distant monitoring system: All features and benefits of the distant monitoring system are additionally current in the distant 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 information are displayed by a visualization.
Reduction of prices: Regular useful testing makes it possible to detect faults even earlier. This method, upkeep and repairs can take place before any extra serious damage occurs. The increased performance 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 end result, decreased service and working workforce on-site cut back costs considerably, notably if the proportioner is located in a distant place. In addition, useful testing of the proportioner allows early identification, evaluation and possibly limiting a fault remotely. This makes service visits more efficient and due to this fact cheaper.
Summary and prospect
The remote monitoring system already provides varied advantages and helps scale back costs, but it can’t scale back the workforce required on-site.
The remote testing system is an answer for reducing upkeep necessities. It is the following evolution in the center of growing intelligent FireDos proportioners.
The distant testing system permits reducing the workforce required on-site to a minimum, together 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 further maintenance by personnel on-site is critical, other than an oil change. The oil change could be carried out by the operator’s personnel, too, easily and with none deeper information of the operating precept of proportioners. If a service go to or restore should still turn into essential, remote monitoring and early fault detection will make the planning and completion of such work extra 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 technology fields are mixed without compromising the functionality of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
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