GEN III Smart Proportioner – remote testing system

Regular testing and maintenance guarantee a most service life and functional and failure-related safety of technical home equipment. The similar applies to foam-based hearth extinguishing methods and the foam proportioners installed in them.
Up to now, such testing and upkeep have required the presence of personnel on-site. However, Nest egg will be simpler and more cost-efficient for extinguishing system operators if this was attainable in a completely computerized and remote-controlled manner. For example, this may additionally make common maintenance personnel travel to remotely positioned proportioners redundant. In addition, this may ensure that requirements by the producer, requirements and units of rules are observed without any useful deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The distant testing system inside the ‘Smart Proportioner’ development framework has been created only for this purpose. It is an development of the distant 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 remote monitoring, the proportioning price and other operating parameters are determined, recorded and forwarded to the system operator if needed. Thus, the graceful functionality and operational readiness of the system are monitored and ensured this manner.
A remote monitoring system consists of a control system, together with an elective native show unit (HMI) if relevant, and sensor technology. The sensor technology includes, at least, the chance to find out the water motor’s variety of revolutions and to determine 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 expertise is out there on an optionally available basis.
The remote monitoring system helps the working and repair personnel on-site. It can also be suitable for distant monitoring of the foam proportioner.
However, it’s a basic fact that personnel are at all times essential to hold out the maintenance work or the proportioning price 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 remote monitoring, the proportioning fee and other operating parameters are decided, displayed and forwarded. Images equipped by Author / Contributor
Evolution – from remote monitoring to remote testing
The query is how to further minimize the maintenance effort on foam proportioners.
The answer lies in the distant testing system, the following step of the clever FireDos proportioners. The remote testing system permits monitoring of the proportioner and particular person maintenance, including proportioning price testing.
The condition of the proportioner could be checked without having to start up the hearth extinguishing system. No personnel are required on-site. Proportioners in a distant place or which might be solely hardly ever inspected by personnel on-site could be checked with out upkeep workers and associated bills, corresponding to journey expenditure. In particular, growing the testing interval is possible without extra efforts. The instruction handbook for FireDos proportioners requires regular starting-up, utilizing the service crank manually as a minimum. This is intended to stop deposits contained in the tools, impairing its ease of movement and thus conserving the proportioner’s functionality. The remote testing system can adopt these common actions and take a look at the proportioning price, growing the service life and practical safety of the proportioner.
What is the design of a remote testing system?
The remote testing system is generally primarily based upon the distant monitoring system. It is, nevertheless, particularly prolonged by the use of actuators. This is because they allow the completely unbiased operation of the distant testing system; i.e., the proportioning fee of the proportioner is tested with out activating the water pumps of the fire extinguishing system.
The core components include a central control 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 could have no interference with the proportioner’s functionality within the case of a hearth. This means, the benefits of the mechanical proportioning precept are preserved.
How does the distant testing system work, and how can the proportioning fee 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 computerized testing process, no matter if after a defined time interval, upon request through a cloud answer 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 whereas the froth agent just isn’t blended into the extinguishing water however 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 electrical drive of the proportioner is activated, driving the complete proportioner at its start-up flow fee. The start-up move price is the lowest operating level of a proportioner to achieve its nominal proportioning fee.
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 due to this fact not influenced when the proportioner is tested.
As the extinguishing water move fee simulated by the exterior drive is also identified because of the identified ratio of the water motor’s variety of revolutions and the water flow price, simply the froth agent move fee must be decided to allow the next 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 permits dedication of the foam agent circulate fee, both in testing mode and while proportioning in case of an alarm.
The proportioning fee 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 technique.
Foam agent flow rate [l/min]
(Extinguishing water circulate price x a hundred = proportioning rate %+ 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 allows acquiring further information and conclusions in regards to the state and situation of the respective unit. It is checked, for example, whether the ball valves are in their correct positions or enough oil is within 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 move fee inside the bypass line allows checking the general condition of the proportioner.
The knowledge could be displayed regionally or by way of a cloud solution. Controlling the maintenance operation can be potential by way of each interfaces.
What if there might be an alarm during a testing process?
An important question is: Does the proportioner work with none limitations and as traditional 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, fully automated 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 needed at that second and all ball valves to be set to their correct position.
Therefore, in case of an alarm throughout testing operation, the ball valves swap to their appropriate place fully automatically and the electrical drive is switched off. Even if the electrical drive continues to be working or coming to a cease, the extinguishing water can circulate by way of 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 commonplace proportioners and people geared up with a remote monitoring system, a distant testing system offers varied advantages. They characteristic the following:
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 rate testing: Regular proportioning rate testing ensures optimum functioning of the proportioner in case of a fireplace. If the proportioning rate is too low, the extinguishing success can be compromised. Overdosing causes the foam agent to be consumed sooner than supposed, leading to the premature ending of the froth operation.
Increasing useful and failure safety as a end result of elevated testing intervals: An elevated test interval causes the proportioner to be tested fully routinely at shorter intervals of time. This notably reduces the danger 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 parts of the extinguishing system, instantly affecting the proportioner’s functionality, could be identified at an early stage of time. This contains, for instance, pressure variations within the extinguishing water line or a jammed suction line.
Inclusion of all capabilities and advantages of the remote monitoring system: All functions and advantages of the remote monitoring system are additionally current within the distant testing system, i.e. all relevant working parameters are recorded and processed repeatedly and correctly in addition to documented in a log file. In addition, all knowledge are displayed by a visualization.
Reduction of costs: Regular useful testing makes it possible to detect faults even earlier. This means, upkeep and repairs can happen earlier than any extra severe damage occurs. The increased functionality and fault security of the proportioner ensures that the service lifetime of the proportioners is maximized and the chance of a failure is minimized. As a outcome, reduced service and working workforce on-site scale back prices considerably, particularly if the proportioner is positioned in a distant place. In addition, practical testing of the proportioner allows early identification, analysis and probably limiting a fault remotely. This makes service visits more efficient and therefore cheaper.
Summary and prospect
The distant monitoring system already provides varied advantages and helps scale back costs, however it can’t cut back the workforce required on-site.
The remote testing system is an answer for lowering upkeep requirements. It is the following evolution in the course of developing 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 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 important, other than an oil change. The oil change can be carried out by the operator’s personnel, too, easily and without any deeper knowledge of the operating precept of proportioners. If a service visit or restore ought to nonetheless turn out to be necessary, distant monitoring and early fault detection will make the planning and completion of such work extra efficient.
Like the remote monitoring system, the distant testing system is an optimum symbiosis of mechanical proportioners and an intelligent digital improve. Thus, the benefits from both know-how fields are mixed with out compromising the performance of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
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