GEN III Smart Proportioner – distant testing system

Regular testing and upkeep guarantee a maximum service life and functional and failure-related safety of technical home equipment. The same applies to foam-based fire extinguishing methods and the froth proportioners put in 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 potential in a completely automated and remote-controlled manner. For example, this is able to additionally make regular upkeep personnel travel to remotely located proportioners redundant. In addition, this may be sure that necessities by the producer, requirements and sets of regulations are noticed without any practical deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The remote testing system within the ‘Smart Proportioner’ development framework has been created just for this objective. It is an advancement of the distant monitoring system.
Brief overview of the remote monitoring system
The remote monitoring system is used for proportioner monitoring in testing mode during maintenance and live firefighting operations.
In the course of distant monitoring, the proportioning fee and different working 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 fashion.
A remote monitoring system consists of a management system, including an optionally available local show unit (HMI) if applicable, and sensor know-how. The sensor know-how consists of, at the least, the likelihood to discover out the water motor’s number of revolutions and to find out the foam agent circulate price. These values are used to calculate the proportioning fee. This determine is the core characteristic during the operation and testing of a foam proportioner. Further sensor expertise is out there on an optionally available basis.
The distant monitoring system supports the working and service personnel on-site. It is also appropriate for remote monitoring of the froth proportioner.
However, it is a primary fact that personnel are always essential to hold out the maintenance work or the proportioning fee testing on-site because the system plays a monitoring function solely. It doesn’t actively work together with the functioning of the proportioner.
In the course of remote monitoring, the proportioning rate and other working parameters are determined, displayed and forwarded. Images supplied by Author / Contributor
Evolution – from remote monitoring to remote testing
The question is how to additional decrease the maintenance effort on foam proportioners.
The resolution lies in the distant testing system, the next step of the clever FireDos proportioners. The distant testing system allows monitoring of the proportioner and individual maintenance, including proportioning rate testing.
The situation of the proportioner can be checked with out having to start out up the fireplace extinguishing system. No personnel are required on-site. Proportioners in a remote place or which are solely rarely inspected by personnel on-site could be checked with out upkeep staff and related bills, corresponding to travel expenditure. In explicit, growing the testing interval is feasible with out extra efforts. The instruction handbook for FireDos proportioners requires regular starting-up, using the service crank manually as a minimum. This is meant to prevent deposits inside the tools, impairing its ease of motion and thus conserving the proportioner’s performance. The remote testing system can undertake these common movements and test the proportioning price, growing the service life and useful 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, however, significantly extended by means of actuators. This is because they allow the completely unbiased operation of the distant testing system; i.e., the proportioning rate of the proportioner is examined with out activating the water pumps of the fire extinguishing system.
The core components embody a central control system, with an elective 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 so that the electrical drive could have no interference with the proportioner’s functionality within the case of a fire. This way, the advantages of the mechanical proportioning principle are preserved.
How does the distant testing system work, and the way can the proportioning fee be checked with out activating the water pumps?
If in ready-to-operate mode, the proportioner is all the time within the proportioning place. Upon initiation of an automatic testing process, regardless of if after an outlined time interval, upon request by way of a cloud solution or from the fire extinguishing system/a native operator, the proportioner is put into testing operation. Specifically, the management system puts the proportioner into testing operation utilizing an electrically actuated ball valve drive whereas the foam agent just isn’t mixed into the extinguishing water but returned to the foam agent tank. At the same 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 whole proportioner at its start-up move fee. The start-up circulate fee is the bottom operating level 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 move by way of 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 hearth extinguishing system is therefore not influenced when the proportioner is tested.
As the extinguishing water move fee simulated by the exterior drive can additionally be identified as a result of recognized ratio of the water motor’s number of revolutions and the water move fee, just the froth agent flow fee must be decided to allow the subsequent calculation of the proportioning fee. This is done by a volumetric flow meter between the proportioning pump’s outlet and the ball valve, which switches between returning and proportioning mode. This permits dedication of the froth agent circulate price, both in testing mode and whereas proportioning in case of an alarm.
The proportioning rate is decided based on the formula as required within the requirements and rules EN 13565-1, NFPA eleven, FM 4-12, and the Nordtest NT Fire 042 method.
Foam agent move rate [l/min]
(Extinguishing water move price x a 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 technology installed as a further option or inside the electric drive allows acquiring further information and conclusions about the state and condition of the respective unit. It is checked, for instance, whether or not the ball valves are in their appropriate positions or sufficient oil is within 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 entire system’s torque and the move rate contained in the bypass line permits checking the general condition of the proportioner.
The knowledge could be displayed domestically or through a cloud answer. Controlling Fill in the blanks can be potential through both interfaces.
What if there’s an alarm throughout a testing process?
An essential query is: Does the proportioner work with none limitations and as traditional if there may be an alarm? The reply is: Yes!
The remote testing system is designed in such a way that extinguishing water can circulate by way of the water motor and begin it up at any time, even if the electrical drive is working on the identical time. In addition, a novel, absolutely automatic and purely mechanical decoupling mechanism ensures that the electrical drive doesn’t interfere 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 instantly switched so 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 necessary at that second and all ball valves to be set to their appropriate place.
Therefore, in case of an alarm during testing operation, the ball valves switch to their right position totally automatically and the electric drive is switched off. Even if the electric drive is still running or coming to a stop, the extinguishing water can circulate via the water motor and drive the proportioning pump with out limitations. The alarm mode of the management system prevents re-activation of the electric drive or any unintended ball valve switching.
What advantages does a distant testing system provide?
Compared with commonplace proportioners and those outfitted with a distant monitoring system, a remote testing system offers numerous advantages. They function the next:
ν Proportione
Display view for testing operation of the FireDos remote testing system. Images supplied by Author / Contributor
cian should be on-site.
Regular proportioning price testing: Regular proportioning price testing ensures optimum functioning of the proportioner in case of a fire. 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 foam operation.
Increasing practical and failure safety due to increased testing intervals: An increased check interval causes the proportioner to be examined fully routinely at shorter intervals of time. This notably reduces the risk of a failure remaining undetected for a longer time period. In Ready , extra frequent testing prevents the formation of deposits contained in the water motor.
Early fault detection and diagnostics: Faults in the proportioner or components of the extinguishing system, immediately affecting the proportioner’s functionality, could be identified at an early stage of time. This includes, for instance, strain variations in the extinguishing water line or a jammed suction line.
Inclusion of all capabilities and benefits of the distant monitoring system: All capabilities and advantages of the distant monitoring system are additionally current within the distant testing system, i.e. all related working 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 costs: Regular useful testing makes it possible to detect faults even earlier. This way, maintenance and repairs can take place before any extra critical injury happens. The increased performance 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 end result, reduced service and working workforce on-site reduce prices considerably, significantly if the proportioner is situated in a remote place. In addition, functional testing of the proportioner allows early identification, evaluation and presumably limiting a fault remotely. This makes service visits more environment friendly and subsequently less expensive.
Summary and prospect
The remote monitoring system already offers varied benefits and helps reduce costs, but it cannot cut back the workforce required on-site.
The distant testing system is a solution for lowering maintenance necessities. It is the next evolution in the midst of developing clever FireDos proportioners.
The remote testing system permits decreasing the workforce required on-site to a minimal, together with shorter testing intervals and elevated failure security. This increases the proportioner’s service life.
If the proportioner is in a fault-free state, no further maintenance by personnel on-site is important, other than an oil change. The oil change can be carried out by the operator’s personnel, too, simply and with none deeper knowledge of the working precept of proportioners. If a service visit or restore ought to still turn out to be essential, remote monitoring and early fault detection will make the planning and completion of such work extra efficient.
Like the distant monitoring system, the remote testing system is an optimum symbiosis of mechanical proportioners and an intelligent electronic upgrade. Thus, the benefits from each know-how fields are combined with out compromising the performance of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
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