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GEN III Smart Proportioner – distant testing system

เพรสเชอร์เกจ and maintenance guarantee a maximum service life and useful and failure-related safety of technical appliances. The same applies to foam-based hearth extinguishing techniques and the froth proportioners installed in them.
Up to now, such testing and maintenance have required the presence of personnel on-site. However, it will be simpler and more cost-efficient for extinguishing system operators if this was potential in a totally automatic and remote-controlled method. For example, this would additionally make regular upkeep personnel journey to remotely situated proportioners redundant. In addition, this is able to make certain that necessities by the producer, requirements and units of laws are noticed with none useful deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The distant testing system within the ‘Smart Proportioner’ development framework has been created just for this purpose. 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 rate and other 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 distant monitoring system consists of a management system, together with an optional local display unit (HMI) if relevant, and sensor technology. The sensor technology includes, as a minimum, the likelihood to find out the water motor’s number of revolutions and to find out the foam agent move fee. These values are used to calculate the proportioning fee. This determine is the core attribute through the operation and testing of a foam proportioner. Further sensor technology is on the market on an elective basis.
The remote monitoring system helps the working and service personnel on-site. It can additionally be appropriate for remote monitoring of the froth proportioner.
However, it is a basic proven reality that personnel are always needed to hold out the upkeep work or the proportioning fee testing on-site because the system plays a monitoring position solely. 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 equipped by Author / Contributor

Evolution – from remote monitoring to remote testing

The query is how to further decrease the maintenance effort on foam proportioners.
The resolution lies within the remote testing system, the subsequent step of the clever FireDos proportioners. The distant 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 begin out up the hearth extinguishing system. No personnel are required on-site. Proportioners in a remote place or that are solely hardly ever inspected by personnel on-site may be checked with out upkeep workers and associated expenses, corresponding to travel expenditure. In particular, increasing the testing interval is possible without additional efforts. The instruction guide for FireDos proportioners requires common starting-up, utilizing the service crank manually as a minimum. This is meant to prevent deposits contained in the gear, impairing its ease of motion and thus conserving the proportioner’s functionality. The distant testing system can adopt these common movements and take a look at the proportioning rate, growing the service life and functional security of the proportioner.
What is the design of a distant testing system?

The remote testing system is mostly based mostly upon the distant monitoring system. It is, nonetheless, significantly extended by the use of actuators. This is as a end result of they enable the fully impartial operation of the distant testing system; i.e., the proportioning fee of the proportioner is examined with out activating the water pumps of the hearth extinguishing system.
The core parts 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 so that the electrical drive may have no interference with the proportioner’s functionality within the case of a fire. This method, some nice advantages of the mechanical proportioning precept are preserved.
How does the distant 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 in the proportioning place. Upon initiation of an automated testing process, regardless of if after a defined time interval, upon request via a cloud solution or from the fire extinguishing system/a native operator, the proportioner is put into testing operation. Specifically, the control system places the proportioner into testing operation utilizing an electrically actuated ball valve drive whereas the foam agent just isn’t blended into the extinguishing water but returned to the foam agent tank. At the identical time, it opens the electrically actuated ball valve within 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 price. The start-up flow fee is the lowest operating level of a proportioner to achieve its nominal proportioning price.
Due to the exterior electrical drive, the water motor works like a pump and generates a water move via the bypass from the water motor’s outlet to the water motor’s inlet. The operation causes no change of strain within the extinguishing water line. The fireplace extinguishing system is therefore not influenced when the proportioner is examined.
As the extinguishing water flow fee simulated by the external drive can additionally be known due to the recognized ratio of the water motor’s variety of revolutions and the water flow price, just the foam agent move price have to be determined to allow the following calculation of the proportioning price. This is finished by a volumetric circulate meter between the proportioning pump’s outlet and the ball valve, which switches between returning and proportioning mode. This allows willpower of the froth agent move price, both in testing mode and whereas proportioning in case of an alarm.
The proportioning price is determined based on the formula as required within the standards and rules EN 13565-1, NFPA 11, FM 4-12, and the Nordtest NT Fire 042 technique.
Foam agent move rate [l/min]

(Extinguishing water flow fee x 100 = proportioning rate %+ foam agent circulate 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 an additional option or inside the electric drive permits obtaining additional data and conclusions about 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 sufficient oil is within the crankshaft housing of the proportioning pump. In addition, the strain values on the pump inlet/outlet and the stress at the water motor are recorded. Finally, measuring the complete system’s torque and the circulate price inside the bypass line permits checking the overall situation of the proportioner.
The information can be displayed domestically or via a cloud answer. Controlling the maintenance operation can additionally be attainable through both interfaces.
What if there’s an alarm during a testing process?

An important query is: Does the proportioner work without any limitations and as usual if there might be an alarm? The reply is: Yes!

The remote testing system is designed in such a way that extinguishing water can flow 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 unique, totally computerized and purely mechanical decoupling mechanism ensures that the electrical drive does not intervene with the proportioner’s functioning and readiness to function.
In case of an alarm, the ball valves in the bypass line and people for switching between returning and proportioning are immediately switched in order 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 features not essential at that moment 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 appropriate position absolutely routinely and the electric drive is switched off. Even if the electrical drive is still operating or coming to a stop, the extinguishing water can move through 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 advantages does a distant testing system provide?

Compared with commonplace proportioners and those outfitted with a remote monitoring system, a remote testing system offers various advantages. They feature the next:
ν Proportione

Display view for testing operation of the FireDos distant testing system. Images provided by Author / Contributor

cian should be on-site.
Regular proportioning rate testing: Regular proportioning price testing ensures optimum functioning of the proportioner in case of a hearth. If the proportioning price is simply too low, the extinguishing success may be compromised. Overdosing causes the froth agent to be consumed faster than supposed, leading to the premature ending of the foam operation.
Increasing practical and failure safety due to elevated testing intervals: An elevated test interval causes the proportioner to be examined totally automatically at shorter intervals of time. This notably reduces the risk of a failure remaining undetected for a longer period of time. In addition, more frequent testing prevents the formation of deposits contained in the water motor.
Early fault detection and diagnostics: Faults within the proportioner or elements of the extinguishing system, instantly affecting the proportioner’s performance, could be identified at an early stage of time. This contains, for example, stress variations in the extinguishing water line or a jammed suction line.
Inclusion of all functions and advantages of the distant monitoring system: All capabilities and advantages of the remote monitoring system are also current within the remote testing system, i.e. all relevant working parameters are recorded and processed repeatedly and accurately in addition to documented in a log file. In addition, all information are displayed by a visualization.
Reduction of costs: Regular practical testing makes it potential to detect faults even earlier. This means, maintenance and repairs can happen earlier than any extra critical harm occurs. The increased performance and fault security of the proportioner ensures that the service life of the proportioners is maximized and the chance of a failure is minimized. As a result, decreased service and operating workforce on-site cut back costs significantly, significantly if the proportioner is situated in a distant place. In addition, practical testing of the proportioner permits early identification, analysis and possibly limiting a fault remotely. This makes service visits more environment friendly and subsequently more cost-effective.
Summary and prospect

The distant monitoring system already offers numerous advantages and helps cut back costs, but it can’t reduce the workforce required on-site.
The remote testing system is an answer for lowering maintenance requirements. It is the following evolution in the middle of developing clever FireDos proportioners.
The distant 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 necessary, aside from an oil change. The oil change could be carried out by the operator’s personnel, too, simply and with none deeper information of the operating principle of proportioners. If a service go to or repair should nonetheless become needed, remote monitoring and early fault detection will make the planning and completion of such work extra efficient.
Like the distant monitoring system, the distant testing system is an optimum symbiosis of mechanical proportioners and an intelligent electronic improve. Thus, the benefits from both know-how fields are mixed with out compromising the performance of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
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