Regular testing and maintenance guarantee a maximum service life and practical and failure-related safety of technical appliances. The identical applies to foam-based hearth 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 more cost-efficient for extinguishing system operators if this was attainable in a completely automated and remote-controlled manner. For instance, this would also make common maintenance personnel journey to remotely situated proportioners redundant. In addition, this would make sure that necessities by the producer, requirements and units of regulations are observed with none useful deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The remote testing system inside the ‘Smart Proportioner’ growth framework has been created just for this function. 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 upkeep and live firefighting operations.
In the course of remote monitoring, the proportioning price and different working parameters are determined, recorded and forwarded to the system operator if needed. Thus, the smooth functionality and operational readiness of the system are monitored and ensured this fashion.
A distant monitoring system consists of a control system, including an optionally available native display unit (HMI) if relevant, and sensor know-how. The sensor expertise consists of, as a minimum, the possibility to find out the water motor’s variety of revolutions and to find out the froth agent move fee. These values are used to calculate the proportioning price. This determine is the core attribute through the operation and testing of a foam proportioner. Further sensor know-how is on the market on an optionally available basis.
The distant monitoring system helps the operating and repair personnel on-site. It is also appropriate for distant monitoring of the froth proportioner.
However, it is a primary proven reality that personnel are at all times necessary to carry out the upkeep work or the proportioning fee testing on-site because the system plays a monitoring role only. It doesn’t actively interact with the functioning of the proportioner.
In the course of distant monitoring, the proportioning rate and different operating parameters are decided, displayed and forwarded. Images supplied by Author / Contributor
Evolution – from distant monitoring to remote testing
The query is the way to additional minimize the maintenance effort on foam proportioners.
ชนิดของpressuregauge lies in the distant testing system, the next step of the intelligent FireDos proportioners. The distant testing system allows monitoring of the proportioner and particular person upkeep, together with proportioning price testing.
The situation 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 that are solely hardly ever inspected by personnel on-site may be checked with out upkeep employees and associated expenses, corresponding to journey expenditure. In specific, increasing the testing interval is feasible with out further efforts. The instruction manual for FireDos proportioners requires regular starting-up, using the service crank manually as a minimum. This is intended to stop deposits contained in the equipment, impairing its ease of motion and thus conserving the proportioner’s performance. The distant testing system can adopt these regular movements and check the proportioning fee, rising the service life and useful safety of the proportioner.
What is the design of a distant testing system?
The distant testing system is usually based mostly upon the remote monitoring system. It is, however, particularly extended by the use of actuators. This is as a outcome of they enable the utterly independent operation of the distant testing system; i.e., the proportioning rate of the proportioner is tested with out activating the water pumps of the fireplace extinguishing system.
The core elements embrace 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 in order that the electrical drive will have no interference with the proportioner’s functionality within the case of a fireplace. This means, the advantages of the mechanical proportioning principle are preserved.
How does the distant testing system work, and the way can the proportioning price be checked without activating the water pumps?
If in ready-to-operate mode, the proportioner is always in the proportioning position. Upon initiation of an computerized testing process, irrespective of if after a defined time interval, upon request by way of 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 while the foam agent is not blended into the extinguishing water however returned to the froth agent tank. At the identical time, it opens the electrically actuated ball valve within the bypass line previous the water motor. Next, the electrical drive of the proportioner is activated, driving the whole proportioner at its start-up flow price. The start-up flow fee is the bottom working point of a proportioner to reach its nominal proportioning rate.
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 within the extinguishing water line. The fireplace extinguishing system is subsequently not influenced when the proportioner is examined.
As the extinguishing water move fee simulated by the external drive is also known due to the recognized ratio of the water motor’s number of revolutions and the water flow fee, simply the froth agent flow fee should be determined 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 allows determination of the froth agent flow fee, both in testing mode and while proportioning in case of an alarm.
The proportioning price is decided according to the formulation as required within the requirements and regulations EN 13565-1, NFPA eleven, FM 4-12, and the Nordtest NT Fire 042 methodology.
Foam agent flow rate [l/min]
(Extinguishing water move price x 100 = proportioning fee %+ foam agent circulate rate) [l/min]
After completion of the testing process, the electric drive of the proportioner stops, the bypass line is closed, and the proportioner is returned to proportioning mode.
Sensor technology installed as an additional choice or inside the electrical drive allows acquiring additional data and conclusions concerning the state and condition of the respective unit. It is checked, for example, whether the ball valves are of their right positions or sufficient oil is in the crankshaft housing of the proportioning pump. In addition, the strain values at the pump inlet/outlet and the pressure at the water motor are recorded. Finally, measuring the whole system’s torque and the move price inside the bypass line allows checking the overall condition of the proportioner.
The data can be displayed locally or by way of a cloud answer. Controlling the maintenance operation can be attainable via each interfaces.
What if there’s an alarm throughout a testing process?
An necessary question is: Does the proportioner work without any limitations and as ordinary if there is an alarm? The answer is: Yes!
The remote testing system is designed in such a method that extinguishing water can move through the water motor and start it up at any time, even when the electrical drive is working at the same time. In addition, a unique, absolutely computerized and purely mechanical decoupling mechanism ensures that the electrical drive doesn’t intrude 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 in order that the proportioner is in proportioning mode for firefighting. Thus, the control system is put into alarm mode in this case. This alarm mode causes the disabling of all features not essential at that second and all ball valves to be set to their right position.
Therefore, in case of an alarm during testing operation, the ball valves swap to their appropriate position absolutely routinely and the electric drive is switched off. Even if the electric drive is still 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 management system prevents re-activation of the electrical drive or any unintended ball valve switching.
What benefits does a remote testing system provide?
Compared with commonplace proportioners and those geared up with a remote monitoring system, a distant testing system supplies varied benefits. They function the next:
ν Proportione
Display view for testing operation of the FireDos remote testing system. Images supplied 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 fireplace. If the proportioning rate is simply too low, the extinguishing success could be compromised. Overdosing causes the froth agent to be consumed faster than intended, leading to the premature ending of the froth operation.
Increasing useful and failure security due to elevated testing intervals: An increased check interval causes the proportioner to be examined totally automatically at shorter intervals of time. This notably reduces the danger of a failure remaining undetected for an extended time frame. In addition, extra frequent testing prevents the formation of deposits contained in the water motor.
Early fault detection and diagnostics: Faults within the proportioner or components of the extinguishing system, instantly affecting the proportioner’s functionality, may be identified at an early stage of time. This includes, for instance, stress variations in the extinguishing water line or a jammed suction line.
Inclusion of all features and advantages of the distant monitoring system: All functions and advantages of the remote monitoring system are additionally present within the distant testing system, i.e. all relevant operating parameters are recorded and processed constantly and accurately as nicely as documented in a log file. In addition, all data are displayed by a visualization.
Reduction of prices: Regular practical testing makes it attainable to detect faults even earlier. This way, upkeep and repairs can take place earlier than any more serious injury happens. The elevated functionality and fault safety 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 reduce costs significantly, particularly if the proportioner is located in a distant place. In addition, useful testing of the proportioner permits early identification, evaluation and probably limiting a fault remotely. This makes service visits extra efficient and due to this fact less expensive.
Summary and prospect
The remote monitoring system already supplies numerous advantages and helps cut back costs, however it cannot reduce the workforce required on-site.
The remote testing system is a solution for decreasing maintenance necessities. It is the subsequent evolution in the course of creating clever FireDos proportioners.
The distant testing system allows lowering the workforce required on-site to a minimum, together 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 further maintenance by personnel on-site is critical, apart from an oil change. The oil change could be carried out by the operator’s personnel, too, simply and with none deeper knowledge of the working principle of proportioners. If a service go to or restore should nonetheless turn into essential, remote monitoring and early fault detection will make the planning and completion of such work more efficient.
Like the remote monitoring system, the distant testing system is an optimum symbiosis of mechanical proportioners and an clever electronic improve. Thus, the benefits from each know-how fields are combined without compromising the functionality of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
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