GEN III Smart Proportioner – distant testing system

Regular testing and upkeep guarantee a most service life and functional and failure-related security of technical appliances. The similar applies to foam-based fire extinguishing techniques and the froth proportioners put in in them.
Up to now, such testing and upkeep have required the presence of personnel on-site. However, it will be easier and extra cost-efficient for extinguishing system operators if this was possible in a completely computerized and remote-controlled method. For example, this may also make regular upkeep personnel journey to remotely located proportioners redundant. In addition, this is able to be certain that requirements by the producer, requirements and sets of regulations are observed with none useful deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The remote testing system within the ‘Smart Proportioner’ improvement framework has been created just for this purpose. It is an development of the remote monitoring system.
เพรสเชอร์เกจ4นิ้ว of the remote monitoring system

The distant monitoring system is used for proportioner monitoring in testing mode during maintenance and live firefighting operations.
In the course of remote monitoring, the proportioning price and other working parameters are decided, recorded and forwarded to the system operator if essential. Thus, the graceful performance and operational readiness of the system are monitored and ensured this manner.
A distant monitoring system consists of a control system, including an optionally available native show unit (HMI) if relevant, and sensor expertise. The sensor know-how includes, at least, the likelihood to determine the water motor’s number of revolutions and to find out the froth agent move rate. These values are used to calculate the proportioning rate. This figure is the core attribute through the operation and testing of a foam proportioner. Further sensor expertise is available on an elective foundation.
The distant monitoring system helps the operating and service personnel on-site. It can additionally be appropriate for distant monitoring of the foam proportioner.
However, it is a fundamental incontrovertible truth that personnel are always necessary to hold out the maintenance work or the proportioning rate testing on-site because the system performs a monitoring position solely. It doesn’t actively interact with the functioning of the proportioner.
In the course of remote monitoring, the proportioning rate and other working parameters are decided, displayed and forwarded. Images equipped by Author / Contributor

Evolution – from remote monitoring to distant testing

The query is how to further minimize the maintenance effort on foam proportioners.
The resolution lies in the remote testing system, the following step of the intelligent FireDos proportioners. The remote testing system permits monitoring of the proportioner and individual upkeep, together with proportioning fee 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 distant place or that are solely hardly ever inspected by personnel on-site could be checked with out maintenance employees and related expenses, corresponding to travel expenditure. In particular, increasing the testing interval is possible without extra efforts. The instruction guide for FireDos proportioners requires common starting-up, using the service crank manually as a minimum. This is intended to forestall deposits inside the gear, impairing its ease of motion and thus conserving the proportioner’s functionality. The distant testing system can adopt these regular movements and test the proportioning price, growing the service life and functional security of the proportioner.
What is the design of a distant testing system?

The distant testing system is mostly based mostly upon the distant monitoring system. It is, however, notably extended by method of actuators. This is because they allow the completely independent operation of the remote testing system; i.e., the proportioning fee of the proportioner is examined without activating the water pumps of the hearth extinguishing system.
The core elements embody a central management system, with an optional HMI, sensor know-how, 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 may have no interference with the proportioner’s functionality within the case of a hearth. This means, the advantages of the mechanical proportioning principle are preserved.
How does the remote testing system work, and how can the proportioning price be checked without activating the water pumps?

If in ready-to-operate mode, the proportioner is all the time within the proportioning place. Upon initiation of an automated testing process, no matter if after an outlined time interval, upon request via a cloud answer or from the fireplace extinguishing system/a local 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 froth 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 move rate. The start-up move fee is the lowest working level of a proportioner to reach its nominal proportioning fee.
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 in the extinguishing water line. The hearth extinguishing system is subsequently not influenced when the proportioner is tested.
As the extinguishing water move price simulated by the exterior drive can additionally be identified because of the recognized ratio of the water motor’s number of revolutions and the water move price, simply the foam agent flow price should be decided to permit the next calculation of the proportioning price. 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 willpower of the froth agent flow rate, both in testing mode and while proportioning in case of an alarm.
The proportioning rate is decided according to the formula as required in the requirements and laws EN 13565-1, NFPA eleven, FM 4-12, and the Nordtest NT Fire 042 method.
Foam agent circulate fee [l/min]

(Extinguishing water circulate rate x one hundred = proportioning fee %+ foam agent flow 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 expertise installed as an additional possibility or inside the electrical drive permits obtaining additional info and conclusions concerning the state and situation of the respective unit. It is checked, for instance, whether or not the ball valves are of their correct positions or adequate oil is within the crankshaft housing of the proportioning pump. In addition, the pressure values at the pump inlet/outlet and the pressure on the water motor are recorded. Finally, measuring the whole system’s torque and the circulate rate inside the bypass line permits checking the final condition of the proportioner.
The knowledge may be displayed domestically or via a cloud solution. Controlling the upkeep operation is also possible by way of each interfaces.
What if there may be an alarm during a testing process?

An essential query is: Does the proportioner work with none limitations and as usual if there may be an alarm? The reply is: Yes!

The remote testing system is designed in such a method that extinguishing water can move via the water motor and start it up at any time, even if the electrical drive is working at 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 in the bypass line and those 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 functions not necessary at that moment and all ball valves to be set to their right position.
Therefore, in case of an alarm during testing operation, the ball valves switch to their right place absolutely routinely 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 flow via 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 remote testing system provide?

Compared with commonplace proportioners and people geared up with a remote monitoring system, a distant testing system offers varied benefits. They feature the next:
ν Proportione

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

cian have to be on-site.
Regular proportioning fee testing: Regular proportioning price testing ensures optimum functioning of the proportioner in case of a fire. If the proportioning price is merely too low, the extinguishing success could be compromised. Overdosing causes the froth agent to be consumed faster than meant, leading to the premature ending of the foam operation.
Increasing practical and failure security due to increased testing intervals: An elevated check interval causes the proportioner to be examined fully mechanically 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 contained in the water motor.
Early fault detection and diagnostics: Faults in the proportioner or elements of the extinguishing system, immediately affecting the proportioner’s performance, can be recognized at an early stage of time. This contains, for instance, stress variations within the extinguishing water line or a jammed suction line.
Inclusion of all features and advantages of the remote monitoring system: All capabilities and benefits of the distant monitoring system are additionally present within the remote testing system, i.e. all related operating parameters are recorded and processed continuously and accurately as properly as documented in a log file. In addition, all knowledge are displayed by a visualization.
Reduction of prices: Regular practical testing makes it attainable to detect faults even earlier. This way, maintenance and repairs can take place before any more critical damage occurs. The increased functionality 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 end result, lowered 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 permits early identification, analysis and probably limiting a fault remotely. This makes service visits more environment friendly and due to this fact cheaper.
Summary and prospect

The distant monitoring system already offers numerous advantages and helps scale back prices, nevertheless it cannot scale back the workforce required on-site.
The remote testing system is an answer for decreasing maintenance requirements. It is the next evolution in the center of growing clever FireDos proportioners.
The remote testing system permits lowering the workforce required on-site to a minimum, along with shorter testing intervals and increased failure security. This increases the proportioner’s service life.
If the proportioner is in a fault-free state, no further upkeep by personnel on-site is critical, aside from an oil change. The oil change could be carried out by the operator’s personnel, too, simply and without any deeper information of the operating precept of proportioners. If a service visit or repair should nonetheless become essential, remote monitoring and early fault detection will make the planning and completion of such work more efficient.
Like the remote monitoring system, the remote testing system is an optimum symbiosis of mechanical proportioners and an clever electronic upgrade. Thus, the benefits from each know-how fields are mixed with out compromising the performance of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
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