GEN III Smart Proportioner – remote testing system

Regular testing and maintenance guarantee a maximum service life and useful and failure-related security of technical home equipment. The identical applies to foam-based fireplace 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, it would be easier and extra cost-efficient for extinguishing system operators if this was attainable in a completely automatic and remote-controlled manner. For instance, this is in a position to additionally make regular maintenance personnel travel to remotely located proportioners redundant. In addition, this would be sure that requirements by the producer, requirements and units of rules are observed without any functional deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The distant testing system within the ‘Smart Proportioner’ improvement framework has been created only for this function. It is an advancement of the distant monitoring system.
Brief overview of the remote monitoring system

The distant monitoring system is used for proportioner monitoring in testing mode throughout upkeep and reside 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 graceful performance and operational readiness of the system are monitored and ensured this fashion.
A remote monitoring system consists of a management system, together with an optionally available native show unit (HMI) if relevant, and sensor technology. The sensor expertise consists of, at the least, the likelihood to determine the water motor’s variety of revolutions and to discover out the froth agent circulate fee. These values are used to calculate the proportioning fee. This determine is the core attribute during the operation and testing of a foam proportioner. Further sensor expertise is on the market on an optional basis.
The distant monitoring system helps the working and service personnel on-site. It can additionally be suitable for remote monitoring of the froth proportioner.
However, it is a basic fact that personnel are all the time essential to hold out the maintenance work or the proportioning price testing on-site as 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 price and different working parameters are decided, displayed and forwarded. Images provided by Author / Contributor

Evolution – from distant monitoring to remote testing

The query is how to additional minimize the upkeep effort on foam proportioners.
The answer lies within the remote testing system, the following step of the intelligent FireDos proportioners. The distant testing system allows monitoring of the proportioner and particular person maintenance, together with proportioning rate testing.
The condition of the proportioner may be checked with out having to begin up the fireplace extinguishing system. ไดอะแฟรม ซีล are required on-site. Proportioners in a remote place or which are solely rarely inspected by personnel on-site could be checked without maintenance staff and associated bills, corresponding to journey expenditure. In explicit, growing the testing interval is feasible with out further efforts. The instruction handbook for FireDos proportioners requires regular starting-up, using the service crank manually at the least. This is meant to prevent deposits contained in the tools, impairing its ease of movement and thus conserving the proportioner’s performance. The remote testing system can undertake these regular actions and test the proportioning fee, rising the service life and functional safety of the proportioner.
What is the design of a distant testing system?

The remote testing system is mostly based upon the distant monitoring system. It is, nevertheless, significantly prolonged by the use of actuators. This is because they allow the completely impartial operation of the distant testing system; i.e., the proportioning rate of the proportioner is tested without activating the water pumps of the fire extinguishing system.
The core components embody a central control 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 could have no interference with the proportioner’s functionality in the case of a fireplace. This method, the advantages of the mechanical proportioning precept are preserved.
How does the remote testing system work, and the way can the proportioning rate be checked without activating the water pumps?

If in ready-to-operate mode, the proportioner is always within the proportioning place. Upon initiation of an automated testing process, no matter if after a defined time interval, upon request via a cloud answer or from the hearth 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 froth agent just isn’t combined into the extinguishing water but returned to the froth agent tank. At the identical 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 entire proportioner at its start-up circulate fee. The start-up move fee is the bottom working level of a proportioner to succeed in its nominal proportioning rate.
Due to the external 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 pressure within the extinguishing water line. The fire extinguishing system is therefore not influenced when the proportioner is tested.
As the extinguishing water circulate rate simulated by the exterior drive can also be identified as a result of known ratio of the water motor’s variety of revolutions and the water flow rate, just the foam agent circulate fee have to 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 allows willpower of the froth agent flow price, each in testing mode and whereas proportioning in case of an alarm.
The proportioning price is decided according to the formulation as required in the standards and regulations EN 13565-1, NFPA eleven, FM 4-12, and the Nordtest NT Fire 042 methodology.
Foam agent flow price [l/min]

(Extinguishing water move price x 100 = proportioning price %+ foam agent flow 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 put in as a further possibility or inside the electrical drive permits obtaining additional data and conclusions concerning the state and condition of the respective unit. It is checked, for example, whether or not the ball valves are of their right 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 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 locally or via a cloud resolution. Controlling the maintenance operation can be possible through each interfaces.
What if there could be an alarm during a testing process?

An essential query is: Does the proportioner work without any limitations and as traditional if there’s an alarm? The answer is: Yes!

The remote testing system is designed in such a method 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 same time. In addition, a singular, absolutely automatic and purely mechanical decoupling mechanism ensures that the electrical drive does not intrude 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 management system is put into alarm mode on this case. This alarm mode causes the disabling of all features not necessary at that moment and all ball valves to be set to their correct place.
Therefore, in case of an alarm during testing operation, the ball valves change to their appropriate place absolutely mechanically and the electrical drive is switched off. Even if the electrical drive is still operating or coming to a cease, the extinguishing water can flow 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 benefits does a distant testing system provide?

Compared with commonplace proportioners and people geared up with a distant monitoring system, a remote testing system provides varied advantages. They function the following:
ν Proportione

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

cian have to be on-site.
Regular proportioning price testing: Regular proportioning rate testing ensures optimum functioning of the proportioner in case of a hearth. If the proportioning rate is merely too low, the extinguishing success may be compromised. Overdosing causes the foam agent to be consumed sooner than intended, resulting in the untimely ending of the foam operation.
Increasing useful and failure safety as a end result of increased testing intervals: An elevated test interval causes the proportioner to be tested absolutely routinely at shorter intervals of time. This notably reduces the risk of a failure remaining undetected for an extended period of time. 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 parts of the extinguishing system, immediately affecting the proportioner’s functionality, can be identified at an early stage of time. This consists of, for example, pressure variations in the extinguishing water line or a jammed suction line.
Inclusion of all functions and advantages of the remote monitoring system: All features and benefits of the remote monitoring system are also present within the remote testing system, i.e. all related operating parameters are recorded and processed constantly and appropriately 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 attainable to detect faults even earlier. This way, maintenance and repairs can take place before any more serious harm happens. The increased 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 end result, lowered service and working workforce on-site scale back costs considerably, notably if the proportioner is situated in a remote place. In addition, useful testing of the proportioner allows early identification, analysis and possibly limiting a fault remotely. This makes service visits more environment friendly and therefore more cost-effective.
Summary and prospect

The remote monitoring system already supplies varied benefits and helps cut back costs, but it can not scale back the workforce required on-site.
The remote testing system is an answer for decreasing maintenance requirements. It is the following evolution in the midst of developing clever FireDos proportioners.
The distant testing system permits decreasing the workforce required on-site to a minimal, along with shorter testing intervals and increased 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, aside from an oil change. The oil change could be carried out by the operator’s personnel, too, easily and with none deeper data of the operating precept of proportioners. If a service visit or repair should still become necessary, remote monitoring and early fault detection will make the planning and completion of such work extra environment friendly.
Like the remote monitoring system, the remote testing system is an optimum symbiosis of mechanical proportioners and an clever digital improve. Thus, the advantages from each know-how fields are mixed with out compromising the performance of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
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