GEN III Smart Proportioner – distant testing system

Regular testing and maintenance ensure a most service life and functional and failure-related safety of technical home equipment. The same applies to foam-based hearth 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 easier and extra cost-efficient for extinguishing system operators if this was potential in a completely computerized and remote-controlled method. For instance, this may additionally make regular maintenance personnel travel to remotely positioned proportioners redundant. In addition, this may ensure that necessities by the manufacturer, requirements and units of laws are noticed with none practical deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The distant testing system inside the ‘Smart Proportioner’ improvement framework has been created only for this function. It is an development of the remote monitoring system.
Brief overview of the remote monitoring system

The distant 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 operating parameters are determined, recorded and forwarded to the system operator if essential. Thus, the smooth performance and operational readiness of the system are monitored and ensured this manner.
A remote monitoring system consists of a control system, together with an optionally available native display unit (HMI) if relevant, and sensor technology. เพรสเชอร์เกจ contains, as a minimum, the chance to discover out the water motor’s number of revolutions and to determine the froth agent move fee. These values are used to calculate the proportioning fee. This figure is the core characteristic during the operation and testing of a foam proportioner. Further sensor know-how is on the market on an elective foundation.
The distant monitoring system supports the operating and service personnel on-site. It can also be suitable for remote monitoring of the foam proportioner.
However, it’s a basic fact that personnel are all the time essential to carry out the maintenance work or the proportioning fee testing on-site because the system plays a monitoring role only. It doesn’t actively work together with the functioning of the proportioner.
In the course of remote monitoring, the proportioning fee and different operating parameters are determined, displayed and forwarded. Images provided by Author / Contributor

Evolution – from remote monitoring to distant testing

The query is the means to further decrease the maintenance effort on foam proportioners.
The answer lies in the remote testing system, the subsequent step of the intelligent FireDos proportioners. The distant testing system permits monitoring of the proportioner and particular person maintenance, together with proportioning price testing.
The condition of the proportioner may be checked without having to begin up the fireplace extinguishing system. No personnel are required on-site. Proportioners in a distant place or which would possibly be only hardly ever inspected by personnel on-site may be checked without upkeep employees and related expenses, corresponding to journey expenditure. In explicit, rising the testing interval is possible without further efforts. The instruction manual for FireDos proportioners requires common starting-up, using the service crank manually at least. This is intended to prevent deposits contained in the tools, impairing its ease of movement and thus conserving the proportioner’s functionality. The remote testing system can adopt these regular actions and check the proportioning price, rising the service life and practical security of the proportioner.
What is the design of a remote testing system?

The distant testing system is generally primarily based upon the distant monitoring system. It is, however, significantly prolonged by method of actuators. This is as a end result of they enable the utterly unbiased operation of the remote 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 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 so that the electrical drive could have no interference with the proportioner’s performance within the case of a fireplace. This way, some nice advantages of the mechanical proportioning principle 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 at all times in the proportioning position. Upon initiation of an computerized testing course of, no matter if after an outlined time interval, upon request via a cloud resolution or from the fire extinguishing system/a local operator, the proportioner is put into testing operation. Specifically, the control system puts the proportioner into testing operation using an electrically actuated ball valve drive while 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 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 flow price. The start-up move price is the bottom operating point of a proportioner to achieve its nominal proportioning rate.
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 in the extinguishing water line. The hearth extinguishing system is therefore not influenced when the proportioner is tested.
As the extinguishing water move price simulated by the external drive can be identified as a end result of known ratio of the water motor’s number of revolutions and the water flow rate, simply the froth agent circulate fee must be decided to permit the following calculation of the proportioning rate. This is finished by a volumetric move 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 fee, both in testing mode and while proportioning in case of an alarm.
The proportioning rate is set based on the formulation as required in the standards and regulations EN 13565-1, NFPA 11, FM 4-12, and the Nordtest NT Fire 042 methodology.
Foam agent circulate rate [l/min]

(Extinguishing water move rate x a hundred = proportioning fee %+ foam agent circulate 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 choice or inside the electrical drive permits acquiring additional information and conclusions in regards to the state and situation of the respective unit. It is checked, for instance, whether the ball valves are in their correct positions or adequate oil is within the crankshaft housing of the proportioning pump. In addition, the stress values on the pump inlet/outlet and the stress at the water motor are recorded. Finally, measuring the whole system’s torque and the move fee inside the bypass line allows checking the general situation of the proportioner.
The data could be displayed domestically or via a cloud resolution. Controlling the upkeep operation can also be attainable through each interfaces.
What if there’s an alarm throughout a testing process?

An necessary query is: Does the proportioner work without any limitations and as traditional if there is an alarm? The reply is: Yes!

The distant testing system is designed in such a method that extinguishing water can circulate via the water motor and start it up at any time, even if the electrical drive is working on the identical time. In addition, a unique, absolutely automated and purely mechanical decoupling mechanism ensures that the electrical drive does not interfere with the proportioner’s functioning and readiness to operate.
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 in 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 right place.
Therefore, in case of an alarm throughout testing operation, the ball valves change to their correct place fully mechanically and the electrical drive is switched off. Even if the electrical drive continues to be operating or coming to a cease, the extinguishing water can circulate via the water motor and drive the proportioning pump without 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 remote testing system provide?

Compared with standard proportioners and people geared up with a remote monitoring system, a remote testing system provides varied benefits. They characteristic the next:
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 fee testing: Regular proportioning fee testing ensures optimum functioning of the proportioner in case of a fire. If the proportioning rate is just too low, the extinguishing success can be compromised. Overdosing causes the foam agent to be consumed sooner than supposed, leading to the premature ending of the foam operation.
Increasing practical and failure security because of elevated testing intervals: An elevated take a look at interval causes the proportioner to be examined absolutely routinely at shorter intervals of time. This notably reduces the danger of a failure remaining undetected for a longer time period. In addition, extra frequent testing prevents the formation of deposits inside the water motor.
Early fault detection and diagnostics: Faults within the proportioner or elements of the extinguishing system, instantly affecting the proportioner’s functionality, may be identified at an early stage of time. This consists of, for instance, stress variations within the extinguishing water line or a jammed suction line.
Inclusion of all functions and advantages of the remote monitoring system: All functions and advantages of the remote monitoring system are also present within the remote testing system, i.e. all relevant operating parameters are recorded and processed continuously and correctly as properly as documented in a log file. In addition, all data are displayed by a visualization.
Reduction of prices: Regular functional testing makes it attainable to detect faults even earlier. This method, maintenance and repairs can take place earlier than any more severe injury happens. The elevated performance and fault safety of the proportioner ensures that the service life of the proportioners is maximized and the probability of a failure is minimized. As a outcome, lowered service and working workforce on-site reduce prices considerably, particularly if the proportioner is positioned in a remote place. In digital pressure gauge , functional testing of the proportioner permits early identification, evaluation and possibly limiting a fault remotely. This makes service visits more efficient and subsequently cheaper.
Summary and prospect

The distant monitoring system already supplies varied advantages and helps reduce prices, but it can’t reduce the workforce required on-site.
The distant testing system is an answer for reducing maintenance necessities. It is the next evolution in the midst of developing intelligent FireDos proportioners.
The distant testing system permits lowering the workforce required on-site to a minimum, along with shorter testing intervals and elevated failure safety. 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, other than an oil change. The oil change may be carried out by the operator’s personnel, too, easily and without any deeper information of the operating precept of proportioners. If a service go to or restore should still turn into essential, remote monitoring and early fault detection will make the planning and completion of such work extra efficient.
Like the remote monitoring system, the remote testing system is an optimum symbiosis of mechanical proportioners and an clever electronic upgrade. Thus, the advantages from each know-how fields are combined with out compromising the functionality of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
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