GEN III Smart Proportioner – remote testing system

Regular testing and upkeep ensure a most service life and practical and failure-related safety of technical home equipment. The same applies to foam-based fireplace extinguishing techniques 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 will be simpler and extra cost-efficient for extinguishing system operators if this was attainable in a completely automated and remote-controlled manner. For instance, this is ready to additionally make regular upkeep personnel journey to remotely positioned proportioners redundant. In addition, this may make sure that requirements by the manufacturer, standards and sets of regulations are noticed with none functional deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The remote testing system throughout the ‘Smart Proportioner’ development framework has been created only for this function. It is an development 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 maintenance and stay firefighting operations.
In the course of distant monitoring, the proportioning fee and other operating parameters are determined, recorded and forwarded to the system operator if necessary. Thus, the smooth performance and operational readiness of the system are monitored and ensured this fashion.
A distant monitoring system consists of a control system, together with an optionally available local display unit (HMI) if applicable, and sensor know-how. The sensor expertise contains, as a minimum, the likelihood to discover out the water motor’s number of revolutions and to discover out the froth agent flow fee. These values are used to calculate the proportioning fee. This determine is the core characteristic through the operation and testing of a foam proportioner. Further sensor technology is available on an optional basis.
The distant monitoring system helps the operating and service personnel on-site. It can be appropriate for remote monitoring of the foam proportioner.
However, it’s a fundamental proven reality that personnel are all the time necessary to hold out the maintenance work or the proportioning price testing on-site as the system performs a monitoring function only. It does not actively work together with the functioning of the proportioner.
In the course of distant monitoring, the proportioning fee and other working parameters are determined, displayed and forwarded. Images provided by Author / Contributor

Evolution – from remote monitoring to remote testing

The query is tips on how to further reduce the upkeep effort on foam proportioners.
The resolution lies within the remote testing system, the next step of the clever FireDos proportioners. The distant testing system permits monitoring of the proportioner and individual maintenance, together with proportioning rate testing.
The condition of the proportioner can be checked with out having to start out up the fireplace extinguishing system. No personnel are required on-site. Proportioners in a remote place or which may be only not often inspected by personnel on-site can be checked without maintenance employees and related bills, similar to journey expenditure. In specific, increasing the testing interval is feasible with out additional efforts. The instruction manual for FireDos proportioners requires common starting-up, using the service crank manually at the least. This is intended to forestall deposits contained in the tools, impairing its ease of motion and thus conserving the proportioner’s functionality. The remote testing system can adopt these common actions and check the proportioning fee, increasing the service life and functional safety of the proportioner.
What is the design of a distant testing system?

The distant testing system is usually based upon the remote monitoring system. It is, nonetheless, significantly extended by means of actuators. This is as a outcome of they allow the utterly independent operation of the remote testing system; i.e., the proportioning price of the proportioner is examined with out activating the water pumps of the hearth extinguishing system.
The core components embrace a central control system, with an optional HMI, sensor technology, electrical ball valve drives, an electrical drive for the proportioner and a bypass line past 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 performance in the case of a hearth. This method, some nice benefits of the mechanical proportioning precept are preserved.
How does the distant testing system work, and the way can the proportioning price be checked with out activating the water pumps?

If in ready-to-operate mode, the proportioner is at all times within the proportioning place. Upon initiation of an computerized testing process, no matter if after an outlined time interval, upon request via a cloud answer 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 while the froth agent isn’t mixed into the extinguishing water but returned to the froth agent tank. At the same time, it opens the electrically actuated ball valve in the bypass line past the water motor. Next, the electric drive of the proportioner is activated, driving the complete proportioner at its start-up move price. The start-up circulate fee is the bottom working point of a proportioner to succeed in its nominal proportioning fee.
Due to the external electrical drive, the water motor works like a pump and generates a water move through the bypass from the water motor’s outlet to the water motor’s inlet. The operation causes no change of stress in the extinguishing water line. The fire extinguishing system is subsequently not influenced when the proportioner is examined.
As the extinguishing water circulate price simulated by the external drive is also known as a end result of recognized ratio of the water motor’s variety of revolutions and the water move rate, simply the foam agent circulate fee should be determined to permit the next 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 permits dedication of the froth agent move fee, both in testing mode and whereas proportioning in case of an alarm.
The proportioning rate is determined based on the formulation as required within the standards and laws EN 13565-1, NFPA eleven, FM 4-12, and the Nordtest NT Fire 042 technique.
Foam agent circulate price [l/min]

(Extinguishing water flow fee x 100 = proportioning fee %+ foam agent circulate rate) [l/min]

After completion of the testing course of, 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 extra option or inside the electrical drive allows obtaining further info and conclusions concerning the state and situation of the respective unit. It is checked, for instance, whether the ball valves are of their right positions or enough oil is in the crankshaft housing of the proportioning pump. In addition, the stress values on the pump inlet/outlet and the strain at the water motor are recorded. Finally, measuring the complete system’s torque and the flow rate inside the bypass line allows checking the overall condition of the proportioner.
The information can be displayed domestically or through a cloud solution. Controlling the upkeep operation can also be attainable via each interfaces.
What if there is an alarm during a testing process?

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

The remote testing system is designed in such a way that extinguishing water can circulate by way of the water motor and start it up at any time, even when 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 doesn’t interfere with the proportioner’s functioning and readiness to operate.
In case of an alarm, the ball valves within 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 in this case. ไดอะแฟรม causes the disabling of all functions not needed at that moment and all ball valves to be set to their right place.
Therefore, in case of an alarm during testing operation, the ball valves switch to their appropriate position totally automatically and the electrical drive is switched off. Even if the electric drive remains to be running or coming to a stop, the extinguishing water can circulate through the water motor and drive the proportioning pump without limitations. The alarm mode of the management 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 people outfitted with a remote monitoring system, a remote testing system provides varied advantages. They feature the next:
ν Proportione

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

cian should be on-site.
Regular proportioning rate testing: Regular proportioning fee testing ensures optimum functioning of the proportioner in case of a hearth. If the proportioning fee is simply too low, the extinguishing success can be compromised. Overdosing causes the foam agent to be consumed faster than supposed, leading to the premature ending of the froth operation.
Increasing useful and failure security as a result of elevated testing intervals: An elevated check interval causes the proportioner to be tested totally mechanically at shorter intervals of time. This notably reduces the danger of a failure remaining undetected for an extended time frame. 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 components of the extinguishing system, instantly affecting the proportioner’s functionality, can be identified at an early stage of time. This contains, for instance, strain variations in the extinguishing water line or a jammed suction line.
Inclusion of all capabilities and benefits of the remote monitoring system: All features and benefits of the remote monitoring system are also current in the distant testing system, i.e. all relevant working parameters are recorded and processed repeatedly and correctly in addition to 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 happen earlier than any more serious harm occurs. The increased performance and fault security of the proportioner ensures that the service lifetime of the proportioners is maximized and the likelihood of a failure is minimized. As a result, reduced service and working workforce on-site scale back costs considerably, significantly if the proportioner is located in a distant place. In addition, functional testing of the proportioner allows early identification, evaluation and possibly limiting a fault remotely. This makes service visits more efficient and therefore less expensive.
Summary and prospect

The remote monitoring system already supplies varied advantages and helps scale back costs, nevertheless it cannot reduce the workforce required on-site.
The distant testing system is an answer for reducing upkeep necessities. It is the following evolution in the midst of growing clever FireDos proportioners.
The remote testing system permits reducing the workforce required on-site to a minimal, along with shorter testing intervals and elevated failure safety. 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, apart from an oil change. The oil change can be carried out by the operator’s personnel, too, easily and with none deeper information of the working principle of proportioners. If a service go to or restore should nonetheless turn into needed, distant monitoring and early fault detection will make the planning and completion of such work more environment friendly.
Like the distant monitoring system, the distant testing system is an optimum symbiosis of mechanical proportioners and an intelligent electronic improve. Thus, the advantages from both technology fields are combined without compromising the functionality of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
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