GEN III Smart Proportioner – distant testing system

Regular testing and upkeep ensure a maximum service life and functional and failure-related security of technical home equipment. The same applies to foam-based fireplace extinguishing methods and the foam proportioners installed in them.
Up to now, such testing and maintenance have required the presence of personnel on-site. However, it will be easier and extra cost-efficient for extinguishing system operators if this was potential in a totally computerized and remote-controlled method. For instance, this would additionally make regular maintenance personnel journey to remotely situated proportioners redundant. In addition, this is ready to make sure that requirements by the manufacturer, standards and sets of regulations are noticed without any useful deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The distant testing system throughout the ‘Smart Proportioner’ development framework has been created just for this purpose. It is an advancement of the distant monitoring system.
Brief overview of the remote monitoring system

The remote monitoring system is used for proportioner monitoring in testing mode throughout maintenance and reside 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 needed. Thus, the sleek functionality and operational readiness of the system are monitored and ensured this way.
pressure gauge 10 bar monitoring system consists of a management system, together with an optional local show unit (HMI) if relevant, and sensor technology. The sensor technology contains, as a minimum, the likelihood to determine the water motor’s variety of revolutions and to discover out the foam agent circulate 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 out there on an elective foundation.
The remote monitoring system helps the operating and service personnel on-site. It is also appropriate for distant monitoring of the froth proportioner.
However, it is a primary fact that personnel are at all times essential to hold out the upkeep work or the proportioning price testing on-site as the system performs a monitoring position solely. It doesn’t actively work together with the functioning of the proportioner.
In the course of distant monitoring, the proportioning fee and different working parameters are determined, displayed and forwarded. Images supplied by Author / Contributor

Evolution – from remote monitoring to remote testing

The question is the means to further decrease the maintenance effort on foam proportioners.
The solution lies within the remote testing system, the next step of the intelligent FireDos proportioners. The remote testing system permits monitoring of the proportioner and individual upkeep, including proportioning price testing.
The condition of the proportioner could be checked with out having to begin up the hearth extinguishing system. No personnel are required on-site. Proportioners in a distant place or which are solely hardly ever inspected by personnel on-site may be checked with out maintenance workers and related expenses, such as travel expenditure. In pressure gauge 10 bar , growing the testing interval is feasible with out additional efforts. The instruction guide for FireDos proportioners requires regular starting-up, utilizing the service crank manually as a minimum. This is intended to prevent deposits inside the gear, impairing its ease of movement and thus conserving the proportioner’s performance. The remote testing system can adopt these regular actions and check the proportioning price, increasing the service life and useful security of the proportioner.
What is the design of a remote testing system?

The distant testing system is generally based upon the remote monitoring system. It is, nonetheless, particularly prolonged by way of actuators. This is as a outcome of they enable the utterly unbiased operation of the distant 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 embrace a central control system, with an optional 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 may have no interference with the proportioner’s performance in the case of a fire. This way, some nice benefits of the mechanical proportioning principle 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 always within the proportioning place. Upon initiation of an computerized testing process, irrespective of if after a defined 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 management system puts the proportioner into testing operation utilizing an electrically actuated ball valve drive whereas the froth agent is not mixed 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 past the water motor. Next, the electrical drive of the proportioner is activated, driving the entire proportioner at its start-up flow price. The start-up flow price is the lowest operating point of a proportioner to achieve its nominal proportioning price.
Due to the exterior electrical drive, the water motor works like a pump and generates a water flow by way of 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 is also known as a end result of identified ratio of the water motor’s variety of revolutions and the water move rate, just the froth agent circulate rate must be decided to permit 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 permits willpower of the froth agent circulate price, both in testing mode and whereas proportioning in case of an alarm.
The proportioning fee is determined in accordance with the formulation as required in the requirements and regulations EN 13565-1, NFPA eleven, FM 4-12, and the Nordtest NT Fire 042 technique.
Foam agent flow price [l/min]

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

After completion of the testing process, the electrical drive of the proportioner stops, the bypass line is closed, and the proportioner is returned to proportioning mode.
Sensor technology put in as an additional possibility or inside the electric drive permits acquiring additional data and conclusions concerning the state and situation of the respective unit. It is checked, for instance, whether the ball valves are of their correct positions or adequate oil is in the crankshaft housing of the proportioning pump. In addition, the pressure values at the pump inlet/outlet and the stress at the water motor are recorded. Finally, measuring the complete system’s torque and the move fee contained in the bypass line allows checking the general condition of the proportioner.
The data may be displayed regionally or by way of a cloud resolution. Controlling the maintenance operation can also be attainable by way of each interfaces.
What if there’s an alarm during a testing process?

An important question is: Does the proportioner work with none limitations and as ordinary if there is an alarm? The reply is: Yes!

The remote testing system is designed in such a way that extinguishing water can move by way of the water motor and begin it up at any time, even if the electrical drive is working on the identical time. In addition, a singular, totally 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 those for switching between returning and proportioning are immediately switched so 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 capabilities not necessary at that second and all ball valves to be set to their appropriate place.
Therefore, in case of an alarm during testing operation, the ball valves switch to their correct place fully automatically 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 circulate 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 advantages does a distant testing system provide?

Compared with standard proportioners and people equipped with a distant monitoring system, a remote testing system offers various advantages. They characteristic the next:
ν Proportione

Display view for testing operation of the FireDos distant testing system. Images supplied 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 hearth. If the proportioning fee is merely too low, the extinguishing success can be compromised. Overdosing causes the froth agent to be consumed quicker than intended, leading to the untimely ending of the froth operation.
Increasing functional and failure security because of elevated testing intervals: An increased take a look at interval causes the proportioner to be tested fully automatically 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 in the proportioner or elements of the extinguishing system, immediately affecting the proportioner’s performance, may be recognized 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 capabilities and advantages of the distant monitoring system are additionally current within the distant testing system, i.e. all relevant operating parameters are recorded and processed constantly and accurately in addition to documented in a log file. In addition, all information are displayed by a visualization.
Reduction of prices: Regular functional testing makes it potential to detect faults even earlier. This way, upkeep and repairs can take place before any extra severe harm happens. The elevated 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 result, lowered service and working workforce on-site reduce costs significantly, particularly if the proportioner is located in a remote place. In addition, practical testing of the proportioner allows early identification, analysis and possibly limiting a fault remotely. This makes service visits extra efficient and due to this fact more cost-effective.
Summary and prospect

The remote monitoring system already offers varied benefits and helps cut back prices, however it cannot reduce the workforce required on-site.
The distant testing system is an answer for lowering maintenance necessities. It is the next evolution in the course of creating clever FireDos proportioners.
The remote testing system permits reducing the workforce required on-site to a minimum, along with shorter testing intervals and elevated 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, other than an oil change. The oil change may be carried out by the operator’s personnel, too, simply and with none deeper information of the operating precept of proportioners. If a service go to or restore ought to nonetheless turn out to be necessary, 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 intelligent digital improve. Thus, the advantages from each expertise fields are combined with out compromising the performance of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
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