GEN III Smart Proportioner – distant testing system

Regular testing and maintenance ensure a most service life and practical and failure-related security of technical home equipment. The identical applies to foam-based fireplace extinguishing methods and the froth proportioners installed in them.
Up to now, such testing and maintenance have required the presence of personnel on-site. However, it will be simpler and more cost-efficient for extinguishing system operators if this was possible in a totally computerized and remote-controlled manner. For instance, this is able to additionally make common maintenance personnel travel to remotely located proportioners redundant. In addition, this would make sure that requirements by the producer, standards and sets of rules are noticed without any functional deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The remote testing system inside the ‘Smart Proportioner’ improvement framework has been created just for this purpose. It is an advancement of the remote 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 rate and other operating parameters are determined, recorded and forwarded to the system operator if essential. Thus, the sleek functionality and operational readiness of the system are monitored and ensured this fashion.
A remote monitoring system consists of a management system, together with an elective local display unit (HMI) if applicable, and sensor know-how. The sensor expertise consists of, as a minimum, the possibility to determine the water motor’s number of revolutions and to find out the froth agent flow rate. 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 technology is available on an optionally available foundation.
The remote monitoring system supports the operating and repair personnel on-site. It can be suitable for remote monitoring of the froth proportioner.
However, it is a fundamental incontrovertible truth that personnel are always necessary to carry out the upkeep work or the proportioning price testing on-site as the system plays a monitoring position solely. It does not actively work together with the functioning of the proportioner.
In the course of distant monitoring, the proportioning price and different operating parameters are decided, displayed and forwarded. Images provided by Author / Contributor

Evolution – from remote monitoring to distant testing

The question is the way to additional decrease the upkeep effort on foam proportioners.
The solution lies within the remote testing system, the next step of the intelligent FireDos proportioners. The distant testing system permits monitoring of the proportioner and particular person maintenance, together with proportioning rate testing.
The situation of the proportioner may be checked with out having to begin up the fire extinguishing system. No personnel are required on-site. Proportioners in a remote place or which are solely hardly ever inspected by personnel on-site could be checked without maintenance employees and associated bills, corresponding to journey expenditure. In particular, increasing the testing interval is possible without further efforts. The instruction manual for FireDos proportioners requires common starting-up, utilizing the service crank manually at the least. This is meant to stop deposits contained in the gear, impairing its ease of movement and thus conserving the proportioner’s functionality. The distant testing system can undertake these regular movements and test the proportioning rate, increasing the service life and practical security of the proportioner.
What is the design of a remote testing system?

The remote testing system is mostly primarily based upon the distant monitoring system. It is, nevertheless, particularly extended by method of actuators. This is because they enable the completely independent operation of the distant testing system; i.e., the proportioning rate of the proportioner is tested without activating the water pumps of the fireplace extinguishing system.
The core components embrace a central control system, with an optional HMI, sensor know-how, 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 within the case of a fireplace. This method, some nice advantages of the mechanical proportioning principle are preserved.
How does the remote testing system work, and how can the proportioning fee be checked without activating the water pumps?

If in ready-to-operate mode, the proportioner is all the time in the proportioning place. Upon initiation of an automatic testing process, irrespective of if after an outlined 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 puts the proportioner into testing operation using an electrically actuated ball valve drive while the froth agent is not blended 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 complete proportioner at its start-up flow rate. The start-up flow fee is the lowest operating level of a proportioner to reach its nominal proportioning price.
Due to the exterior electrical drive, the water motor works like a pump and generates a water circulate through 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 fireplace extinguishing system is therefore not influenced when the proportioner is tested.
As the extinguishing water flow fee simulated by the external drive can additionally be recognized as a outcome of identified ratio of the water motor’s variety of revolutions and the water move fee, just the froth agent move fee have to be determined to permit the following calculation of the proportioning fee. 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 dedication of the foam agent move fee, each in testing mode and while proportioning in case of an alarm.
The proportioning fee is decided according to the formulation as required in the standards and rules EN 13565-1, NFPA 11, FM 4-12, and the Nordtest NT Fire 042 technique.
Foam agent flow price [l/min]

(Extinguishing water move rate x a hundred = 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 an additional option or inside the electric drive permits obtaining additional data 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 right positions or adequate oil is in the crankshaft housing of the proportioning pump. In addition, the stress values on 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 allows checking the overall condition of the proportioner.
The data may be displayed domestically or by way of a cloud resolution. Controlling the upkeep operation can be possible via both interfaces.
What if there’s an alarm during a testing process?

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

The distant testing system is designed in such a way that extinguishing water can circulate through the water motor and start it up at any time, even if the electrical drive is working at the similar time. In addition, a novel, totally automated 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 those for switching between returning and proportioning are instantly 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 essential at that moment and all ball valves to be set to their appropriate position.
Therefore, in case of an alarm during testing operation, the ball valves change to their appropriate place fully automatically and the electric drive is switched off. Even if the electrical drive continues to be working or coming to a stop, the extinguishing water can circulate via 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 remote testing system provide?

Compared with standard proportioners and those equipped with a remote monitoring system, a remote testing system offers various advantages. They function the following:
ν Proportione

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

cian should be on-site.
Regular proportioning rate testing: Regular proportioning price testing ensures optimum functioning of the proportioner in case of a fireplace. If the proportioning fee is simply too low, the extinguishing success may be compromised. Overdosing causes the froth agent to be consumed faster than meant, resulting in the untimely ending of the froth operation.
Increasing functional and failure safety as a result of increased testing intervals: An elevated check interval causes the proportioner to be examined fully routinely at shorter intervals of time. This notably reduces the danger of a failure remaining undetected for a longer period of time. In addition, more frequent testing prevents the formation of deposits inside the water motor.
Early fault detection and diagnostics: Faults in the proportioner or parts of the extinguishing system, immediately affecting the proportioner’s performance, may be recognized at an early stage of time. This includes, for instance, stress variations in the extinguishing water line or a jammed suction line.
Inclusion of all capabilities and advantages of the remote monitoring system: All capabilities and advantages of the remote monitoring system are also present within the distant testing system, i.e. all related working 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 costs: Regular practical testing makes it possible to detect faults even earlier. This means, upkeep and repairs can take place before any more severe injury occurs. The increased performance and fault security of the proportioner ensures that the service lifetime of the proportioners is maximized and the chance of a failure is minimized. As a outcome, reduced service and operating workforce on-site cut back costs significantly, notably if the proportioner is situated in a distant place. In addition, functional testing of the proportioner permits early identification, evaluation and presumably limiting a fault remotely. This makes service visits extra efficient and due to this fact less expensive.
Summary and prospect

The distant monitoring system already provides various benefits and helps scale back costs, nevertheless it cannot cut back the workforce required on-site.
The distant testing system is a solution for decreasing maintenance necessities. It is the next evolution in the midst of developing intelligent FireDos proportioners.
The remote testing system allows decreasing the workforce required on-site to a minimum, along with shorter testing intervals and elevated failure security. เพรสเชอร์เกจ will increase the proportioner’s service life.
If the proportioner is in a fault-free state, no further upkeep by personnel on-site is important, apart from an oil change. The oil change can be carried out by the operator’s personnel, too, simply and with none deeper information of the working principle of proportioners. If a service go to or repair ought to still turn into essential, remote monitoring and early fault detection will make the planning and completion of such work more environment friendly.
Like the remote monitoring system, the distant testing system is an optimum symbiosis of mechanical proportioners and an clever digital upgrade. Thus, the advantages from both expertise fields are mixed without compromising the functionality of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
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