Regular testing and maintenance guarantee a most service life and functional and failure-related safety of technical home equipment. The similar applies to foam-based hearth extinguishing systems 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 more cost-efficient for extinguishing system operators if this was possible in a completely automatic and remote-controlled manner. For instance, this is in a position to also make regular upkeep personnel travel to remotely positioned proportioners redundant. In addition, this may ensure that necessities by the manufacturer, standards and units of laws are observed with none functional deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The distant testing system within the ‘Smart Proportioner’ growth 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 reside firefighting operations.
In the course of remote monitoring, the proportioning price 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.
A remote monitoring system consists of a control system, including an optional local show unit (HMI) if applicable, and sensor expertise. The sensor technology includes, at the least, the possibility to determine the water motor’s variety 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 attribute in the course of the operation and testing of a foam proportioner. Further sensor technology is out there on an optional basis.
The distant monitoring system helps the working and service personnel on-site. It is also suitable for remote monitoring of the froth proportioner.
However, it’s a primary proven reality that personnel are at all times needed to hold out the upkeep work or the proportioning rate testing on-site because 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 price and other operating parameters are determined, displayed and forwarded. Images provided by Author / Contributor
Evolution – from remote monitoring to remote testing
The query is the method to further reduce the upkeep effort on foam proportioners.
The resolution lies in the distant testing system, the next step of the intelligent FireDos proportioners. The distant testing system allows monitoring of the proportioner and individual maintenance, including proportioning fee testing.
The situation of the proportioner can be checked without having to start up the fire extinguishing system. No personnel are required on-site. Proportioners in a distant place or which are solely rarely inspected by personnel on-site may be checked with out upkeep employees and related expenses, corresponding to travel expenditure. In specific, increasing the testing interval is feasible with out further efforts. The instruction handbook for FireDos proportioners requires regular starting-up, utilizing the service crank manually at least. This is intended to prevent deposits contained in the tools, impairing its ease of motion and thus conserving the proportioner’s performance. The distant testing system can undertake these common actions and test the proportioning rate, rising the service life and functional safety of the proportioner.
What is the design of a distant testing system?
The distant testing system is usually primarily based upon the remote monitoring system. It is, however, significantly extended by means of actuators. This is as a outcome of they allow the completely impartial operation of the remote testing system; i.e., the proportioning fee of the proportioner is examined without activating the water pumps of the fire extinguishing system.
The core elements include a central management system, with an optionally available 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 in order 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 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 position. Upon initiation of an automated testing process, regardless of if after a defined time interval, upon request via a cloud resolution or from the hearth extinguishing system/a native 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 whereas the foam agent is not blended into the extinguishing water but returned to the froth agent tank. At the same time, it opens the electrically actuated ball valve within the bypass line previous the water motor. Next, ส่วนประกอบpressuregauge of the proportioner is activated, driving the entire proportioner at its start-up move rate. The start-up flow price is the lowest operating level of a proportioner to reach its nominal proportioning price.
Due to the external 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 pressure in the extinguishing water line. The fireplace extinguishing system is due to this fact not influenced when the proportioner is tested.
As the extinguishing water circulate fee simulated by the external drive can be recognized due to the recognized ratio of the water motor’s variety of revolutions and the water circulate price, simply the froth agent flow fee have to be decided to allow the following calculation of the proportioning rate. 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 allows willpower of the froth agent move rate, both in testing mode and while proportioning in case of an alarm.
The proportioning fee is decided based on the method as required within the standards and regulations EN 13565-1, NFPA 11, FM 4-12, and the Nordtest NT Fire 042 methodology.
Foam agent circulate fee [l/min]
(Extinguishing water flow fee x one hundred = proportioning price %+ foam agent circulate 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 expertise installed as an additional option or inside the electric drive allows obtaining further data and conclusions concerning the state and situation of the respective unit. It is checked, for example, whether or not the ball valves are of their appropriate positions or enough oil is in the crankshaft housing of the proportioning pump. In addition, the stress values at the pump inlet/outlet and the pressure on the water motor are recorded. Finally, measuring the entire system’s torque and the move price inside the bypass line allows checking the final condition of the proportioner.
The information can be displayed regionally or by way of a cloud solution. Controlling the maintenance operation is also attainable via each interfaces.
What if there is an alarm throughout a testing process?
An necessary question is: Does the proportioner work without any limitations and as ordinary if there’s an alarm? The answer is: Yes!
The remote testing system is designed in such a means that extinguishing water can circulate via the water motor and begin it up at any time, even when the electrical drive is working on the identical time. In addition, a singular, totally automatic and purely mechanical decoupling mechanism ensures that the electrical drive doesn’t interfere with the proportioner’s functioning and readiness to function.
In case of an alarm, the ball valves within 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 functions not essential at that moment and all ball valves to be set to their appropriate position.
Therefore, in case of an alarm throughout testing operation, the ball valves change to their right position absolutely routinely and the electric drive is switched off. Even if the electrical drive continues to be running or coming to a cease, the extinguishing water can circulate through the water motor and drive the proportioning pump with out 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 distant testing system provide?
Compared with standard proportioners and those geared up with a remote monitoring system, a remote testing system provides numerous benefits. They characteristic the next:
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Display view for testing operation of the FireDos remote testing system. Images supplied by Author / Contributor
cian need to be on-site.
Regular proportioning rate testing: Regular proportioning fee testing ensures optimum functioning of the proportioner in case of a fireplace. If the proportioning fee is merely too low, the extinguishing success may be compromised. Overdosing causes the froth agent to be consumed quicker than meant, resulting in the untimely ending of the foam operation.
Increasing practical and failure security because of elevated testing intervals: An increased test 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 period of time. In addition, more 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 performance, can be identified at an early stage of time. This includes, for example, pressure variations within 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 additionally present in the distant testing system, i.e. all relevant working parameters are recorded and processed continuously and correctly in addition to documented in a log file. In addition, all data are displayed by a visualization.
Reduction of costs: Regular functional testing makes it attainable to detect faults even earlier. This way, upkeep and repairs can happen earlier than any more severe injury occurs. The increased performance and fault safety of the proportioner ensures that the service lifetime of the proportioners is maximized and the probability of a failure is minimized. As a end result, decreased service and operating workforce on-site scale back prices considerably, particularly if the proportioner is positioned in a remote place. In addition, practical testing of the proportioner permits early identification, analysis and probably limiting a fault remotely. This makes service visits extra efficient and subsequently less expensive.
Summary and prospect
The remote monitoring system already provides various advantages and helps scale back prices, but it can’t cut back the workforce required on-site.
The remote testing system is an answer for reducing maintenance requirements. It is the next evolution in the middle of creating intelligent FireDos proportioners.
The distant testing system allows lowering the workforce required on-site to a minimum, together with shorter testing intervals and elevated failure security. This will increase the proportioner’s service life.
If the proportioner is in a fault-free state, no further upkeep 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 information of the working precept 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 extra environment friendly.
Like the distant monitoring system, the distant testing system is an optimum symbiosis of mechanical proportioners and an clever digital improve. Thus, the advantages from each know-how fields are mixed without compromising the functionality of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
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