Regular testing and upkeep ensure a maximum service life and useful and failure-related safety of technical home equipment. The identical applies to foam-based fire 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 would be simpler and more cost-efficient for extinguishing system operators if this was attainable in a fully automated and remote-controlled method. For example, this is in a position to also make regular upkeep personnel travel to remotely located proportioners redundant. In addition, this may be positive that requirements by the manufacturer, standards and sets of laws are observed without any functional deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The distant testing system within the ‘Smart Proportioner’ improvement 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 stay firefighting operations.
In the course of remote monitoring, the proportioning fee and different operating parameters are decided, recorded and forwarded to the system operator if necessary. Thus, the smooth 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 expertise. The sensor technology contains, at the least, the likelihood to find out the water motor’s number of revolutions and to determine the froth agent circulate price. These values are used to calculate the proportioning fee. เกจวัดแรงดัน determine is the core characteristic in the course of the operation and testing of a foam proportioner. Further sensor expertise is on the market on an optional foundation.
The distant monitoring system supports the operating and repair personnel on-site. It is also appropriate for distant monitoring of the froth proportioner.
However, it’s a basic incontrovertible reality that personnel are all the time essential to carry out the maintenance work or the proportioning fee 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 price and other working parameters are decided, displayed and forwarded. Images equipped by Author / Contributor

Evolution – from remote monitoring to remote testing

The question is the means to additional decrease the upkeep effort on foam proportioners.
The solution lies in the remote testing system, the following step of the clever FireDos proportioners. The distant testing system permits monitoring of the proportioner and particular person upkeep, including proportioning price testing.
The condition of the proportioner could be checked with out having to start out up the hearth extinguishing system. No personnel are required on-site. Proportioners in a distant place or which might be solely rarely inspected by personnel on-site may be checked with out maintenance employees and related bills, such as travel expenditure. In particular, rising the testing interval is feasible with out extra efforts. The instruction guide for FireDos proportioners requires common starting-up, using the service crank manually at the least. This is intended to prevent deposits contained in the equipment, impairing its ease of motion and thus conserving the proportioner’s functionality. The remote testing system can adopt these regular movements and take a look at the proportioning rate, growing the service life and useful safety of the proportioner.
What is the design of a distant testing system?

The distant testing system is mostly based upon the remote monitoring system. It is, however, significantly prolonged by method of actuators. This is as a result of they permit the completely unbiased operation of the remote testing system; i.e., the proportioning price of the proportioner is tested without activating the water pumps of the fireplace extinguishing system.
The core parts include a central control system, with an elective 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 functionality within the case of a fireplace. This way, some great advantages of the mechanical proportioning principle are preserved.
How does the remote testing system work, and how can the proportioning rate be checked with out activating the water pumps?

If in ready-to-operate mode, the proportioner is always within the proportioning position. Upon initiation of an computerized testing course of, no matter if after a defined time interval, upon request by way of a cloud solution 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 using an electrically actuated ball valve drive while the foam agent just isn’t blended into the extinguishing water but returned to the foam agent tank. At the same 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 complete proportioner at its start-up flow rate. The start-up circulate price is the bottom working level of a proportioner to reach its nominal proportioning rate.
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. เพรสเชอร์เกจ causes no change of pressure in the extinguishing water line. The fire extinguishing system is therefore not influenced when the proportioner is examined.
As the extinguishing water circulate rate simulated by the exterior drive is also recognized as a end result of known ratio of the water motor’s number of revolutions and the water move price, simply the foam agent circulate price should be determined to permit the subsequent calculation of the proportioning fee. 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 allows willpower of the froth agent circulate rate, each in testing mode and while proportioning in case of an alarm.
The proportioning rate is set based on the formulation as required in the requirements and rules EN 13565-1, NFPA eleven, FM 4-12, and the Nordtest NT Fire 042 method.
Foam agent circulate fee [l/min]

(Extinguishing water flow rate x one hundred = 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 expertise installed as an extra option or inside the electrical drive allows acquiring additional information and conclusions in regards to the state and condition of the respective unit. It is checked, for instance, whether the ball valves are in their right positions or sufficient oil is within the crankshaft housing of the proportioning pump. In addition, the stress values at the pump inlet/outlet and the pressure at the water motor are recorded. Finally, measuring the complete system’s torque and the move price contained in the bypass line permits checking the general situation of the proportioner.
The information could be displayed regionally or by way of a cloud answer. Controlling the maintenance operation can additionally be possible through both interfaces.
What if there could be an alarm during a testing process?

An essential query is: Does the proportioner work with none limitations and as traditional if there may be an alarm? The answer is: Yes!

The distant testing system is designed in such a method that extinguishing water can move through the water motor and begin it up at any time, even if the electrical drive is working on the same time. In addition, a unique, fully automated and purely mechanical decoupling mechanism ensures that the electrical drive does not intervene with the proportioner’s functioning and readiness to function.
In case of an alarm, the ball valves in 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 control system is put into alarm mode on this case. This alarm mode causes the disabling of all functions not essential at that second and all ball valves to be set to their correct place.
Therefore, in case of an alarm throughout testing operation, the ball valves switch to their right position fully automatically and the electric drive is switched off. Even if the electrical drive is still working or coming to a stop, the extinguishing water can flow via the water motor and drive the proportioning pump with out limitations. The alarm mode of the control system prevents re-activation of the electrical drive or any unintended ball valve switching.
What advantages does a remote testing system provide?

Compared with normal proportioners and people outfitted with a remote monitoring system, a distant testing system provides 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 need to 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 rate is merely too low, the extinguishing success can be compromised. Overdosing causes the foam agent to be consumed quicker than intended, leading to the premature ending of the foam operation.
Increasing functional and failure security as a result of elevated testing intervals: An increased check interval causes the proportioner to be tested totally automatically at shorter intervals of time. This notably reduces the risk 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 in the proportioner or parts of the extinguishing system, instantly affecting the proportioner’s functionality, can be identified at an early stage of time. This includes, for example, strain variations within the extinguishing water line or a jammed suction line.
Inclusion of all functions and advantages of the distant monitoring system: All functions and advantages of the remote monitoring system are additionally current within the remote testing system, i.e. all related operating parameters are recorded and processed continuously and accurately as nicely as documented in a log file. In addition, all data are displayed by a visualization.
Reduction of prices: Regular practical testing makes it potential to detect faults even earlier. This method, upkeep and repairs can happen earlier than any extra severe harm happens. The elevated performance and fault security of the proportioner ensures that the service life of the proportioners is maximized and the likelihood of a failure is minimized. As a end result, lowered service and working workforce on-site cut back prices considerably, notably if the proportioner is situated in a distant place. In addition, functional testing of the proportioner permits early identification, analysis and possibly limiting a fault remotely. This makes service visits extra environment friendly and therefore cheaper.
Summary and prospect

The distant monitoring system already provides numerous advantages and helps reduce prices, but it can not cut back the workforce required on-site.
The distant testing system is a solution for decreasing upkeep necessities. It is the subsequent evolution in the midst of creating clever FireDos proportioners.
The distant testing system allows lowering the workforce required on-site to a minimum, along with shorter testing intervals and increased failure security. This will increase the proportioner’s service life.
If the proportioner is in a fault-free state, no additional upkeep by personnel on-site is necessary, aside from an oil change. The oil change may be carried out by the operator’s personnel, too, easily and with none deeper information of the operating precept of proportioners. If a service go to or repair ought to nonetheless turn out to be necessary, remote monitoring and early fault detection will make the planning and completion of such work more efficient.
Like the distant monitoring system, the remote testing system is an optimum symbiosis of mechanical proportioners and an intelligent electronic improve. Thus, the advantages from both know-how fields are combined with out compromising the performance of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
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