GEN III Smart Proportioner – distant testing system

Regular testing and maintenance ensure a most service life and practical and failure-related security of technical appliances. The identical 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 would be easier and extra cost-efficient for extinguishing system operators if this was potential in a totally automated and remote-controlled method. For instance, this is ready to additionally make regular maintenance personnel journey to remotely positioned proportioners redundant. In addition, this would be positive that necessities by the producer, requirements and sets of laws are noticed with none practical deviations and unsuitable time intervals.
The remote testing system inside the ‘Smart Proportioner’ development framework has been created only for this purpose. It is an advancement of the remote monitoring system.
Brief overview of the distant monitoring system
The distant monitoring system is used for proportioner monitoring in testing mode throughout maintenance and stay firefighting operations.
In the course of remote monitoring, the proportioning rate and different working parameters are decided, recorded and forwarded to the system operator if needed. Thus, the smooth performance and operational readiness of the system are monitored and ensured this manner.
A distant monitoring system consists of a management system, including an optional local show unit (HMI) if applicable, and sensor technology. The sensor know-how contains, as a minimum, the chance to discover out the water motor’s number of revolutions and to find out the froth agent circulate price. These values are used to calculate the proportioning rate. This figure is the core characteristic during the operation and testing of a foam proportioner. Further sensor expertise is out there on an optional foundation.
The remote monitoring system supports the working and service personnel on-site. It can be suitable for remote monitoring of the foam proportioner.
However, it is a fundamental proven reality that personnel are at all times needed to hold out the maintenance work or the proportioning rate testing on-site as the system plays a monitoring role solely. It doesn’t actively interact with the functioning of the proportioner.
In the course of distant monitoring, the proportioning rate and other operating parameters are determined, displayed and forwarded. Images supplied by Author / Contributor
Evolution – from remote monitoring to remote testing
The question is tips on how to further minimize the maintenance effort on foam proportioners.
The answer lies in the distant testing system, the subsequent step of the intelligent FireDos proportioners. The distant testing system permits monitoring of the proportioner and particular person maintenance, including proportioning rate testing.
The situation of the proportioner can be checked with out having to begin up the fire extinguishing system. No personnel are required on-site. Proportioners in a remote place or that are only not often inspected by personnel on-site could be checked with out maintenance staff and associated bills, corresponding to journey expenditure. In explicit, increasing the testing interval is possible without further efforts. The instruction guide for FireDos proportioners requires common starting-up, utilizing the service crank manually at least. This is intended to stop deposits contained in the gear, impairing its ease of motion and thus conserving the proportioner’s performance. The distant testing system can undertake these common movements and test the proportioning price, growing the service life and useful safety of the proportioner.
What is the design of a remote testing system?
The remote testing system is usually primarily based upon the distant monitoring system. It is, however, particularly prolonged by way of actuators. This is as a result of they enable the completely impartial operation of the distant testing system; i.e., the proportioning rate of the proportioner is examined with out activating the water pumps of the fireplace extinguishing system.
The core elements embrace a central control system, with an elective HMI, sensor expertise, 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 could have no interference with the proportioner’s performance within the case of a fire. This method, the advantages of the mechanical proportioning precept are preserved.
How does the remote testing system work, and the way can the proportioning rate be checked without activating the water pumps?
If in ready-to-operate mode, the proportioner is at all times in the proportioning place. Upon initiation of an automatic testing course of, no matter if after a defined time interval, upon request via 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 utilizing an electrically actuated ball valve drive while the foam agent isn’t blended into the extinguishing water however 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, the electrical drive of the proportioner is activated, driving the complete proportioner at its start-up circulate rate. The start-up circulate price is the lowest working level 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 via 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 fireplace extinguishing system is due to this fact not influenced when the proportioner is examined.
As the extinguishing water flow price simulated by the external drive is also known as a result of known ratio of the water motor’s number of revolutions and the water flow fee, just the froth agent flow fee have to be decided to allow the next 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 rate, each in testing mode and whereas proportioning in case of an alarm.
The proportioning rate is decided based on the formula as required in the standards and regulations EN 13565-1, NFPA 11, FM 4-12, and the Nordtest NT Fire 042 method.
Foam agent circulate rate [l/min]
(Extinguishing water move price x one hundred = proportioning rate %+ 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 technology installed as an additional possibility or inside the electrical drive allows acquiring further info and conclusions about the state and condition of the respective unit. It is checked, for instance, whether or not the ball valves are in their correct 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 whole system’s torque and the flow fee inside the bypass line permits checking the final condition of the proportioner.
The information can be displayed locally or via a cloud resolution. Controlling the upkeep operation is also possible via both interfaces.
What if there is an alarm throughout a testing process?
An essential question is: Does the proportioner work without any limitations and as usual if there’s an alarm? The reply is: Yes!
The remote testing system is designed in such a means that extinguishing water can flow by way of the water motor and begin it up at any time, even if the electrical drive is working at the similar time. In addition, a novel, absolutely automated 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 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, Ensured is put into alarm mode on this case. This alarm mode causes the disabling of all features 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 position absolutely automatically and the electrical drive is switched off. Even if the electrical drive remains to be working or coming to a stop, the extinguishing water can circulate via 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 normal proportioners and people equipped with a distant monitoring system, a remote testing system offers numerous advantages. They characteristic the next:
ν Proportione
Display view for testing operation of the FireDos remote testing system. Images provided by Author / Contributor
cian should be on-site.
Regular proportioning price testing: Regular proportioning rate testing ensures optimum functioning of the proportioner in case of a hearth. If the proportioning rate is just too low, the extinguishing success may be compromised. Overdosing causes the froth agent to be consumed quicker than intended, resulting in the premature ending of the froth operation.
Increasing practical and failure security as a result of elevated testing intervals: An increased take a look at interval causes the proportioner to be examined absolutely routinely at shorter intervals of time. This notably reduces the chance of a failure remaining undetected for an extended time frame. In addition, extra 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, could 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 distant monitoring system: All capabilities and benefits of the remote monitoring system are also current within the remote testing system, i.e. all related operating parameters are recorded and processed continuously and correctly 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 attainable to detect faults even earlier. This method, maintenance and repairs can happen before any more critical damage 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 outcome, reduced service and operating workforce on-site reduce costs considerably, significantly if the proportioner is positioned in a remote place. In addition, practical testing of the proportioner permits early identification, evaluation and probably limiting a fault remotely. This makes service visits more environment friendly and therefore more cost-effective.
Summary and prospect
The remote monitoring system already offers varied advantages and helps reduce costs, however it can’t reduce the workforce required on-site.
The remote testing system is an answer for decreasing maintenance necessities. It is the subsequent evolution in the middle of developing intelligent FireDos proportioners.
The remote testing system allows reducing the workforce required on-site to a minimum, along with shorter testing intervals and elevated failure safety. 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, other than an oil change. The oil change can be carried out by the operator’s personnel, too, easily and with none deeper information of the operating precept of proportioners. If a service visit or repair should nonetheless turn into needed, 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 electronic improve. Thus, the benefits from both technology fields are mixed without compromising the performance of mechanical FireDos proportioners.
For more info, go to

Leave a Comment