® SPEEDY, RELIABLE MA LOOP VALVE TESTING The new handheld control valve tester simplifies testing with dedicated tests that perform a quick health check to provide users with good/marginal/bad results. FLUKE 710 mA Loop Valve Tester. Control valve testing has meant using complicated testers that require extensive training, the removal of the valve, and often one-to-two hours of test time on the bench. COMTEST is pleased to announce the arrival of Fluke’s new 710 mA Loop Valve Tester. The device allows technicians to source the 4-20 mA signal while it interrogates HART data to collect critical information about the valve’s position and status, providing quick checks of control valves while they are in place. With built-in test procedures and an intuitive interface, the Fluke 710 allows technicians to quickly and easily perform valve tests, while the valve test quick-check results provide at-a-glance diagnostics to make faster maintenance decisions. With the tester’s built in HART communication function, technicians can source a 4-20 mA signal to cause the smart control valve to move, while simultaneously interpreting the valve’s HART feedback signal to determine whether the valve is moving to the expected position. In addition to positional information, the measured pressure delivered from the valve’s internal I/P (which moves the valve) can be seen with the HART communication protocol. The 710 features preconfigured valve tests for reliable and repeatable testing. The built-in routines include: • Manually changing the mA signal and viewing the HART position and pressure variable information. • Full range ramping of the mA signal from 4 to 20 to 4 mA while recording the 0-100-0 percent position, or the pressures applied that move the valve from 0-100-0 percent. • Stepping the mA signal on the input to the valve in steps and evaluating the valves response to the mA input changes. • Speed tests to determine how fast the valve can open or close. • Bump and partial stroke tests that help test valves over a portion of their range so they can be tested in a live process. Test results are stored in the memory of the 710 where it can be uploaded to the included ValveTrack analysis software. ValveTrack allows users to • Upload and plot logged valve tests taken in the field. • Compare previous uploaded tests to recent tests. • View valve test history by HART Tag ID. • Export valve test data to CSV for additional analysis in Microsoft Excel. Contact COMTEST on: Tel: 010 595 1821 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the Fluke 710 mA Loop Valve Tester, or for support with on-site demos, training and education, repair services and service programs, videos and troubleshooting guides, on- and off-line selection tools and warranty programs. HEAD OFFICE +2711 824 0410 ● LIFTING & RIGGING SALES +2711 902 8001 ● KELMEG LIFTING +2711 902 8001 ● SASOLBURG +2716 971 2868/2859 BLOEMFONTEIN +2751 430 8310/14 ● LEPHALALE - ELLISRAS +2714 763 4150 ● LEPHALALE - ELLISRAS MEDUPI +2714 940 0175 ● EMALAHLENI - WITBANK +2713 697 3030 SECUNDA +2717 631 3815 ● RUSTENBURG +2714 592 1667/9 ● KIMBERLEY +2753 831 4026/61 ● UPINGTON +2754 332 1004/+2754 331 3542 ● DURBAN +2731 902 7595 RICHARDS BAY +2735 751 1965 ● EAST LONDON +2743 736 6440 ● PORT ELIZABETH +2741 484 4624/7 ● MOSSEL BAY +2744 020 0020 ● CAPE TOWN +2721 511 1160 Proud distributors of premium brands, including... www.renttechsa.co.za
RTS AFRICA TECHNOLOGIES’ PROCON ACOUSTIC BOILER STEAM LEAK DETECTION SYSTEM PREVENTS BOILERS ‘GOING DOWN THE TUBES’ At present in South Africa, boiler tube leaks are something of a ‘hot’ topic, as the country’s national power supplier continues to contend with various complex challenges – including that of boiler maintenance issues caused by, amongst other factors, boiler tube leaks. This is not a uniquely South African issue, as the US–based organisation, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), reports that power generation plants in the US and Europe have, ‘on average, around 6% loss of plant availability due to boiler tube leaks’ – a major loss factor for these facilities. 20 However, in South Africa, industrial solutions provider RTS Africa Technologies has an effective solution to the challenge of boiler tube leaks. This is in the form of a boiler tube leak detection system from UK-based principal Procon Engineering, a global leader in the field of acoustic leak detection, which invented the technology and introduced it to the world in 1974. With more than 250 installations in over 20 countries worldwide, Procon Engineering can proudly claim more experience and success than any other company in the field. This is according to Ian Fraser, Managing Director of the RTS Africa Group. He explains that the benefits of the early detection of boiler tube leaks include the following increased operating profit, personnel safety, availability and tube life. “In addition, early tube leak detection means unscheduled outages can be avoided or at least reduced; as can repair costs and secondary damage, with the attendant reduction in financial penalties and insurance costs,” he adds. Commenting on how the technology works, Fraser says that Procon manufactures specialised ‘microphones’ – which bear little resemblance to conventional audio microphones. These microphones detect the very particular noise made by steam leaking from a boiler tube. “The sound of a boiler tube leak has a particular frequency which Procon microphones are selectively able to detect. In itself, this is quite a technical feat, as the firebox of a boiler is a fairly noisy environment,” he advises. The microphones are installed at the end of long steel tubes which target specific points in the boiler tube system. As high levels of soot are usually present in boiler fireboxes, as an option, the Procon acoustic detectors can also be fitted with an air pulse system which clears in the soot deposited in the tubes. The operational importance of the Procon leak detection system is that it can detect small leaks before they become catastrophic failures. “A leak in a boiler tube can start as small as a pinhole – and remain an undetected problem for an extended period of time. But, eventually, the size of this hole will grow to a point where the growing diameter of the orifice leads to a major tube burst. When an incident such as this happens, there can also be expensive secondary damage inside the boiler,” Fraser points out. A further key advantage of the Procon system lies in the number of microphones installed in a boiler. For example, a typical power station might have as many as 24 of these Procon acoustic devices installed in a boiler. The output from the Procon microphones is fed into an ITcontrolled display – each microphone being represented by a bar on the display. This shows the sound levels from each microphone inside the firebox. For record-keeping purposes and system analysis, it is possible to print out the data from a Procon system. When the leak occurs, the microphone nearest to the leak will display an elevated bar level. What is particularly useful is that other microphones in the area will also pick up the noise. “Power station technicians are then able to look at the computer display and – judging from the varying sound levels from the microphones – predict with some precision where the leak is occurring,” he says. For boiler maintenance teams, this is most helpful, as even during physical inspections of the inside of a boiler and its tubes, a pinhole size leak can be difficult to detect visually. However, with the evidence from the Procon system in hand, technicians are aware that there is a leak and then can search for it until it is found in the shortest possible time. What the Procon detection system also allows is for power station technicians to assess the seriousness of a particular leak. Depending on their assessment of the extent of the leak, it is possible to plan a scheduled boiler maintenance shutdown so that the impact of the downtime is minimised. In South Africa, Medupi and Kusile power stations both employ Procon tube leak detection system; and RTS Africa installed a complete Procon system on the six boilers at Arnot power station some years ago. “Compared to the cost of a boiler failure in a major power station, the cost of the Procon system is minimal,” continues Fraser, adding the proviso that the system becomes increasingly cost-effective on larger boilers of 200 MW capacity and more. “The Procon system has been designed not only to serve power stations; but also the host of boilers used in the broad spectrum of industry,” Fraser explains. “With boilers which might service manufacturing or production environments, prevention of major failures will also assist in the avoidance of punitive financial penalties, and ultimately bring about a marked improvement in the company’s bottom line,” he concludes.