Archives August 2016

Photo of internet of things network

Smart Metering

Smart Metering

The Internet of things can monitor the following variables remotely using wireless sensors.

Wireless technologies such as LORA  provide long range low bandwidth communication of the data, back to the ‘gateway’. The gateway is the device that puts the data onto the Internet cloud.

Some things that Smart Metering can monitor include:-

  • Fuel tank levels, such as amount of fuel oil used over a period of time, and levels in the tank.  This can also warn tank owners of fuel theft or leakage.
  • Photo Voltaic (Solar) installations. How much energy is being generated, and which sites are producing how much.
  • Water flow, such as for billing domestic & industrial customers. This can save costs of manually checking meters.
  • Calculation of stock in a silo, for audit & ordering purposes

 

(c) 2016 Craig Miles @ Yesway Ltd  #acraigmiles

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innovation

Smart Water Monitoring

internet of things

Smart Water Monitoring encompasses a number of possible solutions.

Wireless IOT (Internet of Things) technology can monitor the following:-

  • Monitoring of Potable water, such as water quality, flow rate & leak monitoring
  • Chemical leakage detection in rivers
  • Remote monitoring of water quality & safety in Swimming pools
  • Pollution levels in the Sea
  • Water leaks in pipes
  • Flooding of river banks

The data is collected in real time, and can be used to automate counter measures using cloud based processing.

 

[bctt tweet=”Smart Water Monitoring encompasses a number of possible solutions.” username=”yeswayradio”]

We can help you research & implement practical solutions that work for your business. Get in touch!

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Smart Environment

Smart Environment

The ‘Smart Environment’ means the use of low power wireless sensors to detect changing variables in the environment.

There are three distinct stages of a Smart Environment system, which will be considered in terms of INPUT-PROCESS-OUTPUT.

The input stage is concerned with the gathering of the data source, and getting it to the process part of the system.

In terms of a typical LPWAN, or Low Power Wide Area Network system this might consist of a ‘sensor node’ that measures an environmental parameter, such as the ‘Ph’ of the soil in a field.

The sensor node gathers data and the data is transmitted via a suitable Low Power, Narrow Bandwidth wireless technology, such as Lorawan, Weightless or Sigfox.

At the receiving end of the transmitted data, the data is received by a device called a ‘Gateway’. The job of the gateway is to receive the wireless data signal, and put it onto the internet.

The sensor node, Narrow band Wireless Link, and Gateway device, can all be considered to be part of the INPUT section of the system.

The PROCESS part of the system occurs online, and is where software can be used to make smart automated decisions relating to the environment, based on analysis of the available data received from the INPUT section of the system.

An example of an automated decision, might be a vending machine that sends data onto the internet reporting that the machine is out of salt and vinegar crisps.

The online software would then logically decide a course of action, based on the received data. This is the PROCESS section, capable of automatically carrying out decisions that are normally done by human beings (clerical workers).

The OUTPUT section carries out an instruction, based on the decisions made by the online software, in the cloud, which is based on data from the INPUT section.

In this vending machine example the received data could notify a mobile delivery driver on a screen in his vehicle, to go to the machine and restock it (with salt and vinegar crisps, in this case).

The system could also automatically order new stock, as and when necessary from the crisp manufacturer.

Parameters that could also be monitored and analysed are, which products are the most popular, and if data is sent in real time, what products sell at what time of the day.

Knowing the time of day that a product sells can help marketing departments determine the socio-economic & demographic profiles of users,

How could marketers use this information you might wonder?

If the vending machine was located at a swimming pool, then data from the swimming pools website on class times, could be combined with product purchase data from the vending machine at the pool, to determine what products were most popular when the ‘Women Only’ swim session was on for instance.

Another possible data source could include ticket type sold (adult, child, senior citizen).

 

 

Some other uses of Smart Environment systems include the following examples:-

  • Forest fire detection
  • Early detection of earthquakes
  • Remote Snow level monitoring
  • Air pollution monitoring
  • Landslide & Avalanche protection

This article will be expanded shortly, when we get some more time.

If you would like help with any of the above technologies, get in touch. We are multi-skilled engineers with experience in the marine, land industrial & aerospace industries.

[bctt tweet=”The ‘Smart Environment’ means the use of low power wireless sensors to detect changing variables in the environment” username=”yeswaylimited”]

 

Author Twitter Name: @acraigmiles

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Wireless Smart Cities

smart cities

Things that the Internet of Things can measure around future  ‘Wireless Smart Cities’ using low power wireless sensors:-

  • Waste Management
  • Wireless Smart Roads
  • Smart Parking, ensuring best use of limited space.
  • Structural Health, such as changes in length of bridge wires on a suspension bridge.
  • Mapping Urban Noise pollution. This affects human quality of life, and can affect wildlife as well
  • Smartphone detection.
  • Electromagnetic Field Levels, caused by power lines, radio transmitters etc.
  • Traffic congestion. Smarter traffic management solutions, based on real time data.
  • Smart lighting, such as street lights that go off and one depending on whether they are actually needed at the time.
  • Wireless Smart Cities
Smart cities

smart cities

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two way radio services

Product Design & Re-Engineering

Product Design & Re-Engineering

Have an idea for a new product, or wish to improve and existing product or industry by integrating wireless IOT (Internet of Things) technologies?

We are experienced in:-

Research

Our staff have experience of working for Astrium Space, now re-named Airbus Defence & Space.

Experience in researching X- Band Space Communications Satellite component and subsystem reliability data, and obtaining NATO Codification Numbers (NCN) for un-codified component parts.

Experience of working with classified documentation, and under the Official Secrets Act.

NATO security clearance, and working on the reliability of NATO military satellite communications, ground stations, ships radomes, and aircraft communication system updates.

Staff Interviewing, as part of AS9100 Quality Manual internal update process. Checking existing departmental and process procedures are still current, to enable updating of Quality Manual revision level. Undertaken as short term contract, and completed 1 week ahead of the allocated time period.

Solution finding & development

  • Development, and integration.

Questions to ask

Who is the product aimed at?

This is also known as the product’s target market.

This is an important first step in the product design process  and will influence the finished product.

As Yesway has ‘in house’ marketing degree expertise, as well as engineering development expertise. We approach and incorporate marketing tools into the product planning process.

Example tools include ‘Slept Analysis’, which stands for Social, Legal, Economic, Political, Technological.

Social: Is your proposed product going to appeal, or acceptable to your target market?

For instance, a new type of bikini aimed at the Iranian market is likely to be a sales failure.

This is because Iran is an Islamic country, where clothing modesty, is the social & cultural norm.

Another example I could give was when I worked for an International Defence Aerospace organisation. The company had previously sold a piece of military communications equipment to a foreign government

The company had previously sold a piece of military space communications equipment to a foreign government. The equipment was a standard

The equipment was a standard design and was shown to another foreign government, who were also interested in purchasing a system.

The ‘Social’ issue in this example was that Country ‘A’, & County ‘B’ were neighbours and rivals.

Country ‘B’ believed that their country & military were superior to Country ‘A’.  This was a social factor, which meant that once they heard that Country ‘A’ had bought the same system

This was a social factor, which meant that once they heard that Country ‘A’ had bought the same system, they wanted a better system.

The solution was to re-engineer the same system to have extra ‘indicator bulbs’ on the control monitoring system.

Country ‘B’ was thus satisfied and bought the ‘improved’ system.

Legal: What laws affect your product?

One of the first questions to ask yourself when researching the answer is where are you planning to sell your product.

This matters, as you need to consider not only national laws but international laws also.

For example, if you were developing a LoraWan wireless connected sensor ‘node’, different regions use different radio frequencies.

Therefore you could not develop a product for the North Amercian market, and sell it in Europe, without complying with the relevant frequency laws.

Economic: Can your target customers afford your product?

What might be considered a mass market product in some markets (i.e, western Europe & USA), might be considered a luxury item in the developing world.

The product selling price is an important consideration, as not only will affordability been a consideration, but also desirability.

Studies have shown (such as Mercedes 190 case) that when a product is sold at too low a price, then it can be perceived as being desirable.

In the case of the Mercedes 190, those people looking for a prestige car, assumed the 190 was not as good as other Mercedes, as the price was similar to mainstream alternatives.

A model relaunch, with increased spec & price, resulted in sales taking off.

Political: What changes might affect your product?

Political changes are closely linked to Legal changes.

If you wished to produce novelty domestic incandescent light bulbs, then the ban on them, would affect you.

Research into what is happening politically is an important consideration, for both new and existing products.

Existing products, may be able to be ‘re-engineered’ to adapt them to new political policy changes, such as fitting more efficient engines to the ‘Land Rover Defender’, which enabled it to be produced for so long.

Technological: New technologies & disruptive ideas.

The world is changing faster now, than at any time in human history.

While once upon a time we used Thermionic Valves in our radios, transistors bought about product miniaturisation in the 1960s.

The 1970s saw ‘Silicon Chips’ being introduced, revolutionising computers, making them smaller and more powerful than their predecessors.

Want to buy shares in a VHS video recorder company? Thought not!

Constant analysis of new technologies, and what your competitors are doing with them, is essential.

Latest technology trends include VR (Virtual Reality), and the IOT (Internet of Things).

The above are examples of new disruptive ideas and innovation, which did not exist a few years ago.

(01522) 740818

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Transformers – Single Phase Type

Transformers

Transformers are most commonly ‘step-down’ types.

This means that the voltage that comes out is less than the voltage going into the transformer.

The ‘transformer ratio’ of the winding’s on the input side ‘primary’ & output side ‘secondary’, determines the output voltage.

Example: 100 volts AC going in with a 10:1 (Primary / Secondary) winding ratio, would give 10 volts output.

  • single phase transformers

    Information about Single phase Transformers

There are two main types that you will come across.

Single Phase

&

Three Phase

The difference between the two types is that Single Phase have four electrical connections, whereas Three Phase have six.

In the case of a Single Phase Transformer, the four connections consist of two input connections, and two output connections.

The Three Phase types six connections, consist of three input connections, and three output connections.

Both single phase and three phase transformers will only work with Alternating Current (AC).

AC was invented by Nikola Tesla over 100 years ago, and is the dominant system used (as opposed to Direct Current (DC), for electricity transmission.

AC is the electricity that comes out of a wall socket in a house, in nearly all installations around the world.

Unlike Direct Current (DC) in which the polarity of the two connections stays constant (has a fixed + & -), AC voltage ‘Alternates’.

The ‘Alternating’ in Alternating Current (AC) means that the voltage in the two wires is constantly changing direction and level.

The picture below shows what is actually happening

AC Sine Wave

The picture above shows an AC Sine Wave.

As you can see, the ‘wiggly’ line travels both above and below the straight horizontal line.

The horizontal line represents the 0 Volts level, and below the line is minus volts, and above plus volts.

The two wires of a single phase transformer are connected in a fixed position, but the picture shows what is happening in each of the wires.

The peaks represent the peak voltage in one of the two wires, therefore if the voltage is at the peak in one wire, it is the opposite level in the other wire.

The ‘alternation’ of the voltages in the two wires happens rapidly and constantly.

The speed of change is called the Frequency, and is measured in Hertz (Hz)*.

*It is worth noting that on older pieces of British machinery such as Transformers and Induction Motors, you may find Frequency described as ‘Cycles’, rather than Hz.

In the UK and Mainland Europe the frequency of the mains electricity supply is 50Hz, whereas in countries like the USA and Japan, it is 60Hz.

This constant frequency of voltage change creates electromagnetic induction in the transformer.

Transformers rely on electromagnetic induction for their operation.

induction motor bearing tips

Marine Induction Motor Servicing Tips

Tips for Servicing Marine & Land Based Induction Motors.

These tips for marine induction motor servicing, are for education only, and should not be relied on as instructions.

Smart Manufacturing technologies can be applied to Induction Motors, to reduce servicing down time.

Wirelessly connected sensors can be used to monitor Induction motor parameters.

Such parameters include bearing vibration increases, and current in the Stator coils.

Only competent trained electrical personal should attempt to service marine induction motors.

Training Lincolnshire

Tools Required

Safety & Isolation of supply of induction motors.

Taking a casual approach to electricity can prove fatal.

This is especially true when we are talking about three-phase motors, as they operate in the UK & EU at 400 Volts Alternating Current (400 VAC).

Marine installations typically operate at an even higher 440 Volt Alternating Current (440 VAC).

Never work on a piece of three-phase machinery, such as an induction motor unless you are both qualified to do so, and have authorisation.

People able to give authorisation include senior managers, with appropriate responsibilities, in the case of onshore factory installations.

For work to be carried out aboard Ships, permission from someone such as the Chief Engineer is appropriate.

Once permission has been gained, and the appropriate paperwork issued, only then can work commence.

Certainly in the marine environment, and normally onshore as well, ‘locks and tags’ will be issued.

The lock is to ensure that once an isolator switch has been turned off, no one can switch it back on accidentally.

The ‘tag’ details who has isolated the supply, and is working on that circuit.

Only the person who has been issued with the lock and tag set, can remove them.

Double check that circuit is dead.

Another marine induction motor servicing tip is don’t assume that just because you have locked and tagged the appropriate electrical isolator, that you are safe to work on a circuit.

The isolator may be incorrectly labeled, or even worse, you have taken someone else’s word for it.

Before you stick your fingers in, and potentially kill yourself, you need to use an appropriate device to check that the circuit is safe to work on.

induction motor bearing tips

Induction Motor

There are three possible devices that can be used:

  1. Test Bulb
  2. Multimeter / Voltmeter
  3. Line Tester

Firstly lets look at the test bulb as an option.

A test bulb with appropriate leads and clips attached, can provide indication of a live circuit, but has a flaw.

If the bulb filament breaks, then you could falsely assume that the circuit is safe to work on, with possibly fatal outcomes.

The second option is the Multimeter / Voltmeter which these days will probably be a ‘solid state’ digital type, rather than the older analogue types, which are commonly referred to as ‘AVO’s’ in the UK.

The Multimeter / Voltmeter being ‘solid state’ is more likely to be a bit more reliable than, a filament bulb tester. However it still may be broken, and you would not necessarily know. An example being the test probe wires may be ‘Open Circuit’.

The third option, the ‘Line Tester’, will provide the most reliable indication of whether a circuit is safe. Therefore this is the preferred option.

The reason that a line tester is safer is because it contains four separate Neon bulbs (some modern ones are LED).

The bulbs light up according to how high the voltage is, for example a 400 VAC supply would light not only the 400VAC light, but the lower voltage indicator lights as well.

So imagine that the 400VAC indicator bulb has broken.

The lower voltage indicator bulbs will still light up, for example the 230VAC and 110VAC indicator bulbs.

Therefore the engineer will still have an indication that there is voltage in the circuit, and can investigate further.

Before using a Line Tester you should use a ‘proving unit’. A proving unit is a small hand-held device capable of producing a voltage such as 250 Volts.

The Line tester can thus be tested using the proving unit, prior to testing a real live circuit.

To test the Line Tester the two probes are pushed against the Proving Unit which then produces a voltage.

This will be indicated by an indicator LED lighting up on the proving unit itself.

The Neon or Led indicator lamps of the Line Tester should also light up at the same time, to indicate the voltage being supplied.

Tips when changing bearings on Induction Motors

Importance of identification code facing outwards.

When refitting bearings to an induction motor you will notice that the bearing itself has a code written on the one side of it.

This code is the product identification code, and is what you need to quote in order to order the correct replacement bearing.

Once the correct replacement bearing has been obtained, and is ready for fitting, ensure the following.

Firstly, that the bearing identification code is facing away from the Stator, and outwards towards the end of the motor shaft.

This will help you in the future, if you ever have to replace the bearings again.

The reason for this is that you can just remove the end plate of the induction motor, and read the bearing code easily, provided it has been fitted with the code facing outwards.

If the bearing code was facing inwards, then it is harder to read the bearing code, and might mean that the motor shaft has to be disconnected from its mechanical load.

This adds to the motor downtime, and hence has financial and productivity implications.

Ways to remove bearings from induction motor shaft.

The ideal way to remove an old bearing from the induction motor rotor shaft is to use a bearing puller tool.

Removal is then just a matter of fitting, the tool into position, and winding in the screw thread in a clockwise direction.

As this happens, the bearing is slowly pulled up and off the shaft.

If however you don’t have a puller, other methods, such as  using a metal bar to leverage between the bearing and the end of the shaft can be tried.

However this is not the way I recommend, and you do it at you own risk of injury and damage to the motor shaft.

Methods for fitting a new induction motor bearing when marine induction motor servicing.

Ideally you will have a hydraulic bench press, that you can use to put massive pressure down onto the bearing to ‘press it’ onto the shaft, in the correct position.

When using such a press, a number of precautions should be observed.

Firstly, ensure that you are fully competent to use the hydraulic press. Even fairly cheap versions are capable of exerting many tons of pressure, which can be dangerous to human health.

Secondly, ensure that the tube or sleeve that you fit over the shaft of the motor is only just wide enough.

The reason for this is that a wide metal tube (or sleeve) put over the motor shaft in order to push against the bearing, can damage it.

This is because too wide a tube will make contact with the plastic middle of the bearing, or the outer metal edge.

Both of these two scenarios are bad, because pressure applied to anywhere but the centre metal part of the bearing, will cause damage.

This damage can result in the replacement bearing being ruined, which defeats the object of replacing it.

Using a hydraulic press is the method that we would recommend, however this option is sometimes not available.

In particular to engineers working at sea in a marine environment, such as a cargo ship.

If you find yourself in this situation, then there are other ways to re-fit a replacement bearing to an induction motor.

One method is to take advantage of the fact that metals contract and expand due to cold and heat.

This method involves carefully wrapping up the Stator part of the induction motor in a polythene bag, and putting it in the freezer overnight.

This will very slightly shrink the size diameter of the bearing shaft.

The second part to the operation involves gently heating up a pan of engine oil, so that it is warm.

Obviously extreme care needs to be taken, so that either a fire is not caused by the oil igniting, or the engineer receiving burns while trying to handle the hot bearing.

Once the bearing is warm, the Stator can be removed from the freezer, and the warm oiled bearing should slip fairly easily onto the shaft.

The oil can then be wiped off the bearing with a non fluffy cloth, and motor reassembly can begin.

For more tips on marine induction motor servicing, why not check out the authors (and our founders)  personal website at www.craigmiles.co.uk/blog

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