The Wireless Coverage Test System is used for performing radio measurements in process plant environments, specifically in hazardous areas where commercial off-the-shelf solutions cannot be used. The Wireless Coverage Test System is EX certified
Wireless field instruments are installed in locations where they best fit their needs, e.g. a flow meter is placed on a pipe, a vibration monitor is placed on some rotating equipment, a gas detector is placed in an area where a potential gas leak may occur, etc. The location of a particular field instrument is primarily governed by requirements coming from the instrument discipline and/or the technical safety discipline.
The main purpose of the Wireless Coverage Test System is to help answer the following question:
“Where do we locate antennas (wireless access points) to make sure we have good radio coverage for all wireless field instruments?”
Origo Solutions offers services related to radio measurements in process plant environments – hazardous and non-hazardous areas.
- Wireless coverage analysis
- Location of field instruments
- Number and location of antennas
- Possibilities of further extensions
- Technical safety analysis
- Number and location of detectors
Location of instruments
When deploying wireless field instruments the first and foremost consideration is – just as for conventional wired instruments – where to locate the instruments to best suit the purpose (i.e. measuring a process value).
The owner or maintainer of some process equipment will determine what process parameter that needs to be monitored and based on that decide where the instrument needs to be located.
In a similar way, for a safety system (e.g. a fire and gas system) the person responsible for technical safety will decide where a gas detector needs to be located to ensure detection of a potential gas leak.
When the location of field instruments are (more or less) fixed, the question when going wireless becomes:
Where do we locate antennas (wireless access points) to make sure we have good radio coverage for all field instruments?
In an industrial environment, this question cannot be answered satisfactorily by simply looking at layout drawings of the “factory floor” or performing a site survey (i.e. visual inspection of the “factory floor”). To ensure that the necessary amount of antennas are planned for, and that these are placed in suitable locations to cover the existing field instruments (also considering possible future extensions), radio measurements are needed.
It is preferable to do such measurements at the start of the project so that the scope of the work – and consequently the cost – is known up front, instead of coming as a surprise at the end of the project.
In a hazardous environment, particularly where there is a risk of an explosive atmosphere being present, special equipment is needed to be allowed to perform radio measurements on the “factory floor” in an efficient manner.
Without such equipment, extended work permits, extra safety precautions, etc. needs to be in place and this makes the process burdensome and consequently drives the cost of doing the radio measurements.
To address this problem. Origo Solutions has developed a wireless coverage test system that is certified for operation in hazardous areas where an explosive atmosphere may be present.
- ATEX zone 1 approved
- Fully battery operated
- ISA 100.11a field instruments
- Operator HMI for use in field
- Mounted on a “trolley” for ease of handling
- Optional connection to equipment room (non-hazardous area) using field cable for long duration tests.
The Wireless Coverage Test System consists of three (primary) units:
Operator unit: This unit contains the HMI where the operator can interact with the system, either for configuring or monitoring the system.
The operator unit is based on a commercial off-the-shelf tablet computer.
Main unit This unit contains the wireless access point functions for communication towards the wireless field instruments, as well as communication towards the operator unit.
The main unit is a custom unit designed and built specifically for the purpose of doing radio measurements.
Battery unit: This unit contains the battery that supplys power to the main unit.
The battery unit is based on a commercial off-the-shelf battery solution with integrated battery charger.