Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Parker Particle Detection For RAF Aviation Fuels

The latest Icount PD particle-detection technology from Parker Hannifin is being trialled by the RAF as part of a programme to enhance the quality and safety of its aviation fuels. Fitted to refuelling vehicles, the Icount PD detection units provide an immediate indication if fuel quality falls below a set threshold, helping to identify contamination caused by particles or moisture and improving productivity while potentially reducing operating costs.

The RAF has initially fitted several Icount PD units for evaluation and these are mounted on the outlets of the monitor filter housings on each refuelling vehicle, with the monitor filters being used to remove contamination from the fuel as it is pumped into each aircraft. An integrated probe device is used to extract a sample from the flow of fuel. The sample is then automatically fed through the particle counter for analysis before being returned to the fuel dispenser slop tank.

Each Icount PD unit features laser-diode optical-detection technology to produce fast, accurate and repeatable results, with the ability to detect dispersed particle contamination down to extremely low levels. The system also monitors the condition of the fuel immediately downstream of the filters. Any change in operating conditions can easily be detected by the Icount PD units as they provide a constant indication of fuel condition while it is being pumped.

Each unit incorporates front-panel-mounted LEDs to show operating status and alarm conditions for particles and moisture content, and is connected to a data logger so that contamination levels over time can be monitored, allowing RAF technicians to plan maintenance schedules for the refuelling equipment. Icount PD units are small, robust and lightweight, and were simple for the RAF to install without the need for extensive modifications to each refuelling vehicle.

They have eliminated previous methods of using subject gravimetric tests and are said to be less expensive than traditional light-scattering devices. The Icount PD units are rated to IP66 and have a range of output options, making them easy to interface with mobile equipment. These options include RS232 and Canbus connectivity, 4-20mA and 0-5V analogue outputs, and relay contacts that can switch 5A at up to 24V DC.

No comments: