The new isoplus PG alarm system entered the district heating business in the autumn of 2019. Since then, we have seen a soaring demand for the efficient alarm boxes.
We spoke to HOFOR, Horsens District Heating, Christiansfeld District Heating, and Vemb Heating Plant to find out what our customers think of the new alarm system, so that you can learn what an isoplus PG alarm system can do for you.
Constant monitoring ensures faster detection of errors
HOFOR has replaced 18 alarm boxes, and the next 15 isoplus PG alarm boxes are ready for installation. The decision to replace their alarm system was taken after a period of comprehensive research, during which several different alarm systems were thoroughly tested by HOFOR’s works manager, Jakob Hvidt.
“I started by searching the market in order to find the best. I tested several types, but when isoplus started its cooperation with Pipeguard, it became clear to us that this was the type of alarm system we should have. It is the best alarm system on the market,” says Jakob Hvidt of HOFOR.
It is important to Jakob Hvidt that the alarm system provides an overview that helps keep track of HOFOR’s extensive network. Furthermore, the number of work hours is reduced considerably, because we do not have to send alarm engineers as often as before. Saving labour is of high priority for Bjarne Hunderup, project manager at Horsens District Heating. Horsens District Heating is extremely busy these years, as the city is working on a major district heating project. Therefore, it is important that they focus on the right issues.
“With this system, we get a kind of digital alarm engineer who measures our alarm network 24/7. The state of the system is reported continually and, in this way, we only have to send an alarm engineer when there is an actual need“, says Bjarne Hunderup of Horsens District Heating.
The system also gives us access to measurement data in isoplus PGweb, thus allowing prompt detection of errors. isoplus PGweb provides an overview of previous and current values for circuit resistance, galvanic stress and isolation resistance as well as a visual overview including a map function, where we can add our own alarm drawings. The alarm values are displayed in three colours, which indicate when an error is about to occur.
“You could say that if we did it as we used to in the old days, a lot can happen between two measurements. The error may have spread far, which we can avoid with the new alarm system. We can limit the damage because we are always aware of what is going on,” says Jakob Hvidt of HOFOR.
By acting immediately, the lifetime of the pipe system is extended considerably. In the time up to the repair of an error, the damage is often aggravated because more moisture may spread through the pipe system. District heating pipes require huge investments. Therefore, it is crucial that the pipes last for many years.
“The most important thing to us is to ensure the lifetime of our district heating mains. We depreciate our system over many years. Therefore, it is important that we get top quality, making it a good investment,” explains Bjarne Hunderup of Horsens District Heating.
Jakob Hvidt, operating manager at HOFOR, was also thinking in terms of economy when the decision to replace their alarm system was taken, because it is wise to ensure that an error can be detected quickly, which also means that it is still covered by the warranty.
“During the first five years, the products and services we buy are covered by a warranty. Consequently, our finances benefit from detecting an error at an early stage. The easiest way to get this safety is by being able to monitor the system in this way,” adds Jakob Hvidt of HOFOR.
Let the system do the monitoring for you or take a more active role
In April 2020, Christiansfeld District Heating had one of the alarm boxes of the isoplus PG alarm system installed. They chose this solution because they wanted to try more continuous monitoring. Knud Boysen, operations assistant at Christiansfeld District Heating, finds it very important that there is no need to actively keep an eye on system.
“It is a benefit that we can access and check how things work when it suits us – and that we do not have to take any action. If an error occurs, we receive an e-mail – so we don’t have to keep an eye on things, but it is great to have the possibility when needed,” says Knud Boysen of Christiansfeld District Heating.
With an isoplus PG alarm system, you can lean back and let the system do what it does best. isoplus PG alarm systems are installed and put into service by isoplus, and this ensures optimal alarm measurements. The limit values can be adapted to individual needs, but it is not a necessary precaution.
“I do not change the parameters. I rely on the limit values set by isoplus and check on the system based on that,” states Knud Boysen of Christiansfeld District Heating.
However, HOFOR frequently uses the function of adapting limit values, which means that Jakob Hvidt actively adjusts the alarm limits. This gives him a better overview and more control of the monitoring activity.
“If a value has been low for a long time, I may decide to set the alarm limit just a little lower – in this way, I will receive an alert if it drops further. I can always make adjustments as needed,” says Jakob Hvidt of HOFOR.
Vemb Heating Plant has had a single alarm box of the isoplus PG alarm system installed as well. Although Bent Follesen, heating manager at Vemb Heating Plant, does not actively change the various limit values, he has noted that the new alarm system provides several new options.
“I have just briefly accessed isoplus PGweb, but it is obvious that there are more features than I am used to. I feel convinced that I will get great benefits from getting acquainted with the different features,” says Bent Follesen of Vemb Heating Plant.
The measurement of the galvanic voltage is one of the new features. Previously, we only used to measure the circuit resistance and the isolation resistance, but now that we can measure the galvanic voltage, we get a more complete overview. The galvanic voltage indicates whether an error has occurred inside the pipe or whether it is due to an external error.
Easy and manageable user interface assists the user
It is easy to find one’s way around the isoplus PGweb; it provides a detailed overview and, at the same time, the user gets assistance all the way. The people at Horsens District Heating agree on this, and Bjarne Hunderup adds that – although it takes some time to get used to the new measurements – the system is of great assistance to the user.
“It is transparent, and it is easy to find the different features in isoplus PGweb. Of course, it is new knowledge that we have to familiarise ourselves with, as there are many new measurements that we are not used to handling, but we will learn,” says Bjarne Hunderup of Horsens District Heating.
The people at Vemb District Heating Plant are also very enthusiastic about the fact that the alarm system is web-based. Bent Follesen, heating manager at Vemb Heating Plant, takes special notice of the fact that he can get a quick overview on his cell phone and that he receives an e-mail if an error occurs.
“The new alarm system makes it possible for you to see everything on your cell phone. The old system merely sent an alert in our SRO system; then we had to physically go to the alarm box, where we still couldn’t see what kind of error it was. Now, we can see all details,” says Bent Follesen of Vemb Heating Plant.
The user-friendly and intuitive alarm system makes it easy for the user to delve into various errors. As Bjarne Hunderup of Horsens District Heating points out: His employees do not need the special competencies that were required before. Using the new system, they only have to call for alarm specialists when they are actually needed.
“Some of our older pipes had actually been disconnected from the monitoring system because it was not possible to identify the errors. When we use the new alarm system, there is no need to have the special skills, which the first-generation systems required. We now have a system that does not require skilled personnel,” states Bjarne Hunderup of Horsens District Heating.
Our customers feel confident that the new alarm system meets expectations. They believe that it gives a complete overview and that it is easy and quick to use. It is a system that gives the user full control of own monitoring activities and a chance to prevent errors and extend the lifetime of the pipe system.
“We can definitely recommend this system. The user interface is good and provides a good overview – and isoplus has a high service level. Financially, it makes sense, and in addition to this, we can see exactly the parameters measured,” concludes Jakob Hvidt of HOFOR.