Press Release

Deeter Electronics Leak Detector Safeguards Server Rooms and Basements from Flood Damage

November 2010 – Deeter Electronics announce the launch of a Leak Detector intended for raising the alarm in the event of a water leak in data-centres, server rooms and building basements.

 

The Deeter Leak Detector system comprises a Leak Detector Controller, mounted in a UL94-V0 flame retardant 35mm DIN-Rail housing, and IP65 Sensor Heads which can be connected in a daisy chain. The Leak Detector Controller is available with a 230VAC mains input or a 24V (AC or DC) power input.

 

The Leak Detector Controller is equipped with a bank of six DIP switches which are used to configure the Leak Detector outputs. Two output types are available; alarm on when a leak is detected with automatic reset when water is no longer present and alarm on when a leak is discovered, latching on until the Leak Detector Controller is reset by an operator. Connections to the Leak Detector Controller are made via two sets of 6 screw terminals.

 

The Leak Detector can detect and warn of system faults such as a break in any of the three Leak Sensor wires, no termination of the Leak Sensor wires and a blown output fuse. Status of the system is indicated by three LEDs, green indicates all clear, yellow indicates a fault has been detected and red that a leak has been detected.

 

The leak detector features an open collector transistor output, open during normal operation and current-limited to sink up to 50mA which can be pulled up to 40V. The Leak Detector Controller also includes two output relays. Relay 1 is always assigned to leak detection and can be programmed to follow or latch in response to a leak. If there is a system fault relay 2 and / or the transistor output can be used to indicate the fault. The relays have a current rating of 6A at 240VAC. In addition to indicating a leak the relays may also be configured to raise an alarm or shut down critical equipment in the event of a system failure.

 

The Leak Sensors supplied with the system are housed in IP65 ABS boxes with a pair of sensing probes protruding through the underside to detect water. The probes are stainless steel and M3 threaded, and may be extended using an M3 spacer. The Sensors can be bolted to the floor if required. Up to ten or more Leak Sensors can be linked using a 3-wire cable in a daisy-chain configuration.

 

Peter Whiteaker, Managing Director of Deeter Electronics, comments; ”Deeter Electronics has a long history of designing and manufacturing sensors of all kinds and our new Leak Detector Sensor system has been developed in response to customer requests. It is estimated that there are more than 20,000 computer rooms in the UK alone. Flooding or any influx of water can cause serious damage to computer systems, industrial plant equipment and even paper archives etc. which are frequently stored in basements. Our new Leak Detector system provides a cost effective and simple to install way to protect valuable infrastructure from water damage.”

 

The Deeter Electronics product range includes single and multi-channel wireless sensor systems, level sensors, industrial weighing equipment, reed and proximity switches, security switches, termination assemblies, litz and magnetic wire and solar power systems. For more information on the Deeter Electronics range of wireless sensing products call +44 (0)1494 566046 or visit www.deeter.co.uk

About Deeter Group:

The Deeter Group is a privately owned group of companies first established in the UK in 1982 and set up to provide electronic services and products to industry. The Group comprises Deeter Engineering Services Ltd, Deeter Weighing Systems, Deeter Electronics Ltd, Deeter Electronics Inc and Deeter International Ltd. During its existence it has developed from a small local supplier to a Group of companies which trade throughout the world. Deeter now lists among its customers many large international companies and has justly earned its reputation as a supplier of quality products and services.

 

Deeter Electronics was established in 1991 as a distributor of specialist electronic products. Deeter Electronics now designs and manufactures sensor and wireless products in the UK and is a distributor for a number of market leading component Brands. Deeter provides a wide range of instrumentation products to customers in the UK, mainland Europe and the USA.

 

 

Contact:

The Deeter Electronics Ltd.
Deeter House
Valley Road
Hughenden Valley
HP14 4LW

T: +44 (0)1494 566046
F: +44 (0)1494 563961

E: [email protected]

W: www.deeter.co.uk

 

Wireless Technology in Industrial Measurement and Process Control

Introduction

In all manufacturing industries there is a need to collect information for measurement and control of processes and material management. Transducers of many kinds may be installed on machinery, storage tanks, materials and even finished products.

 

The one common factor in all these applications is the need to return data to a central control or monitoring system. Generally this is accomplished by sending data signals along a network of cables. These may be dedicated to the process data or the signals may be multiplexed over an Ethernet system via suitable network adapters.

 

There are a number of common problems associated with a cabled solution in an industrial environment, especially in factories and larger industrial facilities where multiple buildings may involved. Cables are expensive and often difficult to install. In addition to the cost of the cable itself, installation over large industrial spaces, often including high ceilings, spans over doors or roads increase the labour costs, create their own health and safety hazards and can affect the continuous smooth operation of plant equipment during installation. In addition to the high costs of installing cabled control systems, maintaining their reliable operation can be very difficult as they are prone to damage from vehicles, building and maintenance works and occasionally vandalism.

 

Wireless connectivity would seem an obvious alternative to all the downsides of cabled control systems. However the major suppliers of wireless process control systems tend to offer costly, proprietary solutions aimed at large scale production facilities. The high costs and buy-in to complex single source solutions has, in the main, excluded their take-up by small to medium manufacturing, industrial and even agricultural users.

 

Wireless Sensor Systems

The recent advent of compact, low cost, high reliability, license free short range wireless devices enables a new, low cost approach, to wireless connectivity for industrial control systems. Instrumentation companies, such as Deeter Electronics, are now able to integrate wireless communication into sensors and industrial receivers which can transform industrial control and measuring systems. These emerging industrial wireless sensor communication systems greatly reduce the cost and time of installation, increasing convenience and reliability and enable simple relocation of sensors should factory layout change. Some types of wireless probes are battery powered removing an additional layer of installation complexity by not having to provide mains power in remote locations which would be required for conventional measuring instruments.

 

A typical wireless sensor system will be based on a wireless enabled probe communicating directly with a “base station” receiver. In addition to wireless enabled probes other sensor inputs such as analogue probes, 4-20mA sensors, float sensors or other switch types can be interfaced to a wireless sensor system via a suitable “sender” adapter which transmits the sensor signals over the wireless link to the base station receiver.

 

A wireless sensor system may also include a number of wireless routers to form a wireless ‘mesh’ network. This improves the reliability of the wireless signal by providing multiple signal paths and allows signals to be automatically re-routed around any broken links in the mesh creating a built-in self-healing capability to further ensure communications reliability.

 

RF Communications

A modern wireless sensor system will be based on the latest very reliable high power RF transceiver modules combined with a rugged external antenna to achieve the best possible wireless communication range. Range can be further extended by adding one or more wireless “routers” which receive and re-transmit the signal with increased gain. A “base station” acts as the coordinator for the wireless network and will provide a range of outputs for integration into control or monitoring equipment. Typical outputs would include a 4-to-20mA current loop driver, a serial communications output via RS232, RS485 or USB and open-collector transistors for relay operation etc. The complete system will operate in the 2.4GHz ISM (Instrumentation Scientific and Medical) frequency band. This allows the system to be used world-wide without requiring a site radio operating licence. Local regulations may restrict the maximum RF transmit power and manufacturers such as Deeter provide different variants of the Wireless System devices for the USA, Canadian and European markets to satisfy these constraints. The IEEE 802.15.4 protocol, as used in the Deeter Wireless Sensor System, allows several networks to share the same frequency without interfering with each other. The protocol uses sophisticated techniques to ensure good communications using very low power signalling. Once the system is installed it will operate reliably for extended periods without any further intervention.

 

Wireless Range

At maximum transmission power, depending on country of use, the distance between sensor node and base station may be up to 4km in an ideal, open field installation. For operation in Europe, regulations restrict the maximum transmission power and a range of up to 1000m may be possible. However, in most practical environments the radio signal will be attenuated by obstructions and by multi-path fading caused by reflections. To improve range, a clearer signal path can often be achieved by increasing the height of the antenna.

 

Cost and applications

With the cost of a simple single wireless sensor and base station system being less than £500 it’s easy to see what an attractive proposition a wireless solution can be. Simple plug-and-play installation, ease of relocation, removal of costly and hazardous cabling make a wireless sensor system a welcome solution for control engineers in industrial and manufacturing industries such as food and beverages, cooling systems and agriculture.

 

The Deeter Group has been providing electronic services to industry since 1982. With the formation of Deeter Electronics in 1991 the company manufactures its wireless sensor system in the UK and is a major international supplier of control and instrumentation systems, including electronic sensors, industrial weighing equipment, reed and proximity switches, security switches, termination assemblies and other products and services to manufacturing industry.

 

Contact:

The Deeter Group
Deeter House
Valley Road
Hughenden Valley
HP14 4LW

T: +44 (0)1494 566046
F: +44 (0)1494 563961

E: [email protected]

W: www.deeter.co.uk

 

All Sensors can be Wireless

A perennial problem with installing control and measurement systems in industrial environments is cabling. Installing and maintaining the reliable operation of cable networks can be very difficult in factories and larger industrial facilities where buildings may be remote. Roads, railways and even rivers may need to be crossed creating their own sets of health and safety hazards. Cable faults can easily be caused by mechanical damage and the environment resulting in costly lost production and safety issues which could result in life hazard, damage to process equipment and unnecessary plant shut-down.

The recent advent of compact, high reliability short range wireless devices has allowed Deeter to develop a wireless sensor system which can transform industrial control and measuring systems. Greatly reducing the cost and time required to install, increasing convenience and reliability and enabling simple relocation of sensors should factory layout change. In addition Deeter probes are battery powered removing the additional layer of installation complexity of providing mains power in remote locations for conventional measuring instruments.

.A Deeter Wireless Sensor System may include a number of Wireless Routers to form a wireless ‘mesh’ network. This allows signals to be automatically re-routed around any broken links in the mesh creating a built-in self-healing capability to further ensure communications reliability.

The Deeter Wireless Sensor System will be welcomed by control engineers in industrial and manufacturing industries such as food and beverages, cooling systems and agriculture.

System Applications and Features
The Deeter Wireless Sensor System was primarily designed for use in liquid level sensing, to complement the very popular existing range of Deeter float-switches and continuous level sensors. Countless other applications for the Deeter Wireless Sensor system are possible, including:
• remote monitoring of switch inputs to drive relay outputs
• converting a potentiometer input to a 4-to-20mA current loop output
• mirroring a 4-to-20mA current loop signal
• switching relays at preset input thresholds

The System has the following advanced features:
• Sophisticated RF Communications and Wireless Network capability
• Fully automatic operation once the system is installed
• Battery powered remote sensors

RF Communications
The system uses very reliable high power RF transceiver modules and rugged external antennae to achieve the best possible wireless communication range. Range can be further extended by adding one or more Deeter Wireless Routers which receive and re-transmit the signal with increased gain. The Base Station acts as the coordinator for the wireless network and operates in the 2.4GHz ISM (Instrumentation Scientific and Medical) frequency band. This allows the system to be used world-wide without requiring a site radio operating licence. Local regulations may restrict the maximum RF transmit power and Deeter provide different variants of the Wireless System devices for the USA, Canadian and European markets to satisfy these constraints. The IEEE 802.15.4 protocol used in the Deeter Wireless Sensor System allows several networks to share the same frequency without interfering with each other. The protocol uses sophisticated techniques to ensure good communications using very low power signalling. This allows the Deeter Wireless Sender or LVCS-RF (RF Liquid Vertical Continuous Sensor) probe to operate using battery power. Once the system is installed it will operate reliably for extended periods without any further intervention. When several Routers are used they form a ‘mesh’ network, and signals can be re-routed around any broken links in the mesh. Thus, the system has a built-in self-healing capability to further ensure communications reliability.

Wireless Range
At maximum transmission power (USA version) the distance between sensor node and Base Station may be up to 4km in an ideal, open field installation. For operation in Europe, regulations restrict the maximum transmission power and a range of up to 1000m may be possible. However, in most practical environments the radio signal will be attenuated by obstructions and by multi-path fading caused by reflections. To improve range, a clearer signal path can often be achieved by increasing the height of the antenna and Deeter supply an antenna extension kit for this purpose. A Deeter Wireless Router placed somewhere between the remote sensor and Base Station, or off to one side of the direct line between the two, will greatly extend the wireless range and up to four Routers may be used in a single system.

System Devices
There are four devices currently in the Deeter Wireless Sensor product range:
• Base Station
• Wireless Sender
• LVCS-RF Liquid Vertical Continuous Sensor probe
• Wireless Router

A basic Wireless Sensor System comprises a Base Station and a single sensor node, either a Sender or LVCS-RF. A Router may be added to the system to improve communications reliability or to extend the wireless range. Up to four Routers may be used in a single system.
The sensor nodes can accept a range of input devices to suit the application:
• Four switch inputs (Sender only)
• An analogue resistive input (Sender and LVCS-RF)
• A 4-to-20mA current-loop sensing input (Sender only)

The Base Station has a range of outputs to drive a wide variety of possible
devices:
• Four open-collector transistors for relay operation etc.
• 4-to-20mA current loop driver
• Serial communications output via RS232, RS485 or USB
(At present, serial communications is reserved for diagnostic data. Future
developments are expected to include data-logging features.)