Title:
Pump System with Automated Testing
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pump system is provided. The pump system includes a power source, a pump and a transmission. A first sensor is configured to provide information indicative of at least one first operating condition relating to the pump. A second sensor is configured to provide information indicative of at least one second operating condition relating to the transmission. A controller is communication with the first sensor and the second sensor. The controller is configured to perform a first comparison of the first operating condition to a predetermined first operating condition and a second comparison of the second operating condition to a predetermined second operating condition and based on the first and second comparisons determine if the pump system passes a functionality test.



Inventors:
Minteer, Benjamin (Hanna City, IL, US)
Brinkman, Alex P. (Mt. Zion, IL, US)
Wilbur Jr., Don M. (Manito, IL, US)
Iund, Trevor N. (Peoria, IL, US)
Application Number:
14/163770
Publication Date:
07/30/2015
Filing Date:
01/24/2014
Assignee:
Caterpillar Inc. (Peoria, IL, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F04D27/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
STIMPERT, PHILIP EARL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Caterpillar c/o LEYDIG, VOIT & MAYER, LTD inactive (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A pump system, comprising: a power source; a pump; a transmission configured to operatively connect an output rotation of the power source to an input rotation of the pump; a first sensor configured to provide information indicative of at least one first operating condition relating to the pump; a second sensor configured to provide information indicative of at least one second operating condition relating to the transmission; and a controller in communication with the first sensor and the second sensor, the controller being configured to perform a first comparison of the first operating condition to a predetermined first operating condition and a second comparison of the second operating condition to a predetermined second operating condition and based on the first and second comparisons determine if the pump system passes a functionality test.

2. The pump system according to claim 1 wherein the first operating condition comprises a pump flow rate.

3. The pump system according to claim 1 wherein the first operating condition comprises a pump discharge pressure.

4. The pump system according to claim 1 wherein the second operating condition is a transmission output speed.

5. The pump system according to claim 1 wherein the second operating condition is a transmission input speed.

6. The pump system according to claim 1 wherein the transmission includes a torque converter fluidly connecting an output of the engine to an input of a gear box, the gear box being mechanically connected to an input of the pump and having a plurality of gear combinations and wherein the second operating condition is a torque converter output speed.

7. The pump system according to claim 1 wherein the controller is configured to set the power source to a predetermined speed and the transmission to a predetermined gear before performing the first and second comparisons.

8. The pump system according to claim 1 wherein the controller is configured to provide information to a user if the pump system fails the functionality test.

9. A method of testing functionality of a pump system having a power source, a pump and a transmission configured to operatively connect an output rotation of the power source to an input rotation of the pump, the method comprising: sensing a first parameter indicative of at least one first operating condition relating to the pump; sensing a second parameter indicative of at least one second operating condition relating to the transmission; performing a first comparison of the first actual operating condition and a predetermined first operating condition; performing a second comparison of the second actual operating condition and a predetermined second operating condition; and determining if the pump system passes a functionality test based on the first and second comparisons.

10. The method according to claim 9 wherein the first operating condition comprises a pump flow rate.

11. The method according to claim 9 wherein the first operating condition comprises a pump discharge pressure.

12. The method according to claim 9 wherein the second operating condition is a transmission output speed.

13. The method according to claim 9 wherein the second operating condition is a transmission input speed.

14. The method according to claim 9 wherein the transmission includes a torque converter and a gear box and wherein the second operating condition is a torque converter output speed.

15. The method according to claim 9 further comprising the step of setting the power source to a predetermined speed and the transmission to a predetermined gear before performing the first and second comparisons.

16. The method to claim 9 further including the step of providing information to a user if the pump system fails the functionality test.

17. A pump system, comprising: an engine; a slurry pump; a transmission configured to operatively connect an output rotation of the power source to an input rotation of the pump, the transmission including a torque converter fluidly connecting an output of the engine to an input of a gear box, the gear box being mechanically connected to an input of the slurry pump and having a plurality of gear combinations; a first sensor configured to provide information indicative of at least one first operating condition relating to the slurry pump; a second sensor configured to provide information indicative of at least one second operating condition relating to the transmission; and a controller in communication with the first sensor and the second sensor, the controller being configured to perform a first comparison of the first operating condition to a predetermined first operating condition and a second comparison of the second operating condition to a predetermined second operating condition and based on the first and second comparisons determine if the pump system passes a functionality test.

18. The pump system according to claim 1 wherein the first operating condition comprises a pump flow rate.

19. The pump system according to claim 1 wherein the first operating condition comprises a pump discharge pressure.

20. The pump system according to claim 1 wherein the second operating condition is a transmission output speed.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

This patent disclosure relates generally to pump systems and, more particularly, to pump systems with automated system testing.

BACKGROUND

A slurry pump is a type of pump that increases the pressure of a liquid/solid particulate mixture. Slurry pumps are widely used to transport raw minerals and ore (e.g., coal, sand, oil, etc.), waste material (e.g., sewage), and refined products. One application for such slurry pumps is oil or gas well cementing systems. Part of the process of preparing an oil or natural gas well for further drilling, production or abandonment involves pumping cement into place in a wellbore. Well cementing systems typically use a power source (e.g., an engine or electric motor) connected through a transmission to a fixed displacement pump. The transmission provides a direct mechanical connection from the power source to the pump. In these configurations, the power source is typically operated at a constant speed to provide a single flow rate of cement from the pump for each available gear ratio.

One problem with a conventional slurry pump system involves flow rate consistency. In particular, as a load on the pump changes due to changing conditions at an associated well or mine (e.g., due to a density change or plugged hose), the flow rate of slurry from the pump will likewise fluctuate. Typically, the operator manually adjusts the engine governor and transmission control settings to achieve and maintain the desired pump flow and pressure. Given the variability associated with well cement and the well cementing process, it is very difficult for the operator to manually control cement flow and pressure throughout the entire cementing process. Testing of the condition of the pump system in addition to the well itself is done manually by the operator. However, such testing can be time consuming for operators and can be inaccurate.

WO 97/46793 discloses a wellhead pump control system for an artificial lift system for removing fluid from a well. The system includes a downhole well tool that has sensing devices for measuring particular conditions of the well and the fluid being removed. These downhole measurements are transmitted to a controller that compares the sensed conditions with predetermined desired conditions to determine if the pump is properly adjusted. The disclosed control system does not include an evaluation of any information about the pump load or about the operation of a transmission.

SUMMARY

In one aspect, the disclosure describes a pump system. The pump system includes a power source, a pump and a transmission configured to operatively connect an output rotation of the power source to an input rotation of the pump. A first sensor is configured to provide information indicative of at least one first operating condition relating to the pump. A second sensor is configured to provide information indicative of at least one second operating condition relating to the transmission. A controller is in communication with the first sensor and the second sensor. The controller is being configured to perform a first comparison of the first operating condition to a predetermined first operating condition and a second comparison of the second operating condition to a predetermined second operating condition and based on the first and second comparisons determine if the pump system passes a functionality test.

In another aspect, the disclosure describes a method of testing functionality of a pump system having a power source, a pump and a transmission configured to operatively connect an output rotation of the power source to an input rotation of the pump. The method including the step of sensing a first parameter indicative of at least one first operating condition relating to the pump. A second parameter indicative of at least one second operating condition relating to the transmission is sensed. A first comparison of the first actual operating condition and a predetermined first operating condition is performed. A second comparison of the second actual operating condition and a predetermined second operating condition is performed. It is determined if the pump system passes a functionality test based on the first and second comparisons.

In yet another aspect, the disclosure describes a pump system including an engine, a slurry pump and a transmission configured to operatively connect an output rotation of the power source to an input rotation of the pump. The transmission includes a torque converter fluidly connecting an output of the engine to an input of a gear box. The gear box is mechanically connected to an input of the slurry pump and has a plurality of gear combinations. A first sensor is configured to provide information indicative of at least one first operating condition relating to the slurry pump. A second sensor is configured to provide information indicative of at least one second operating condition relating to the transmission. A controller is in communication with the first sensor and the second sensor. The controller is configured to perform a first comparison of the first operating condition to a predetermined first operating condition and a second comparison of the second operating condition to a predetermined second operating condition and based on the first and second comparisons determine if the pump system passes a functionality test.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic side view of an exemplary pump system according to the present disclosure.

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of a pump system operatively connected to a well according to the present disclosure.

FIG. 3 is a flow chart illustrating one method of performing an automated system test according to the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

This disclosure generally relates to a pump system and associated method that provides automated testing of the condition of one or more operational parameters of the system. With particular reference to FIG. 1, an exemplary pump system 10 is shown. The pump system 10 may include, among other things, a power source, such as an engine 12 operatively connected to a pump 14 by way of a transmission 15, including in this case a torque converter 16 and a gear box 18. The engine 12 may be configured to generate a rotational power output. The torque converter 16 may be configured to transfer at least a portion of the power output to the gear box 18. The gear box 18 may convert the rotation received from the torque converter 16 to a rotation having a different speed and torque, and deliver the converted rotation as an input to drive the pump 14. FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram showing the pump system 10, including the engine 12, transmission 15 and pump 14, operatively connected to a well 19 for pumping a fluid or slurry, such as cement, into the well 19. While aspects of the present disclosure may be described in connection with a well cementing operation, the present disclosure is not limited to that particular application. Rather, the present disclosure can be applied to any application in which a fluid is pumped and is particularly applicable to slurry pumping operations.

The engine 12 may produce a rotational output having both speed and torque components, and may embody an internal combustion engine. For example, the engine 12 may be a diesel engine, a gasoline engine, a gaseous fuel-powered engine, or any other engine apparent to one skilled in the art. The engine 12 may contain an engine block having a plurality of cylinders (not shown), reciprocating pistons disposed within the cylinders (not shown), and a crankshaft operatively connected to the pistons (not shown). The internal combustion engine may use a combustion cycle to convert potential energy (usually in chemical form) within the cylinders to a rotational output of the crankshaft, which may in turn rotate an input of the transmission 15, in this instance the torque converter 16.

The torque converter 16 may be used to transmit power from the crankshaft of the engine 12 to the gear box 18. In one embodiment, the torque converter 16 may be a hydro-mechanical device that allows the crankshaft of the engine 12 to rotate somewhat independently of an input shaft of the gear box 18. In this embodiment, the torque converter 16 includes an impeller (not shown) fixedly connected to the crankshaft of the engine 12, and a turbine (not shown) fixedly connected to the input shaft of the gear box 18. The impeller may be fluidly coupled with the turbine, such that as the impeller rotates, a pressurized flow of fluid may be generated and directed through the turbine, driving the turbine to also rotate. At low fluid flow rates and pressures (or when the pump 14 is heavily and/or suddenly loaded), the impeller may rotate at a higher speed relative to the turbine. However, as the pressure and the flow rate of the fluid conducted between the impeller and the turbine increases (or when the pump 14 is lightly loaded), the rotational speed of the turbine may approach the rotational speed of the impeller. This may allow the engine 12 to rotate at a different speed and torque than the gear box 18, depending on operating conditions, with the difference in speed and torque being accounted for by shearing losses (i.e., heat) within the fluid.

Alternatively, the torque converter 16 could be another type of fluidic or non-fluidic coupling, if desired. For example, the torque converter 16 could include friction plates coupled to the crankshaft and gear box shaft. The friction plates would be configured to slidingly and rotationally engage each other, and thereby transfer a percentage of the power generated by the engine 12 to the gear box 18. Other configurations of the torque converter 16 may also be possible.

In some embodiments, the torque converter 16 may also include a lockup clutch (generically represented by a box 20 in FIG. 1) disposed in parallel with the impeller and turbine (or friction plates, if so equipped). The lockup clutch 20 may be configured to selectively and mechanically lock the crankshaft directly to the gear box input shaft, such that both shafts rotate at the same speed. The lockup clutch 20, if included, may be activated manually or automatically, as will be described below.

The gear box 18 may include numerous components that interact to transmit power received from the engine 12 (via torque converter 16) to the pump 14. In particular, the gear box 18 may embody a mechanical transmission having one or more forward gear ratios. In some embodiments, the gear box 18 may also include a neutral position and/or one or more reverse gear ratios. In embodiments where more than one gear ratio is included, the gear box 18 may additionally include one or more clutches (not shown) for selectively engaging predetermined combinations of gears (not shown) that produce a desired gear ratio.

The gear box 18, if equipped with multiple gear combinations, may be an automatic-type transmission wherein shifting between gear ratios is based on a power source speed, a maximum operator selected gear ratio, a load from the pump 14, and/or a fluid pressure within gear box 18. Alternatively, the gear box 18 may be a manual transmission, wherein the operator manually engages the desired gear combinations. Regardless of the type of transmission 15, the output of the gear box 18 may be connected to rotatably drive an input shaft of the pump 14.

In one embodiment, each ratio of the gear box 18 may be about 7:1 or less. In particular, the gear box 18 may be configured to produce an output speed that is about the same as or up to seven times less than an input speed received by the gear box 18. This reduction may typically be too small to accommodate slurry pumping applications with high accuracy. That is, transmissions typically used in slurry pumping applications may require speed reductions of 7:1 or greater. However, when used in conjunction with the torque converter 16 in its unlocked state (i.e., during a torque converter drive mode), slippage between the impeller and the turbine (or between the friction plates) combines with the ratio reduction of the gear box 18 to produce sufficiently high speed reductions (i.e., reductions greater than about 7:1).

The pump 14 may be a positive displacement plunger type pump capable of generating an output flow rate of about 10-20 gallons per minute. The pump 14 may be configured to transport a fluid/particle mixture (e.g., oil sands, sewage, petroleum, petrochemicals, cement, etc.). The mixture may enter the pump and be accelerated by the plungers (not shown), causing the mixture to flow outward through the housing. In this configuration, the plungers may be directly driven by the output shaft of the gear box 18 at a speed that is about seven or more times slower than the output speed of the power source 12. It is contemplated that the pump 14 may be a different type of pump, if desired, such as a lobe pump, centrifugal pump or a peristaltic hose pump. The pump 14 may produce an output flow rate dependent on conditions of the fluid/particle mixture (e.g., density, viscosity, etc.), size of the plungers and housing, and the input rotation (i.e., speed and torque) provided by the gear box 18.

A controller 26 may be associated with pumping system 10, and configured to regulate the output flow rate of pump 14. In particular, controller 26 may be configured to receive an indication of, and/or calculate, an actual output flow rate of the pump 14, receive from the operator an indication of a desired output flow rate of the pump 14, and responsively adjust operation of the engine 12 or transmission 15 to reduce an error between the actual and desired output flow rates. The controller 26 may be configured to adjust the speed of the engine 12 by adjusting fueling of the engine 12. With respect to the transmission 15, the controller 26 may be configured to adjust the gear of the transmission 15 and/or the state of the lock-up clutch 20 to reduce the error between the actual and desired output flow rates.

The operator of pumping system 10 may be able to input instructions via one or more interface devices located at a control panel that also houses the controller 26. These instructions may include, among other things, a desired output flow rate of the pump 14, a desired gear ratio of the gear box 18, and/or a status of the lockup clutch 20 (e.g., engaged or disengaged). Signals indicative of these instructions may be directed to the controller 26 for further processing.

The controller 26 may further be configured to monitor various operational parameters of the pump system 10. More specifically, the controller 26 may be configured to perform an automated test on the functionality of the pump system 10 by receiving information about one or more actual operational parameters of the pump system 10 and comparing that information to predefined operational parameters. The controller 26 may further be configured to determine from the results of that comparison whether the pump system 10 is functioning properly. If the pump system 10 is not functioning properly, the controller 26 may be configured to provide the operator with an indication that the test has failed along with information on the reasons the system failed the test.

The actual operational parameters of the pump system 10 that may be used by the controller 26 in performing the functionality testing of the system may include information relating to the load on the pump 14 and the conditions in the application in which the pump system 10 is operating, e.g. the well 19 conditions for a well cementing application. The operational parameters relating to the load on the pump 14 and the well 19 condition may include, in one embodiment, the actual flow rate at the discharge of the pump 14, the system pressure at the discharge of the pump 14 and operating parameters of the transmission 15. In one example, information regarding the actual flow rate of the pump 14 may be communicated to the controller 26 by a sensor 28 associated with the input shaft of the pump 14. In this example, the sensor 28 is a speed sensor and signals generated by the sensor 28 may be used by the controller 26, such as through information provided in the controller 26 on the configuration of the pump 14, to calculate or otherwise determine the actual flow rate of the pump 14. It is contemplated, however, that the sensor 28 could otherwise be configured to directly sense the actual flow rate and/or sense other or additional flow rate parameters (e.g., pressure) that subsequently may be used by the controller 26 to calculate the actual output flow rate, if desired.

Information regarding the system pressure may be provided by a sensor 30, for example, a pressure sensor, arranged and configured to determining the pressure in the system at a point downstream of the discharge of the pump 14. In one embodiment, the pressure sensor 30 may be arranged directly at the pump 14. Alternatively, the pressure sensor 30 may be arranged somewhere in the discharge line connecting the pump 14 to the particular application load, such as the well 19. If desired, the sensor 30 could otherwise be arranged and configured to sense other or additional system parameters that subsequently may be used by the controller 26 to calculate the actual system pressure.

The information regarding the operating parameters of the transmission 15 that are communicated to the controller 26 may include information about the input and output speeds of the torque converter 16. In the schematic drawing of FIG. 2, information relating to the input speed of the torque converter 16 is provided by a sensor 32 (e.g., a speed sensor) arranged and configured to determine the output speed of the engine 12. While this sensor 32 is shown schematically at the engine 12 in FIG. 2 it should be understood that the sensor 32 could be arranged in other locations including at the torque converter 16. The information regarding the output speed of the torque converter 16 may be provided a sensor 34 arranged and configured to determine the output speed of the torque converter 16. In FIG. 2, this sensor 34 is shown schematically arranged at the transmission 15. However, it will be appreciated that the sensor 34 may be arranged in other locations. For example, the sensor 34 could be located at the output of the gear box 18 (such as when a torque converter is not provided) or at the input of the pump 14. In particular, information regarding the output speed of the torque converter 16 may be calculated by the controller based on information from the sensor 28 arranged at the input shaft of the pump 14.

Information regarding the load on the pump 14 may be calculated by the controller 26 based on the information monitored regarding the transmission operating parameters including the input speed (e.g., the power source output speed) and output speed of the torque converter 16. In particular, when the lockup clutch 20 is disengaged, the controller 26 may use the information relating to the input speed of the torque converter 16 from sensor 32 (measured as engine speed) and the information about the output speed of the torque converter 16 from sensor 34 to calculate the torque converter 16 output torque using lookup tables or maps relating to the torque converter provided in the controller. The operating parameters of the pump system 10 relating to load on the pump 14 also may be provided or calculated by the controller 26 in other ways. For example, a torque meter may be provided that is arranged and configured to provide information regarding the output torque of the transmission 15, such as at the output of the torque converter 16 or at the output of the gear box 18.

The operational parameters of the pump system 10 relating to the application in which the pump system 10 is being used, for example the well 19, may include information other than the system flow rate and pressure. For example, the operational parameters may include information relating to the fluid or slurry being pumped. This information could include information relating to the density of the fluid or slurry being pumped. As will be appreciated, other “well” related information also could be monitored and used by the controller 26 in performing the automated functionality testing. Other operational parameters of the pump system 10 that may be monitored and compared with predetermined values during the functionality test may include vibration information (gathered, for example, by accelerometers) and temperature information (gathered, for example, by thermocouples) from the engine 12, transmission 15 or pump 14.

The controller 26 may embody a single processor or multiple processors that include a means for controlling an operation of pumping system 10. Numerous commercially available processors may perform the functions of controller 26. The controller 26 may include or be associated with a memory for storing data such as, for example, an operating condition, design limits, performance characteristics or specifications of pumping system 10, operational instructions, and corresponding fueling parameters. This data may be stored within the memory of controller 26 in the form of one or more lookup tables, as desired. Alternatively or additionally, the controller 26 may perform various calculations using data produced by the various sensors and stored in maps. Various other known circuits may be associated with the controller 26, including power supply circuitry, signal-conditioning circuitry, solenoid driver circuitry, communication circuitry, and other appropriate circuitry. Moreover, as shown in FIG. 2, the controller 26 may be capable of communicating with other components of pumping system 10 such as the engine 12, the transmission 15, the pump 14 and the sensors 28, 30, 32, 34 via either wired or wireless transmission and, as such, controller 26 may be connected to or alternatively disposed in a location remote from power source 12 and/or pump 14.

Referring to FIG. 3 of the drawings, a schematic flow diagram is provided that includes various steps that may be implemented by the controller 26 to provide an automated test of the functionality of the pump system 10. In step 36, the automated test is initiated. The initiation of the test may be automatically directed, such as by the controller 26 at startup of the pump system 10, or may be manually directed by the operator through an operator interface. In step 38, the controller 26 may set the pump system 10 to a predefined operating condition for the purposes of the functionality test. This may include setting the engine 12 at a predefined speed, setting in a predefined gear the transmission 15 and/or setting the lockup clutch in a predetermined state for purposes of gathering information regarding the operational parameters of the pump system 10. The predefined operating condition may be set by specific guidelines, specifications or regulations that are unique to the user of the pumping system or a governmental body.

In steps 40, 42 and 44, information is collected relating to one or more operational parameters of the pump system 10 including, for example, the actual system pressure, the system flow rate and the transmission 15 operating parameters. This information can be collected by the various sensors provided in the pump system 10 including, for example, sensors 28, 30, 32, 34. Information relating to the operating parameters of the pump system 10 other than or in addition to that shown in FIG. 3 also may be collected such as other information relating to the load on the pump 14, the engine 12 operating condition, the transmission 15 operating condition, the pump 14 operating condition, and the application conditions (e.g., the well 19). The information relating to the operational parameters of the pump system 10 that is collected in steps 40, 42, 44 is processed as necessary in step 46. The resultant processed information from step 46 is then used in step 48 to compare the actual operational parameters with predetermined operating parameters to determine if the pump system 10 is operating properly. In FIG. 3, the controller 26 compares the actual system pressure, flow rate and the transmission operating parameters to predetermined values for the system pressure, flow rate and transmission operating parameters based on the operating condition set in step 38. The predetermined operating parameters, like the predetermined operating condition, may be set by specific guidelines, specifications or regulations that are unique to the user of the pumping system or a governmental body.

In step 50, the controller 26 may determine if the pump system 10 passes the test based on the comparison performed in step 48. The criteria for determining whether the pump system 10 passes the test can be based on whether one or more of the actual operating parameters exceed or fail to reach the predetermined operating parameters as determined in step 48. If it is determined that the pump system 10 passed the test in step 50, the method may proceed to step 52 where it is determined whether the test is complete. The determination of whether the test is complete may be based on a whether a predetermined amount of time or predetermined number of cycles has passed. If the test is not complete, the method returns to step 38 and the test cycle is repeated. If the test is completed, the method may proceed to step 54 where the test method is exited. Upon exiting the test method with a positive test result, the controller 26 may be configured to provide information about the performance of the pumping system 10 during the test.

If it is determined that the pumping system has failed the test in step 50, the method may proceed to step 52 to exit the test. The controller 26 may be configured to provide information regarding the performance of the pump system 10 during the test upon exiting the test method with a failed test result. This information may include an indication of why pump system 10 failed the test. Additionally, the controller 26 may be configured to provide some sort of visual or audible indication of a failed test and/or to adjust the operation of the pump system 10, such as by shutting down the system or moving the system into a safe low idle operating condition.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

The present disclosure is applicable to any type of pump system used in an application to generate a flow of fluid. The disclosed pumping system may be particularly applicable to slurry pumping applications involving relatively dense fluid/particle mixtures. As noted previously, one exemplary application for the pumping system 10 is a cementing application. In a cementing application, a relatively dense cement slurry is directed into a well bore by the pump 14 during drilling of the well. This slurry displaces drilling fluids in the bore, and forms a casing for the bore as the drilling progresses.

The functionality test of the present disclosure eliminates the time consuming and potentially inaccurate manual testing that has been performed with respect to pump systems in such applications, including well cementing applications. The functionality test of the present disclosure can be performed automatically by the controller and can more accurately determine when the pump system is not operating properly or is operating in an unsafe condition. The results of the test can further be communicated to an operator in a manner that is easy to understand and identifies the reasons for failure of the test.

It will be appreciated that the foregoing description provides examples of the disclosed system and technique. However, it is contemplated that other implementations of the disclosure may differ in detail from the foregoing examples. All references to the disclosure or examples thereof are intended to reference the particular example being discussed at that point and are not intended to imply any limitation as to the scope of the disclosure more generally. All language of distinction and disparagement with respect to certain features is intended to indicate a lack of preference for those features, but not to exclude such from the scope of the disclosure entirely unless otherwise indicated.

Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.