Gas Detection

IREF Sensors for the Refrigeration Industry

Mar 08 2018 Read 275 Times

Gas detection is becoming increasingly important in the commercial refrigeration business. Gas leakage and gas detection systems have become mandatory for most plants due to recently introduced rules and regulations.

A dependable gas detection system is thus more critical than ever in facilities such as hotels, offices, hospitals, malls and industrial plants. Different aspects contribute to the overall dependability of the system. None is more important than the gas sensor itself and its maintenance: unreliable or poorly maintained gas sensors may cause costly false alarms or, worse, undetected alarm conditions that are even costlier and may pose serious safety threats. On the other hand, frequent maintenance and calibration is also very expensive and time-consuming.

That’s why N.E.T. has developed the IREF line of sensors, based on NDIR technology (Non Dispersive Infrared). NDIR gas sensors are fail-safe and guarantee a 1-year calibration span, other than offering the best gas selectivity available, especially when compared to metal oxide semiconductor gas sensors (MOS) which are highly popular due to their low purchasing cost. But what about maintenance cost? When selecting a sensor for a gas detection system, one should consider the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), which includes, other than the initial cost, cost of operation, cost of maintenance and cost of downtime. Expected sensor lifetime, should also be a taken in consideration.

Duel-beam/dual-detector sensor design such as IREF’s creates a safe condition compared to the unresponsive condition of a semiconductor sensor requiring frequent (even monthly) bump testing and calibration to ensure that it is functioning correctly. IREF sensors guarantee a 1-year calibration span, due to his superior stability and immunity to poisoning and inhibiting chemicals. Finally, IREF’s MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) is more than five years, compared to a semiconductor sensor lifetime that can be as low as 2 years.

IREF reliability is certified like no other refrigerant sensor: it is EN 50271 & SIL2 (TUV) approved. IREF sensors are designed to fit into fixed gas monitors compliant with the following regulations: EU 517/2014 (“F-Gas regulation”), EN 378:2016, ISO 5149-3:2014, EN 14624:2012, ASHRAE 15-2016, CSA B52-13.

IREF sensors are also very easy to integrate: they come with integrated microprocessor electronics and firmware to provide linearised and temperature-compensated outputs in analogue voltage, ModBus or P2P standard format. In addition, it is the only refrigerant sensor on the market available in 7-series (5 pins and 32 mm diameter) fitting nicely into a standard head or a detector. If you need an ATEX/IECEx certified head for your IREF sensor, N.E.T. can provide you one.

Mechanical and electronic compatibility make IREF sensors drop-in interchangeable. You can substitute a sensor on the field without worrying about the calibration of the detector. Or you can develop multiple gas detection capability around the same detector housing and electronics.

For more details and the exhaustive list of detected gases, please visit NET’s IREF series page ( N.E.T. R&D department is constantly expanding the list of IREF detected gases. If your target gas is not in the list, just contact us to check feasibility.

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