New cost-effective IR technology offers faster accurate A2L refrigerant gas detection
Mar 01 2021
Stationary refrigeration units, air conditioning units and heat pumps must use non-polluting refrigerant gases, with low global warming potential (GWP), in order to comply with stringent, European F-gas (fluorinated gas) regulations. These low GWP gases can be chosen from either among the natural gases such as carbon dioxide, ammonia and hydrocarbons or among the synthetic refrigerants among which are R1234yf and R1234ze olefins.
It is therefore essential to monitor for gas leaks from these systems to ensure the safety of both people and animals and to safeguard the environment. Most major hotel chains are increasingly taking into account the safety of their guests by installing gas leak detection systems both in public and meeting areas and in bedrooms where the air conditioning system and the coolers can be positioned.
Research into new refrigerant gases is ongoing, with the use of HFO (hydrofluoro-olefin) gases becoming more ubiquitous because of their negligible GWP levels, with an A2L level of minimal toxicity and a mild level of flammability.
Sensor technology for these gases has also come a long way. New detectors, with NDIR (nondispersive infrared) technology can rapidly detect low levels of refrigerant gases in a matter of seconds. These sensors also offer far far longer level of stability than the previous typically used technology, with means less time and effort spent on calibration.
These infrared sensors will not be damaged or poisoned by the gases being detected however: HFO gases have been known to poison both catalytic and semiconductor sensors. In addition, NDIR sensors are now far more competitively priced as both research, development and demand have advanced over time.
Sensitron have been at the forefront of pushing the boundaries of NDIR technology. Their SMART3H is available in a wall sensor and flush mounted version as well as a 220V standalone version with light and sound enabling or in the 10-30V version that can be connected to the gas control panel to monitor and remotely silence alarms. This analyser not only ensures compliance to F-gas regulations, it also offers the peace of mind enjoyed by Sensitron customers the world over.
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