USA: Bacharach has introduced a CO2 leak detection monitor, specifically designed for industrial and retail refrigeration applications.
While the use of CO2 refrigeration systems has increased with the need to find low GWP alternatives to HFCs, Bacharach maintains that not all CO2 monitors are suitable for leak detection in refrigeration applications. Bacharach says the sensors used need to respond quickly to a rise in CO2 Levels. Since CO2 has a high operating pressure, gases can quickly escape into the refrigerated space at very high rates.
“Instrumentation designed to monitor for gradual changes in atmospheric CO2 may not alert personnel in a timely manner, creating a potentially dangerous condition that quickly poses a threat to personnel,” said Tom Burniston, Bacharach’s product manager of fixed instruments. “CO2 leaking on the shop floor is less a safety issue, but, when it comes to machinery rooms, cold rooms or other enclosed areas, there is a definite safety issue,” he said.
He cites the example of a walk-in cold room or freezer with a room volume of 1000ft³ (28.3m³): “Depending on the leak rate and air exchange rate within five minutes that space can surpass the occupation exposure limit recommendation of 5,000ppm, a level to which workers should not be exposed, or it can surpass the ILDH (Immediate Danger to Life or Health) level of 40,000ppm and would be immediately hazardous to personnel in the space.”
In addition, Bacharach says that sensors that are not designed to perform in refrigerated environments may be inoperable or provide inaccurate CO2 readings. The Bacharach sensor is rated for use at temperatures as low as -40°C.