smartMODUL lowers costs

Detecting refrigerants safely with infrared measurement technology

The sensor module is not much larger than a matchbox and can thus be integrated in a wide range of applications very easily. Depending on the model, it is available with a variety of standard interfaces (4...20 mA, 0..2.5 V, RS485, UART). It is suitable for monitoring ambient air in cold storage areas and for leakage detection systems in cooling systems.

Gas sensors based on infrared absorption offer decisive advantages compared with electrochemical and catalytic sensors. The sensor principle exploits the quality of gases and absorbs infrared radiation at a specific, characteristic wavelength. The sensors work very selectively and display almost no cross-sensitivities to other gases. In contrast to other gas sensors, the module is extremely durable. The smartMODUL is available for different types of gas – including refrigerants commonly used in cooling systems, such as R134a, R123, R125, R404a and R22.
Because of the potential environmental harm posed by these refrigerants, a number of statutory regulations were passed in recent years to restrict their use. For example, cooling systems that contain R134a refrigerant must be inspected regularly for emissions by certified personnel. The inspection interval depends on the amount of refrigerant used and is usually three months for large cooling systems with over 300 kg of refrigerant. The prescribed inspection interval can be twice as long if a leakage detection system is installed that is able to detect any refrigerant leaks and activate an alarm. The costs resulting from regular inspections can thus be halved, with the result that such a system pays for itself relatively quickly.
The OEM smartMODUL module is ideally suited for use in such leakage detection systems. False alarms, which may occur with other sensors, are eliminated due to the high selectivity of the verification procedure.

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