NevadaNano recently announced its Molecular Property Spectrometer™ (MPS™) R-290 Propane sensor. The new, accurate device is a suitable solution for residential and commercial R-290 propane applications. including air conditioning, vending machines, commercial refrigeration racks, and clothes dryers.
“Nearly 200 countries around the world have resolved to eliminate ozone-depleting hydrofluorocarbons refrigerants with high Global Warming Potential,” said Bob Christensen, Senior Director of Business Development, NevadaNano Inc. “R-290, a high-performance natural refrigerant with very low-GWP, is an alternative that is quickly gaining widespread acceptance and use in Asia, Europe, and the United States. And, when used with accurate leak detection systems, it is a safe alternative.”
Growing populations and global warming have led to a continuous rise in demand for air conditioning and refrigeration, which results in higher greenhouse gas emissions. The industry is transitioning away from high Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants and moving towards alternatives such as R-290 (propane) with a GWP of three versus R410 with a GWP of over 3,900. Many nations and corporations are making this change now, ahead of the current HFC phase-down schedule as stipulated in the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
The Molecular Property Spectrometer (MPS) Refrigerant Gas Sensor’s transducer is a micro-machined membrane with an embedded Joule heater and resistance thermometer. The MEMS transducer is mounted onto a PCB and open to ambient air. Presence of a flammable refrigerant gas causes changes in the thermodynamic properties of the air/gas mixture that are measured by the transducer. Sensor data are processed by patent-pending algorithms to report an accurate concentration.
Under normal operation, R-290 units are fully sealed and self-contained, however leaks can occur. If leaks occur and they are exposed to an ignition source they can cause a fire. Even smaller, non-explosive leaks need detection since the reduction in the quantity of refrigerant causes the unit to work harder, consuming excessive electrical power, driving up costs and subsequent impact on the environment. NevadaNano’s sensors help detect even the smallest leaks and send instant alerts.
The MPS Propane Sensor accurately reports 0-100% LEL and requires no field maintenance over their expected lifetime of 10 to 15 years. The MPS sensors feature integrated, real-time measurements and built-in environmental compensation for temperature, pressure, and humidity. In addition, they are inherently immune to drift, decay, or poison from contaminants.
Ideally, in these operating condition and reliability tests, a device’s performance is monitored before, during, and after exposure to the environmental stimuli. But, monitoring performance during the exposure can be a daunting and expensive engineering challenge. Continuing the TPMS pressure sensor example, if one were to monitor performance of the pressure sensor during a HAST test , the test machinery would need to have a means to modulate the input pressure and readout the sensors while the devices are exposed to the HAST conditions. The test machinery, including the electrical lines, connectors, boards, fixtures, data acquisition hardware, and many other components, must therefore be able to tolerate the HAST conditions. Since HAST is intended to stress products, it will also stress the test machinery. As a result, developing test monitoring capability for HAST can be a major engineering undertaking.
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