Tag Archive | "CETCI"

Monitoring of CO, CO2 and Combustible Gases in Indoor Grow Ops


With the recent legalization of marijuana in many North American regions, the cannabis cultivation industry is booming. Greenhouses and other indoor grow rooms provide a structure for growing plants in a controlled environment but can also pose potential hazards to human health. To create favourable growing conditions, reliable heating, cooling and ventilation must be used. Heating may be supplied by sunlight, natural gas, propane gas, fuel oil, wood or electricity. Gas powered equipment may be a source of carbon monoxide if not properly maintained and serviced. Grow lights emit a great deal of heat and can cause combustible gases to ignite. Cooling of the facility is often done by a ventilation system. But there may also be an air conditioning system, which could be a source for refrigerant leaks. Current practices for the commercial cultivation of marijuana and industrial hemp uses Carbon dioxide (CO2) enrichment to increase plant growth and development either using cylinders of liquefied compressed gas or a CO2 generator. CO2 displaces oxygen and can cause an asphyxiation hazard.

 

Two gas detectors should be mounted inside the furnace room – one for monitoring potential leaks in the pipes supplying the gas to the furnace, and the other monitoring carbon monoxide levels generated by the furnace. A well maintained, efficiently burning furnace produces very small amounts of CO, but a dirty, inefficient burning one can product deadly amounts. To monitor the CO levels, an LPT-M-TCO-R should be mounted inside the furnace room at the “breathing zone” (4 -6 ft from the floor). Connected the the LPT-M-TCO-R would be a remote sensor. If the furnace uses propane, an ESH-A-C3H8-100 remote sensor with an internal propane sensor would be used, mounted 6 inches off the finished floor, close to the pipes suppling the gas to the furnace. If the furnace uses natural gas, an ESH-A-CCH4-100 remote sensor with an internal methane sensor should be used instead, mounted 6 inches from the ceiling above the pipes supplying the gas.

 

Inside the room, should be an audible/visual alarm device such as the RSH-24V-R Remote Strobe/Horn. Mounted outside the door of the furnace room would be a QCC Quad Channel Controller. If there are additional entrances to the room, each should have a remote visual/audible alarm device outside the door. Inside the grow room there should be an AST-IS6 carbon dioxide gas detector mounted in the “breathing zone” (4 – 6 ft from the floor) to provide continuous monitoring of CO2 levels. This is especially important if a CO2 enrichment practice is used. The AST-IS6 can be factory set with a range of 0 – 5,000 ppm and one device covers approximately 743 sq m (8,000 sq ft).

 

The LPT-M and AST-IS6 will communicate with QCC, which in turn will display their gas level readings, and in the event of a leak / high gas concentration, will provide an audible alarm and control equipment such as the ventilation system, shut off the furnace, trigger the other remote horn/strobe devices or other set responses as configured using its 3 internal relays. The QCC can be ordered with an optional data logging package and it can be configured to communicate with a Building Automation System. The aforementioned gas detectors/sensors are housed in water / dust tight enclosures, and are IP54 rated with the factory installed splash guard, providing protection for the equipment in wet areas.

 

Typical Indoor Grow Op Monitoring System:

3D-grow-room-QCC

 

About Critical Environment Technologies Canada Inc.

Critical Environment Technologies Canada Inc. is a leading equipment manufacturer for commercial and industrial gas detection applications. We are dedicated to designing, developing and servicing hazardous gas detection systems for a wide range of applications that require monitoring of refrigerants, TVOCs, combustible and toxic gases. CETCI’s products are sold through a worldwide network of authorized distributors. Our knowledgeable Regional Sales Managers are experienced with many application scenarios, including commercial, institutional, municipal and light industrial markets worldwide. Areas of specialization include car parks, refrigeration plants, commercial swimming pools, water purification, including wastewater treatment facilities, ice arenas, wineries and breweries, schools and many more.

For suggestions on gas detection systems, indoor air quality monitors and calibration, please visit

www.critical-environment.com.

Posted in Applications, EducationalComments Off on Monitoring of CO, CO2 and Combustible Gases in Indoor Grow Ops

Monitoring Ethylene (C2H4) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in Ripening Rooms


Fruits and vegetables are commonly shipped for long distances from one country to another before they are ripe so they can endure the voyage and remain viable. Upon arrival at their destination, the first order of business is to get them ripe and ready for sale and consumption.

As fruit and vegetables ripen, they release ethylene, a naturally occurring growth hormone. To be profitable and meet demands, commercial fresh produce companies need to speed up the ripening process in a uniform and predictable way, which is achieved by adding more ethylene in a controlled environment. Typically the fresh produce is placed in air-tight ripening rooms and ethylene is introduced at concentrations between 10 and 1,000 ppm depending on the type of produce.

Ethylene is not harmful to humans in the concentrations used in ripening rooms. An extremely high level of ethylene would have to be inhaled in order to have an adverse effect on human health. That being said, ethylene is a very reactive and flammable gas, making the potential for an explosion a safety concern. The LEL for ethylene is 27,000 ppm (2.7%) and a common concentration used in a ripening room is 1,000 ppm (0.1% by volume), with a typical exposure time of 24 hours.

Two common ways to add ethylene to the ripening rooms is by high pressure gas cylinders or ethylene generators. If ethylene is delivered into the rooms by pipes from cylinders, there are areas for potential leaks and the threat of explosion from cylinders of pure ethylene is high. An ethylene gas detector would be highly recommended to continuously monitor the ethylene gas levels in the cylinder storage room.

In the ripening rooms, the primary reason for an ethylene gas detector is not for the safety of humans, but rather for the safety of the perishable goods. Assisted ripening is a complex process and predictions can be made about the remaining shelf life of the perishable goods based on the level of ethylene gas that is present; that the produce gives off. Some types of fruits and vegetables are more sensitive to ethylene than others. Ethylene sensitive produce will spoil if exposed to levels that make them ripen too quickly. Varieties that are more tolerant but don’t get the right amount will not ripen on schedule.

There is also the potential for ethylene to leak from one room into another, especially if the method of delivery is through a network of pipes. This could cause premature ripening or result in damage to the other types of produce in adjacent rooms. Monitoring the concentration levels of the ethylene gas in each room will help ensure the correct amount is being delivered at all times.

As fruit ripens, it releases carbon dioxide. This decreases the oxygen level in the room and delays the effects of the ethylene. CO2 levels in excess of 1% (10,000 ppm) will slow the ripening process, and can cause quality and production problems. When CO2 levels build up, the ripening room should be vented, which could be as simple as opening the door, or turning on a ventilation system. Constant monitoring of the CO2 levels inside the room with a gas detector that can be configured to activate the ventilation system at a predefined concentration would allow for more efficient control and optimization of the ripening process, a higher safety level and better production.

 

About Critical Environment Technologies Canada Inc.

Critical Environment Technologies Canada Inc. is a leading equipment manufacturer for commercial and industrial gas detection applications. We are dedicated to designing, developing and servicing hazardous gas detection systems for a wide range of applications that require monitoring of refrigerants, TVOCs, combustible and toxic gases. CETCI’s products are sold through a worldwide network of authorized distributors. Our knowledgeable Regional Sales Managers are experienced with many application scenarios, including commercial, institutional, municipal and light industrial markets worldwide. Areas of specialization include car parks, refrigeration plants, commercial swimming pools, water purification, including wastewater treatment facilities, ice arenas, wineries and breweries, schools and many more.

 

For suggestions on gas detection systems, indoor air quality monitors and calibration, please visit

www.critical-environment.com.

 

References

smartGAS Mikrosensorik GmbH. Web. Retrieved from

http://www.smartgas.eu/en/products/applications/foodstorage.html [accessed 30 September 2015]

CHEMAXX INC. “Ethylene Explosion – Banana Ripening.” (2006). Retrieved from

http://www.chemaxx.com/explosion17b.htm [accessed 30 September 2015]

Catalytic Generators LLC “All About Ripening.” (2015). Retrieved from

http://ripening-fruit.com/ingredients_for_proper_ripening [accessed 30 September 2015]

 

 

 

Posted in Applications, EducationalComments Off on Monitoring Ethylene (C2H4) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in Ripening Rooms

Ammonia Vent Line Gas Detector


Critical Environment Technologies Canada Inc. (CETCI) is pleased to introduce our Ammonia (NH3) vent line gas detector.

The LPT-A Vent Line Ammonia Transmitter (P/N: LPT-A-VLT-NH3-S) is designed to detect and alert operators of high concentrations of ammonia in vent lines of refrigeration systems caused by equipment failure or system over pressurization. Slow leaks of refrigerant can be costly over time and a dangerous situation could present itself if a high pressure release were to occur. Typically, normal vapour flow is handled by the ammonia compressor, but a vapour flow in excess of the compressor’s capacity will enter the vent stack and can cause a large amount of the gas to travel up the vent line and discharge. In addition, higher than normal concentrations of ammonia can be caused by faulty valves, damaged or worn equipment, contaminants and/or equipment failure or system overpressure. Without safety precautions in place, hazardous levels of ammonia from equipment failure or over pressurization could cause an explosion and seriously jeopardize the health of workers and people in the surrounding area.

The VLT provides continuous, real-time monitoring of the levels of ammonia in the relief vent line. It can be configured to alarm at a pre-determined set point (1.0% / 10,000 ppm is recommended) and send an analog signal to activate a remote strobe or horn, or communicate with a controller or PLC to activate or shut down equipment as required.

The catalytic NH3 sensor has a range of 0 to 3% volume (0 – 30,000 ppm) and is potted into a 2” pipe fitting protruding from the back of the enclosure which connects to a coupler that is used to secure the device to a mounting pipe. The VLT may be mounted on the vent relief stack above the pressure relief valve using the 3/4” cast steel coupler. Or it can be mounted outside on the relief header, 3 to 5 feet above the roof-line. Unless exposed to very high concentrations of ammonia for a prolonged period of time, the sensor should last 3+ years.

The circuitry is housed in a durable, copper coated, ABS/polycarbonate enclosure that is water / dust tight (drip proof) and corrosion resistant. The factory installed splash guard on the (unused) front vent protects the interior from water entering the enclosure. A water tight gland provides a water tight conduit entry for the cable.

The VLT is virtually maintenance free, but removal from the pipe extension will be required to access the sensor during calibration. Bump tests should be done monthly and a full calibration conducted yearly (unless a significant exposure incident occurs, after which additional bump tests and/or calibrations are required to ensure the device is working properly and the sensor has not been poisoned).

Vent line systems should always be treated with extreme caution and workers should assume a relief valve could release at any time. Take necessary safety precautions and follow industry standard practices when installing, servicing and calibrating the VLT.

 

About Critical Environment Technologies Canada Inc.

Critical Environment Technologies designs and manufacturers indoor air quality and fixed gas detection systems including self-contained systems, controllers and transmitters (analog, digital and wireless). Applications include commercial HVAC, institutional, municipal and light industrial markets worldwide. Many of these applications are for vehicle exhaust, but areas of specialization include refrigeration, food processing plants, manufacturing plants, wastewater treatment plants, commercial swimming pools and many more.

For more information about our products, check out our website at www.critical-environment.com or to discuss a tailored gas detection solution for your application, contact us at 1-877-940-8741.

Posted in Products, TransmittersComments Off on Ammonia Vent Line Gas Detector

Where are the Gas Detectors in Public Swimming Pool Facilities?


Indoor swimming pools provide exercise and recreational fun for all ages. To ensure swimmers are submerged in crystal clear, sanitary water, a disinfectant maintenance program using Chlorine, or Chlorine & Ozone are commonly followed to treat the pool water. Chlorine is a powerful, corrosive disinfectant and in both gas and liquid forms it is toxic and hazardous to living beings at concentrations as low as 1 ppm. Ozone is created by exposing oxygen to a high voltage or ultraviolet radiation. It is more powerful than Chlorine and when used in conjunction with Chlorine it helps provide an odourless, clear water environment. Less Chlorine is required when Ozone is used as part of a swimming pool sanitization program.

The areas for potential gas leaks of Chlorine and Ozone are found around the equipment in the Chlorine Feed Room and the Ozone Generator Room. In a typical swimming pool application where only Chlorine is being used to disinfect the pool water, we suggest a controller or transmitter with  a display, audible alarm and relay outputs, be mounted outside the Chlorine Feed Room beside the inspection window so it can provide a visual confirmation of the gas level readings prior to entry. If there is a Chlorine leak, the controller or transmitter will alarm and trigger the relays to shut down the ventilation system until it is safe to exhaust the gas from the contaminated area, or activate the ventilation system depending on the local regulation codes. Inside the Chlorine feed room should be mounted a remote transmitter with a Chlorine sensor that provides continues monitoring for leaks and communicates with the controller outside the room. Chlorine is heavier than air and tends to collect in low-lying areas, so the gas detector inside the room should be mounted 6 inches above the floor, close to the area of a potential leak, but away from the ventilation fans and any pockets of air currents.

Similarly, in a typical swimming pool application that uses Chlorine & Ozone to disinfect the pool water, in addition to the aforementioned gas detection system for Chlorine, we suggest a similar set-up for the Ozone Generator Room. A controller with a display, audible alarm and relay outputs should be mounted outside the room to provide confirmation of the gas levels inside the room prior to entry. A remote transmitter with an Ozone sensor should be mounted inside the generator room, near the equipment and between the generator and the destructor. Pure Ozone is slightly heavier than air but does not necessarily settle to the floor. If additional reaction tanks or destructors are more than 16 ft (5 m) away from the existing sensor, an additional sensor may be required. If there is an Ozone leak, the controller will alarm and trigger relays to activate the emergency air exhaust system.

For both applications a remote visual alarm device such as a strobe should be mounted on the ceiling or wall inside the pool area to provide an additional visual alert in the event of a leak inside either room.

 

View Diagram

 

There are outside influences that affect the operation of gas detectors and the equipment with which they interface. In addition, sensors change characteristics as they age; they have a set lifespan and deteriorate over time. Regular maintenance of the gas detection system by a qualified technician is as important as a proper installation. For a newly installed system or as part of a very thorough maintenance schedule it is recommended that a bump test be done every 30 days. A bump test basically follows the same procedure as a calibration, but it normally uses less gas and requires less understanding of the intricate workings of the gas detector. A bump test tells you if the detector is malfunctioning or operating normally, if the sensors are responding to the gas as they should and if the low, mid and high alarms are being triggered. This level of upkeep allows you to determine that the daily readings are accurate and the devices are working correctly. If the system malfunctions or goes into fault, patrons and workers would be unprotected if a leak was to occur during that time.

If a bump test fails, a full calibration is required. Calibration is more time consuming than a bump test and should be done by a qualified technician. It is recommend that a full calibration be done every 6 months, regardless of the performance or type of gas detection device. Calibration is like resetting the parameters of the device, in terms of telling what it should be doing at what level. It could be compared to a reset button. As the sensors age, their sensitivity to the gas decreases. Calibration allows you to compensate for that deterioration and keep the sensor detecting the gas at the appropriate levels so that the low, mid and high alarms go off as they should.

It is important to keep a maintenance log with dates and services performed. After a full calibration, a service sticker should be place on the device indicating when the next calibration should be done.

When bump testing or calibrating a Chlorine or Ozone sensor, there are a few things to keep in mind. Both Chlorine and Ozone are considered to be one of the “sticky gases”, meaning they adhere to surfaces and as a result, decrease in concentration. During the flowing of the gas over the sensor, the gas will adhere to the inside of standard tubing and the lengthier the tubing the less gas is left to hit the sensor. Using Teflon lined tubing is recommended, as is a length of tubing no longer than 2 to 3 feet so the gas flow concentration doesn’t lessen over the distance from the gas cylinder to the sensor.

Last but not least, when calibrating a Chlorine sensor, to ensure you get true readings, it is recommended that you use a Chlorine gas generator rather than a cylinder of Chlorine gas. The stability and quality of the chlorine gas is much higher from a generator, making calibration easier and accurate.

For suggestions on gas detection systems, indoor air quality monitors and calibration, please visit www.critical-environment.com

 

Written by Rebecca Erickson

References
Ozone Safe Work Practices, 2006 ed. WorkSafe BC 
http://www.worksafebc.com/publications/health_and_safety/by_topic/assets/pdf/ozone_bk47.pdf
Chlorine Safe Work Practices, 2002 ed. WorkSafe BC
http://www.worksafebc.com/publications/health_and_safety/by_topic/assets/pdf/chlorine.pdf

Posted in Educational, HealthComments Off on Where are the Gas Detectors in Public Swimming Pool Facilities?

Gas Sensor Life Expectancy


Sensor Life Expectancy in Air Under Normal Conditions

Gas Sensors have an operational life expectancy, a shelf life for storage and a recommended calibration frequency that is commonly dependent on the type of application and environment. All information listed below is approximate, in air and under normal conditions. If you require more specific information on the sensor in the unit you are servicing, contact CETCI for specifications.

Click here to view the Sensor Life Expectancy Chart

For suggestions on gas detection systems, indoor air quality monitors and calibration, please visit

www.critical-environment.com

Posted in ProductsComments Off on Gas Sensor Life Expectancy

Gas Detection Best Practices at Work


Most work place accidents could be prevented with proper working gas detection equipment. Gas detection is a critical component for safety programs for any environment; it should be given the highest priority and attention to detail to avoid any accidents and unnecessary work place injuries or deaths.

Here are some suggestions on how to keep your work environment safe:

1.   Read the gas level before entry. Conditions can change rapidly. A controller reading the gas level should be placed outside the room. Workers can view the reading prior to deciding if it’s safe to enter.

2.   Make sure the gas detector is detecting the right types of harmful gases for the environment.

3.   Regular maintenance is mandatory for the equipment to be working at its best. Equipment that has been stored for a long time can be improperly serviced or outdated this can cause the equipment to fail or give false readings.

4.   Have the work place tested for odors. This can be caused by the following: dead animals, gas leaks, hidden mould growth, cracked sewer lines, rotting or decaying vegetation.

5.   Have the work place tested after a fire. Fires have the potential to generate lots of contaminants which linger for a long time. These contaminants are airborne as well as surface. For your safety, do not come back in until it has been inspected and tested.

6.   Keep your environment clean and dust free. Keep it cleaned regularly and have proper storage for chemicals.

Indoor air quality is extremely important to everyone’s health and should be taken seriously! Everyone should do whatever it takes to make their work environment safe.

Written by: Ambur Vilac & Teresa Kouch

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References

ABM Environmental Inc. 2010. Web. 11 May 2012. <http://www.abmenvironmental.ca/>.

EnviroMed Detection Services.Web. 11 May 2012. <http://www.enviromed.ca/>.

Savetech Environmental Ltd. 2010. Web. 11 May 2012. <http://www.safetechenv.com/>.

Posted in EnvironmentComments Off on Gas Detection Best Practices at Work

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Gas Detectors

CETCI gas detectors are used to detect many different gases. Some of the most common are Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Nitric Oxide, Ammonia, Chlorine, Ozone, Combustible Gases like Methane and Propane, Oxygen, Refrigerants and more.

IAQ Monitors

The YES Series of IAQ Monitors are essential for those responsible for conducting Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Investigations. These instruments are specifically designed to measure and record the quality of indoor air in offices, buildings, homes, schools, parking garages, ice rinks, etc.