Continuous monitoring of carbon dioxide and oxygen in fermentation rooms.

Areas of concern for high levels of Carbon dioxide (CO2) in wineries include pits, sumps, storage tanks and bottling rooms, but in particular, fermentation rooms. During fermentation a significant amount of CO2 is generated. If the tanks are indoors, the CO2 that escapes can collect in low lying areas and pose a safety hazard to employees. CO2 is twice as heavy as air and will sink to the bottom of a room or a tank, forming potentially hazardous pools of gas that build up and displace Oxygen (O2). Being odourless and colourless, the presence of CO2 is not known until symptoms of exposure are experienced, unless gas detection equipment is used.

Using Critical Environment Technologies’ FCS Flexible Control System with a CGAS Detector CO2 Transmitter, and a CGAS Detector O2 transmitter along with a personal, portable O2 detector is the solution. The placement of the transmitter inside the fermentation room provides continuous monitoring for potential leaks of Carbon dioxide. The FCS Controller with a top mounted strobe mounted outside the room door provides a status of the air quality conditions inside the room prior to entry. If a CO2 leak is detected the top mounted strobe will activate and an audible alarm will sound. The designated relays will activate a pre-set response, such as turning on a remote alarm device, actuating the mechanical ventilation system and/or triggering another set response as required.


Typical Winery CO2, Oxygen with Ozone Monitoring System

Inside the fermentation room, there should be a cGas Detector with an infrared CO2 sensor, mounted on the wall at the breathing zone height (4 - 6 ft / 1.2 - 1.8 m from the floor). It should be close to the fermentation tanks, micro bins and barrels where the possibility of a carbon dioxide leak is most likely to occur. The measurement range for CO2 is 0 - 5% volume. There should also be a cGas Detector with an electrochemical O2 sensor mounted on the wall near the CO2 detector at the breathing zone height. It should be close to the fermentation tanks where oxygen is most likely to be depleted in the event of a build-up of CO2.

The measurement range for O2 is 0 - 25% volume. With the optional splash guard installed, both enclosures are water tight (IP54 rated) and will withstand water spray or wash down applications.

If Ozone is used to disinfect the bottles and equipment there should be a cGas Detector with an Ozone sensor mounted 6 in / 15 cm from the floor in the bottling area.

The FCS Flexible Control System controller with a top mounted strobe should be mounted outside the door of the fermentation room. It will be connected to all cGas Detectors and will display the target gas levels for viewing prior to entering the rooms. The FCS is pre-programmed and field adjustable, offering 4 dry contact relays, priority settings, logic control, including time of day, data logging, audible alarm and a full colour, resistive touch screen. The FCS should be configured to set off alarms and activate the exhaust ventilation system, shut down the equipment or other alarm procedures as appropriate when a CO2 or O3 leak is detected or oxygen levels are deficient. The FCS accepts Modbus® RS-485 digital communication and analog 4-20 mA signal with the optional analog inputs, making it the ideal central controller for any additional gas detectors that may be needed throughout the winery. The cGas Detector CO2 transmitter is available with analog output (CGAS-A-CO2-5%) or Modbus output (CGAS-D-CO2-5%).

Remote visual and audible alarm devices such as the Remote Strobe / Horn (RSH-24V-R or RSA-24V) should be set up inside the fermentation room and if there is another entrance to the room, an RDM Remote Display Module should be mounted outside the door of that entrance, to provide visual confirmation of gas level readings prior to entering the room. In addition, the levels of O2 and CO2 should be checked prior to cleaning the tanks by lowering a personal, portable O2 and CO2 detector into the vessel to determine if it is safe to enter. Follow local confined entry requirements and regulations.