Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an ideal fire suppressor for many applications because apart from actual fire damage, there is no clean-up or residue associated with a CO2 system – unlike with foaming agents or water. When a fire starts, high-pressure CO2 is released into the area it is protecting.
Carbon dioxide gas then displaces the oxygen until there is no longer enough required for combustion. The fire can then be controlled or extinguished.
A common application is the protection of switch rooms or control panels and other confined space environments that house electrical components, computers, or process equipment such as server farms.
Other common uses may include gas turbine enclosures, power generation stations, and flammable liquid storage areas.
However, there are two key challenges when using CO2.
First, the cylinders of CO2 used in these Fire Suppression Systems could leak. Therefore the areas where they are stored need to be monitored.
Second, when such a system has been deployed, the atmosphere must be checked to ensure that the CO2 has dispersed to safe levels for re-entry.
CO2Meter has developed a data logger capable of measuring up to 100% CO2 concentrations. The portable device is ideally suited for leak detection testing in fire extinguisher systems and can detect even a slight change in the level of CO2. By attaching a length of tubing, the unit can be run in real-time along pipe connections and valves to pinpoint leaks – even in hard-to-reach places.
This unit is also used to create a three-dimensional map of the CO2 levels in a particular space, by sampling from both horizontal and vertical locations. This helps determine when it is safe for emergency services to enter an area after a CO2 extinguisher has been used.
The design used an ExplorIR®-M CO2 Sensor as the low power requirements of their LED-based technology enabled us to create a portable, battery-powered product that could go weeks between recharges. However, it also is highly accurate right up to 100% CO2 concentrations which is vital for sensors in safety applications.
A customer of the CM-1000 Multi-Gas Sampling Data Logger, who uses them for full discharge tests of CO2 fire suppression systems, said, “The meters are small enough to take as carry-on luggage, which I find very useful. I typically use three or four meters simultaneously, with test times ranging from 30 to 60 minutes each"
CM-1000 Multi-Gas Sampling Data Logger
Furthermore, the solid-state design of GSS LED-based sensors makes them particularly rugged so that they can withstand the rough handling that portable devices are subjected to. CO2Meter is delighted to be working with them as we continue to integrate their ultra-fast reacting sensors into our product range.
In particular, the Gas Sensing Solutions sensors are so unique and low power, utilizing 100% CO2 sensors only further opens new marketing opportunities for our customers and industries, worldwide.
Find more information on CO2Meter Fire Suppression and Applications, Here.