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Friday, December 7, 2012

Why is Refrigerant Leak Detection Necessary?


Experienced service technicians still find refrigerant leak detection in HVAC and RAC systems to be tedious and difficult because of the fact that a leak can be hidden from view by a component, tubing, or even an operating switch.

With the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation documented in The U.S. Clean Air Act (Sections 608 & 609), refrigerant leak detection takes on great urgency. Regulations are intended to lower greenhouse gas emissions which are very harmful to the environment. As such, the new government rules no longer give service technicians the option of adding refrigerant when the system is low due to a leak. Rather, the leak has to be found and fixed within a specified period of time.

There are numerous types of testing equipment that can be used in refrigerant leak detection, some of it automated and others acting as sniffers for onsite testing. To find the leak, service technicians have to determine the best method to use. Methods include a soap solution, a halide torch, dye interception, isolation of a component from the system, or pressurizing the system with dry nitrogen gas.

All of these methods take time and money, which can turn into a very expensive service call. A less costly alternative for companies is utilizing refrigerant management software that pinpoints the origin of a leak by either tracking service events over time to establish trends or to implement an automated leak detection technology.

One of the fastest methods which can be used in refrigerant leak detection is an electronic leak detector. These types of detectors can find leaks of hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Quick identification of a leak is important because the release of these gases is heavily regulated by the EPA, with companies subject to fines if their emissions are not fixed within a certain time frame.

There is refrigerant gas management software which can help in the detection of refrigerant leaks. It provides companies with exact details on what their refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) systems and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are venting, tracks performance, monitors and detects refrigerant gas leaks, provides refrigerant usage reports, and keeps accurate records on maintenance and service.

Regulations on refrigerant leak detection describe and govern the proper repair of a leak and appropriate disposal of any refrigerant system which can't be repaired. These extensive requirements are in force in the United States, as well as several foreign countries. The treaties set forth a worldwide response to improving and protecting the planet.

Quick action of refrigerant leak detection is a great importance to the environment. Refrigerant contains gases that have been identified as damaging to the ozone layer and show a high potential for causing global warming. To comply with environmental standards, many companies are investing in a refrigerant management program to monitor and track equipment usage.

Because of environmental and cost concerns related to refrigerant leak detection, many facilities with systems that use refrigerants are relying on refrigerant tracker applications. A refrigerant tracker monitors refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) systems and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems around the clock and instantly detects the location of any leaks. Various studies confirm that industrial and commercial facilities will be able to save money every year by using leak detection monitoring systems.

SOURCE: http://ezinearticles.com/?Why-is-Refrigerant-Leak-Detection-Necessary?&id=3920145

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