Concerns over climate change are leading to new laws restricting the use of refrigerants common in air-conditioning systems. Emerging government regulations at the state, national, and international levels are calling for the phase-out of refrigerants with high Global Warming Potential (GWP). Such refrigerants are thousands of times more polluting than carbon dioxide.
These new regulations have emerged within the last year, with a short time window to achieve compliance. This poses a variety of challenges for residential and commercial HVAC equipment manufacturers, who are not only being mandated to develop new and environmentally friendly, Low Global Warming (LGW) refrigerants and cooling systems, but also to be able to detect and react to refrigerant leaks (per, e.g., ASHRAE Standard 15 and UL 60335-2-40). This is because next-generation refrigerants such as R32, R454b are flammable (ASHRAE safety classification 2L or A2L) at certain concentrations in the air.
Actively detecting leaks is therefore a matter of both safety and environmental protection—one that has made refrigerant gas sensor technology a rapidly emerging global market.
Environmentally-Induced Refrigerant Leaks
The inner workings of an AC unit can experience wide humidity and temperature swings. Most of the sensors on the market today have difficulty maintaining effectiveness in such conditions for extended periods of time. Meanwhile, consumers have come to expect high reliability—the AC should “just work”, all the time. Downtime due to faulty sensors, requiring visits from technicians, is a non-starter. Of immediate need, then, is a sensor capable of dependable, accurate gas sensing in a harsh environment.
NevadaNano’s MPS™ LGW Refrigerant Gas Sensor has been configured to provide just what this emerging market needs: a robust, refrigerant-dedicated sensing solution like that can reliably recognize leaks over a long field life, in real-world environments, without frequent servicing.