ASHRAE Standard 15 and NevadaNano: What You Need to Know

Refrigerant leaks can be hazardous. Because of the potential peril to workers and businesses, many countries have regulations governing gas leak detection. Unfortunately, the United States currently lacks a federal regulatory framework for refrigerants. Despite this, many local and state jurisdictions have adopted regulatory standards. The most common one is ASHRAE Standard 15. NevadaNano’s MPS sensor is an ASHRAE Standard 15 refrigerant monitor that exceeds expectations for leak detection.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) developed Standard 15 in 2019. This standard limits the amount of refrigerant that can be considered safe for use in an enclosed environment. It also details when an ASHRAE Standard 15 refrigerant monitor is necessary. Standard 15 details that an alarm must have visible and audible cues to alert operators of a leak.

While federal regulations are anticipated, ASHRAE Standard 15 has been adopted in many local and state governments. Adoption of this standard establishes safeguards for life, limb, health, and property. It governs the safe handling of refrigerants for commercial and industrial applications. 

ASHRAE Standard 15 Refrigerant Monitor Requirements

ASHRAE Standard 15 outlines when leak detection monitors are required. Clause states that, “Each refrigerating machinery room shall contain a detector, located in an area where refrigerant from a leak will concentrate, that actuates an alarm and mechanical ventilation in accordance with Section 8.11.4 at a value not greater than the corresponding TLV-TWA (or toxicity measure consistent therewith). The alarm shall annunciate visual and audible alarms inside the refrigerating machinery room and outside each entrance to the refrigerating machinery room.”

This clause requires operators to have an ASHRAE Standard 15 refrigerant monitor in machinery rooms. It is recognized by equipment manufacturers, engineers, and contractors as the defining safety guidelines for refrigeration equipment. 

In addition to ASHRAE Standard 15, it is a good idea to be familiar with EPA Section 608, which mandates leak inspections. The leak inspections must occur every three months for systems with a full charge of 500 or more pounds. The interval is every 12 months for those with a full charge between 50 and 500 pounds. These inspections are not required on systems with an ASHRAE Standard 15 refrigerant monitor that provides continuous checks.

ASHRAE Standard 15 is often also interpreted in conjunction with ASHRAE Standard 34. Standard 34  designates and classifies refrigerants based on toxicity and flammability.

  • Toxicity
    • A – lower toxicity
    • B – higher toxicity
  • Flammability
    • 1 – no flame propagation
    • 2L – lower burning velocity equal to or less than 10 centimeters per second
    • 2 – lower flammability
    • 3 – higher flammability

While A1 refrigerants may not propagate a flame, A2L refrigerants will. Refrigerant users and system operators will want to check local and state regulations to follow the appropriate guidelines. Classification of refrigerants can help you determine how to handle, store, and transport these materials safely.

NevadaNano’s ASHRAE Standard 15 Refrigerant Monitor

NevadaNano’s Molecular Property Spectrometer™ (MPS™) sensor offers distinct advantages as an ASHRAE Standard 15 refrigerant monitor. It has an innovative, application-specific design to make refrigerant leak detection straightforward. NevadoNano offers a range of refrigerant sensors for A1, A2L, and A3 gases. 

The MPS leak detector contains a transducer in a micro-machined membrane with an embedded Joule heater and resistance thermometer. The presence of refrigerants causes changes in the thermodynamic properties of the air/gas mixture measured by the transducer. The sensor can then provide an accurate report to the operator. 

As an ASHRAE Standard 15 refrigerant monitor, the MPS detector’s performance speaks for itself. It has key characteristics required for an optimal refrigerant leak detector, including:

Speed: Average response time is under 6 seconds for A2L gases, ensuring dangerous conditions are reported quickly.

Accuracy: In recent testing of “currently commercially available refrigerant detectors,” the MPS passed 100% of the requirements. The results include those related to accuracy. There were no false positives with the MPS sensor, and it is immune to poisoning. 

Cost: The MPS sensor is competitively priced and has a calibration interval and life expectancy of 10 or more years. These features result in a low overall total cost of ownership.

Ease of Use: The MPS Refrigerant Gas Sensor is easy to use. With a long life-expectancy, users can get comfortable with knowing how to operate it quickly and effortlessly. In the event of a leak, the last thing you want is to be fumbling with a piece of equipment that is difficult and confusing. The MPS sensor interface is easy to understand for all users.

Overall, this new technology has distinct advantages when compared to traditional sensors. It can maintain compliance with ASHRAE’s Standard 15 requirements. Additionally, it has unique features to provide a safer workplace with a low total cost of ownership. Other features include:

  • No field calibration, for the life of the product regardless if it is installed within a fixed or portable instrument.
  • No poisonings, unlike traditional sensors that experience poisoning when they encounter high concentrations of dangerous or even common gases.
  • Built-in environmental compensation (for temperature, humidity, and pressure) which significantly reduces false positives in a challenging working environment.
  • Very wide environmental operating window -40 to 75 deg C and up to 100 %RH, which traditional sensors just can’t support.
  • Global approvals, including best-in-class from AHRTI recent tests.

The MPS detector’s technology is a leap forward in refrigerant detection. The continuous monitoring and alert features make the MPS an ideal ASHRAE Standard 15 Refrigerant Monitor. These sensors keep the workplace safe, lower operational costs, and ensure compliance. 

And NevadaNano’s MPS detector will continue to meet regulatory requirements. If the anticipated federal regulations mirror ASHRAE Standard 15, you can be assured of continued compliance. And compliance is growing in importance as penalties for violations continue to increase. NevadaNano’s MPS Refrigerant Gas Sensor is an ASHRAE Standard 15 Refrigerant Monitor. It can give you greater peace of mind at an affordable price. For more information, please get in contact with the team of experts at NevadaNano.

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