Commercial refrigerators, the likes of which are found in breweries and restaurants, represent a significant area of concern when it comes to carbon dioxide (CO2) safety. Walk-in coolers and freezers use a combination of heat pumps and coolant fluids to mechanically reduce the temperature of a confined space. Thus creating an environment suitable for the storage of perishable goods. But poor connections, split lines, and pump failures can turn a refrigerator into a hazard with potentially fatal ramifications.
Nevertheless, CO2 refrigerants are now the choice of most UK supermarkets. It is recommended over alternative solutions for its energy efficiency and the fact that it is environmentally benign. This means there is a strong health and safety case for the use of portable carbon dioxide monitors in commercial refrigeration units.
The Case for Portable Carbon Dioxide Monitors in Commercial Refrigerators
Although carbon dioxide has been recognised as a significant workplace hazard for a hundred years., it remains an extremely attractive refrigerant. This is due to its high heat transfer coefficient and excellent volumetric efficiency—meaning pipe sizes can be kept much lower than equivalent systems using hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants. Current UK regulations prohibit the use of refrigerants based on their global warming potential (GWP), and carbon dioxide has a very efficient GWP of 1, meaning it can be safely used in public locations.
The value of using CO2 as a commercial refrigerant cannot be denied—neither can the potential hazards. Walk-in freezers are airtight with limited entry which qualifies them as a confined space; in which a carbon dioxide leak could become deadly in very little time. OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL) for CO2 is set at 5,000 parts per million (ppm) over an 8-hour period.
Fixed carbon dioxide detectors can provide actionable, real-time data on leaks in refrigerators to reduce costs and maintain environmental compliance. However portable carbon dioxide monitors are preferred when it comes to occupational health and safety in confined spaces or where there is limited ventilation/dead spots. They are specialty designed to accurately measure CO2 levels in the surrounding atmosphere for a precise readout of personal exposure levels in the user’s immediate space. Fixed detectors cannot provide the same level of individual detail, providing instead an insight into CO2 build-up. A portable carbon dioxide monitor can alert users when the immediate surrounding environment contains hazardous gas levels.
Portable carbon dioxide gas detectors subsequently ensure that your personnel are safe either working onsite or as an engineer/delivery driver visiting walk-in freezers. In conjunction you are also benefitting from using one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly refrigerant gases available.
Looking for a Portable CO2 Monitor?
At International Gas Detectors, we supply the iGAS Portable CO2 monitors which use the latest infrared sensing technology. This enhancement provides an accurate measure of carbon dioxide levels in the surrounding atmosphere. The iGAS CO2 also features pre-programmed alerts and fully traceable calibration. Thus making the iGAS CO2 detector is ideal for employers looking to shore up their health and safety protocols in refrigeration units.
The iGAS portable carbon dioxide unit benefits from the use of low powered infrared technology. This means it can last up to 14 days on a single charge. Subsequently reducing downtime between charges. The added benefit of USB re-chargeable. This allows delivery drivers and refrigeration engineers to re-charge the iGAS in their vehicle while on the way to site. With the benefit of enhanced protection with IP68, this makes the iGAS the most durable and affordable portable carbon dioxide monitor on the market. Available to purchase from our online store starting at £343.00 per unit.