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Ammonia Detection - Ammonia gas detection industrial machinery

Ammonia Detection

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Ammonia Detection

With federal mandates and restrictions placed on fluorocarbons, industries are quickly finding themselves having to change their cooling systems. Ammonia is leading the way as one of the refrigeration gases of choice. Ammonia is highly toxic and combustible, but it’s readily available, has low GWP and ODP values and is a cost effective solution. When used in the refrigeration industry, ammonia can be very effective in keeping food & beverages at the proper temperatures, but it can also pose health risks that cannot go unnoticed.

While ammonia’s distinctive smell makes it relatively easy to initially identify, accurate calibration is needed to ensure life safety. Therefore, real-time monitors are necessary to allow continuous determination of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) necessary to provide proper protection from ammonia. According to the NIOSH pocket guide, protection from low levels of ammonia (up to 250 to 300 ppm) can be as little as a respirator with the appropriate ammonia cartridges. Entries into concentrations above 300 ppm or into unknown concentrations require positive- pressure supplied air or SCBAs. Even higher concentrations require full encapsulation suits (Level A) because of the highly reactive alkaline nature of ammonia gas. At concentrations above 15% (150,000 ppm), the ammonia atmosphere is potentially explosive, all activity should be stopped and all personnel should leave the area. Mixtures involving ammonia contaminated with lubricating oil from the system, however, may have a much broader explosive range. A study conducted to determine the influence of oil on the flammability limits of ammonia found that oil reduced the lower flammability limit as low as 8%, depending on the type and concentration of oil. Accurate, reliable, and continuous fixed and portable ammonia monitors are required to make these decisions.

Fixed Gas Detection

Choosing the right sensor for your application depends on the expected concentrations, locations, and other factors at your facility. Often, two separate ammonia detectors are required for emergency ventilation control and for machinery room electrical shutdown. A low concentration range detector (e.g. 0 – 250 ppm) can provide suitable resolution and accuracy for initiating emergency ventilation operation. A second high concentration range detector (e.g. 0-10% LEL, or 0 – 15,000 ppm) serves as an input to initiate machinery room electrical shutdowns. The control set-points for each concentration range detector will differ. For example, the ventilation control sensor is set to initiate the emergency ventilation mode at a concentration of 150 ppm. The machinery room electrical shutdown control sensor will disconnect electrical power to the machinery room at a pre-determined concentration, e.g. 15,000 ppm.

Dräger Polytron® 8100 EC

Dräger Polytron® 8100 EC

Dräger Polytron® 8200 CAT

Dräger Polytron® 8200 CAT

Dräger Polytron® 7000

Dräger Polytron® 7000

Dräger Polytron® 6100 EC WL

Dräger Polytron® 6100 EC WL

Dräger REGARD 7000

Dräger REGARD 7000

Dräger PointGard 2100

Dräger PointGard 2100

Dräger REGARD 3000

Dräger REGARD 3000

Electrochemical (EC) DrägerSensor®

Electrochemical (EC) DrägerSensor®

drager-sensor-D-6608-2011-3-2

Ammonia (NH3) Fixed DrägerSensor Portfolio

As stated above, the use of ammonia is expanding across a wide variety of industries, and now it is also has been proposed as an alternative fuel candidate because it provides proven, practical, low-cost storage and delivery of hydrogen.  The variety of industries combined with the extreme environments sensors must perform in requires robust and reliable sensor technology.  

Dräger’s cutting-edge sensor technology – made in Germany – has now lead to a new, high performance ammonia sensor with a four electrode design. The 4 electrode sensor design has proven to result in better resilience against humidity spikes (minimizing false alarms) with fewer cross sensitivities (especially with gases such as CO2, NO2, H2S and CO) to other gases while providing an even more robust performance.  

These are Dräger’s NH3 sensors:

  1. LC – Outgoing legacy ammonia sensors
  2. TL – Three Electrode Low Concentration
  3. FL – Four Electrode Low Concentration

For more information on these sensors and their appropriate applications, please download the Ammonia Fixed DrägerSensor Portfolio brochure below.

1Frequently-Asked Questions about Anhydrous Ammonia, The Fertilizer Institute, April 26, 2019, https://www.tfi.org/content/frequently-asked-questions-about-anhydrous-ammonia

Portable Gas Detection

Choosing the proper portable gas detection solution is central to protecting Life Safety. The Dräger PAC 8000 single gas detector for Ammonia (NH3) has several key benefits:

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Dräger Pac® 8000

If the Dräger Pac 8000 measures hazardous gas concentrations, it sets off an audible, visual and noticeable vibrating alarm. Two bright, flashing LEDs on the top and bottom of the device ensure that the alarm is easily visible from all sides. The acoustic signal reaches a volume of 90 dBa. The display can show the peak concentration measured at any given moment. Earlier alarms registered can also be retrieved at a later time, even if acknowledged.

The Pac 8000 is protected against water, dust and other foreign bodies by a special membrane filter. When the filter becomes heavily soiled in use, it can be quickly replaced. The sensor warranty is 2 years.

Bump tests and calibrations can be carried out especially efficiently in the Dräger X-dock calibration station. The automatic bump tests in the X-dock are a cost-efficient and convenient solution thanks to short test duration and the extremely low test gas consumption. The Pac 8000 is simply placed in the bump test station and automatically initiates the proper testing.

The PAC 8000 has a data and event logger which allows for multiple readings to be taken over a certain period of time.

The PAC 8000 measure from 0-100 ppm with a 1ppm resolution.

For portable multi gas detection Dräger has three options, depending on the gas types that need to be detected.

Dräger X-am® 5000

Dräger X-am® 5000

Dräger X-am® 5600 Personal Monitor

Dräger X-am® 5600 Personal Monitor

Dräger X‑am ® 8000

Dräger X‑am ® 8000

Ask us about our Ammonia Safety Solutions

Respiratory Protection

Choosing the right sensor for your application depends on the expected concentrations, locations, and other factors at your facility. Often, two separate ammonia detectors are required for emergency ventilation control and for machinery room electrical shutdown. A low concentration range detector (e.g. 0 – 250 ppm) can provide suitable resolution and accuracy for initiating emergency ventilation operation. A second high concentration range detector (e.g. 0-10% LEL, or 0 – 15,000 ppm) serves as an input to initiate machinery room electrical shutdowns. The control set-points for each concentration range detector will differ. For example, the ventilation control sensor is set to initiate the emergency ventilation mode at a concentration of 150 ppm. The machinery room electrical shutdown control sensor will disconnect electrical power to the machinery room at a pre-determined concentration, e.g. 15,000 ppm.

Dräger CDR 4500

Dräger CDR 4500

Dräger PSS® 3000

Dräger PSS® 3000

Dräger X-plore® 3300/3500

Dräger X-plore® 3300/3500

Staying protected from dangerous substances

Dräger VOICE brings you relevant information on hazardous substances

Dräger VOICE: your hazardous substance database

Dräger VOICE is an essential tool for gaining expert knowledge on the safe handling of hazmats. It brings you up-to-date information on more than 1,700 hazardous substances and their physiochemical characteristics – and helps you protect your team in their work environments. Simply type a substance name into the tool and get vital information including workplace exposure limits, recommended gas detection solutions and recommended respiratory and chemical protection equipment.

Get in touch with Dräger

Contact Us Safety

Draeger, Inc. – Safety

7256 S. Sam Houston W Pkwy., Suite 100
Houston, TX 77085

1-800-437-2437