Carbon monoxide sensors: types, operating principle, installation, reviews
Detectors and sensor devices are becoming more and more densely incorporated into the everyday life of ordinary citizens. If earlier a wide audience of consumers came across sensors in security systems, today they act as highly specialized ways to prevent threats of a domestic nature. Carbon monoxide sensors occupy their rightful place in this niche, in moments of alarm they instantly notify the owner of the danger.
Principle of operation
The work of gas sensors can be divided into two parts. First, it is the function of detecting the critical indicator of gas pollution of a room. To perform this task, the device is provided with sensitive elements included in the conventional infrastructure. That is, the sensor in the constant mode works as a ventilation point for air intake and transmission. This function is somewhat similar to an air sample analyzer.During operation of the device, undesirable concentrations of hazardous and toxic substances may be detected. In this case, the sensitive elements are focused on the characteristics of a particular gas.
The second functional part of the device operation is an appropriate response to the detection of a critical concentration. A typical carbon monoxide sensor with alarm alerts the user through the configured communication channels. What channels can it be? Usually, GSM-communication is used, that is, sending an SMS to a given number, and in more technologically advanced models, wireless data transmission systems over a local network are also used. At the same time, local warning devices via siren, light boards, etc. are also activated.
To begin with, it is worth dividing structures into two classes - these are typesetting models of signaling devices and directly sensors. In the first case, it is a small plastic box, which acts as a center for monitoring and processing impulses coming from sensors embedded in it.
The second design variant is an autonomous miniature sensor that simultaneously performs the tasks of registering a critical concentration and sending an alarm signal.Inside, almost all carbon monoxide sensors are supplied with electrochemical sensing elements that trap hazardous substances in air.
Depending on the model, the design may also include the inclusion of a small relay, through which a direct connection of the alarm device, communication channels and alarms is provided.
Gas sensors differ in form factor, possibilities of working with media of different characteristics, etc. In principle, they are also divided according to the number of sensitive elements. All-in-one sensors are designed to work with only one gas. But there are also multi-component models. For example, a dual sensor detector will detect both oxide and carbon monoxide. You should also select a portable carbon monoxide sensor, which, unlike the stationary counterpart, does not involve the installation. This is a measuring hand-held instrument used by gas workers, utility workers and builders to determine the level of gas pollution in the workplace. The device is equipped with a display, which displays all the information about the medium in which the device is located.
Optimum sensor location
It is advisable to install sensors in places most prone to gas pollution. But not near the direct source of leakage, but at least 4 m from it. It is not recommended to mount detectors near ventilation shafts, window openings and ovens with burners. This limitation is due to the fact that third-party air streams, steam, dust and thermal radiation can affect the detection quality of the target concentration. Also, if there are “pockets” in the room in the form of closed zones and corners, a separate carbon monoxide sensor with alarm should be installed in them, since these places can form environments with high concentration and, consequently, a high risk of explosion.
If possible, take into account the normative distance in height. So, the distance to the ceiling should remain at least 30 cm, and the height of placement from the floor should be more than 180 cm, that is, approximately at the level of human growth.
Installing Carbon Monoxide Sensor
Installation of sensors and alarms is implemented through complete clamps. It can be brackets, screws, screws and other fasteners.Some models come with mounting platforms - this is a kind of crate, which then sits the device with sensors.
In any case, you need a tool for drilling holes in the wall, a screwdriver or a hammer drill. The carbon monoxide sensors are connected to a 220 V household power supply network. It is important to consider in advance the possibility of automatic switching to emergency or backup power. In addition to the main power line, the channel should be connected from an autonomous generator or battery. The combined power supply solution eliminates the risk of sensor failures.
There is another approach to nutrition. Some models of the same signaling devices are equipped with their own batteries, which completely eliminates the need for leading central wiring to the installation point.
The possibility of combining with other equipment
First of all, the sensor mates with direct alert systems. Further it is necessary to provide opportunities of automatic control of supply of gas. For example, the inclusion in the infrastructure of a valve detector integrated into a gas pipeline will allow the device to instantly turn off the supply even before the user can take action.Conversely, carbon monoxide sensors for the home can be connected to the ventilation systems by the controller. In this case, the system will automatically open the vent to ventilate the room. For such purposes, it is desirable to connect the hoods and chimneys located above the plates.
For the most part, the owners speak positively about gas sensors. The most trusted are integrated solutions that are part of programmable controllers. Such equipment is easier to set up, conveniently controlled and does not require constant correction of operating modes.
There are also negative impressions of such devices. Poorly configured carbon monoxide sensors for the home are a high percentage of false alerts. Moreover, depending on the operating conditions of the target room, this may also apply to high-quality expensive models with effective detection systems. Such phenomena can be prevented only by means of an initial multilateral consideration of the factors of the future sensor operation - from the influence of the same airflow from the window to the frequency of use of a gas stove.
How much do carbon monoxide sensors cost?
The simplest monoblock sensors are available on the market for 1-1.5 thousand rubles. These are models that have minimal functionality and limited warning capabilities.
Standard-type multi-component signaling devices cost about 2 thousand. Such a solution will be distinguished by versatility, performance and the ability to interface with other engineering systems.
High-tech household carbon monoxide sensor, connected to home programmable controllers, is estimated at 3-4 thousand rubles. Such devices have digital displays with touch controls and regulate the parameters of work in automatic mode, without requiring user intervention.
In choosing the right sensor should take into account many minor nuances. These include the possibility of automatic calibration, the presence of protective shells, resistance to network overloads, etc. These and other qualities will ultimately determine how stable a particular carbon monoxide sensor will be in operation. Reviews also indicate the sensitivity of some models to temperature and humidity changes.In the kitchen, such variations are typical, which should be considered. Manufacturers typically indicate the limiting values of the humidity coefficient and the temperature range for optimal sensor performance.
Experts also recommend purchasing sensor models with a protection class of at least IP62. Such devices are characterized by high-quality insulation, which protects the device from dirt and mechanical damage.