Refrigerant gas detectors (freons, refrigerants)

Whether they are refrigerant fluids used in cold stores or in air conditioning systems, freon gases are undetectable by humans (no color, no odor), which is why the use of a freon detection system is essential. The use of refrigerant gas detectors meets several challenges in the refrigeration industry: the safety of goods and people, the costs related to refrigerant leaks and the environmental impact (subject to regulation).

Freon detection (refrigerant fluids)
  1. The MVR300 is an air-conditioning gas leak detector specifically designed to provide continuous and highly effective monitoring in inhabited spaces such as hotels, dormitories, hospitals, nurseries, schools, offices, etc. It is the same principle as an autonomous smoke detector (DAAF). It has a powerful buzzer of 80 dB to signal the gas leakage of the air conditioner.

    • Warns of all potential air conditioning gas leaks in ERP 
    • 2 internal relays (low-level and high-level alarm) for the control systems (valves, extractors, external siren)
    • ModBus RTU communication for device supervision (ideal for monitoring in hotels)
    • Powerful 80 dB buzzer integrated into the device
    • Easy to install, discreet with a neutral design
  2. The MGS 410 is a refrigerant gas detector for connection to Bacharach gas detection units via MODBUS. It is a device that can monitor the concentration of many freons and can be integrated into a building management system. It is an excellent value-for-money gas detector that can operate at temperatures down to -40°C.

    • Detection of refrigerant gases
    • Operates in extreme conditions: from -40°C to +50°C
    • Built-in 72 dB audible and visual alarm for refrigeration safety
    • Sealed against dust and strong water jets: IP66
    • Device settings via the MGS-400 mobile application
  3. The Bacharach MGS-450 refrigerant detector can be used as a stand-alone device for detecting refrigerant gases (freons) or connected to a multi-channel control unit. It is a gas detector with alarm relays that can handle a refrigeration unit, a buzzer for alarm reporting, and 4-20 mA and MODBUS outputs for connection to a control system.

    • Detection of many refrigerant gases
    • Temperature-compensated measurements for improved immunity to false alarms
    • 3 relays (low, high, and fault alarms), 4-20 mA output and MODBUS
    • Device set-up on the MGS-400 mobile application
    • Complies with refrigeration standards (ASHRAE 15 & EN 378)
  4. The OLCT10-freons refrigerant leak detector is especially for refrigeration applications in non-classified areas. It uses a semiconductor sensor, and its linear 4-20 mA output allows to connect it to any control panel receiving this type of signal. It is considered an economical and easy way to overcome recharging costs.

    • Detection: R11, R12, R22, R23, R32, R123, R134A, R141B, R143A, R227, R404A, R410A, R407C, R408A, R507, FX56
    • Power supply: 15 to 30 VDC - Linear output 4 to 20 mA (3 wires)
    • Robust and shock-resistant ABS housing
    • Ideal for refrigeration systems, air conditioning, heat pumps, etc.
    • Excellent price/performance ratio
  5. 4-200 mA detector/transmitter with semiconductor technology to detect refrigerant gas leak (Freon) in unclassified zones.

    • Freon gas detector (R134A, R11, R12, R22, R23, R141, R142B, R404), solvents and VOC (volatile organic compounds)
    • Power supply: 15 to 32 VCC – 4-20 mA linear output
    • Settings: Local via potentiometers zero and sensitivity
    • IP66 protection
  6. The MGS 250 fixed refrigerant leak detector detects a very wide range of refrigerant gases (R32, R134a, R404, R410, HFO1234yf, HFO1234ze, etc.). Very precise, it is equipped with a long-life infrared sensor.

    • Broad band (All CFCs, HFCs, HCFCs and HFOs) or specific sensor
    • Detection of a very wide range of refrigerant gases
    • No interference with other gases
    • Infrared sensor with an over 5 years lifespan
    • Analog, digital and relay outputs
  7. The SIL2 certified OLCT100 fixed gas detector is available in ATEX versions for explosive gas or intrinsically safe (IS) for toxic gases. With nearly 150 gases listed, this 4-20 mA linear output gas detector is suitable for explosive gases detections (hydrocarbons, solvents, alcohols), toxic, asphyxiating, and refrigerant leaks (freons, HFO, CFC, HFC).

    • Fixed gas detector for explosive gases, hydrocarbons, solvents, toxic gases, freons, VOCs, CO2
    • ATEX & SIL 2 certification for catalytic and infrared versions
    • Epoxy-painted aluminium housing (316L stainless steel optional)
    • Wheatstone bridge or linear 4-20 mA outputs
    • Power supply ranges from 15.5 to 32 VDC depending on the application
  8. The Bacharach HGM-MZ multi-zone refrigerant detection controller uses infrared technology to detect the presence of refrigerant gases by suction on a perimeter covering up to 16 zones (and 48 measuring points). It detects: CFC, HFC, HCFC, HFO, NH3, CO2. It offers very high visibility with a large LCD and LED status indicators.

    • Non-dispersive infrared detection cell - over 50 refrigerants accurately detected
    • High-performance sampling pump for a fast response time of refrigerant gas leaks
    • Large perimeter coverage up to 16 separate zones, 48 measurement points
    • Measurement range 0 - 1000 ppm with an accuracy of 1ppm
    • Functional interface, LCD, indicator lights
  9. The refrigerant gas analyzer PGM-IR is a high-performance portable leak detector dedicated to the halogenated refrigerants (freons) such as HFC, HCFC, and HFO. With a resolution of 1 ppm, it is able to locate the gas very accurately, even with the smallest refrigerant leak in any refrigerant gas installations and circuits.

    • More than 50 refrigerant gases detected with a resolution of 1 ppm: CFC, HFC, HCFC, HALON, HFO, CO2, N2O, SF6
    • Non-dispersive NDIR infrared sensor (5 to 7 years lifetime)
    • Measurement range: 0 - 10,000 ppm for all gases
    • Backlit LCD and audio signal for measurement
    • Li-ion battery for 8 hours of operating time

Freon detection (refrigerant fluids detectors)

Halogenated hydrocarbons belonging to the CFC and HCFC families have their own regulations: prohibition or limitation of use with the obligation to set up a gas detection device (refrigerant gas detectors). Refrigerant fluids belonging to the other families are subject to the regulations relating to chemical products, but common sense will also involve the monitoring of leaks. 

Freons are usually heavier gases than air. They tend to stagnate on the floor and replace oxygen. For optimal detection of refrigerant leaks, the refrigerant gas detectors will be placed under the refrigeration unit and connected to a gas detection unit. In the event of a leak, the central gas detection unit will neutralize the refrigeration system by cutting off the power supply.

Freon classifications and categories

Freons are divided into several main categories according to their characteristics. Depending on the specificity of the needs, certain categories should be preferred: 

  • Organic compounds: water, CO2 (carbon dioxide), NH3 (ammonia
  • Hydrocarbons: butane, pentane, propane, propylene, etc. 
  • CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons): R11, R12, R113, R115, R502 
  • HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons): R21, R22, R123, R124, R401a, R402a, R408a, R409a 
  • HFCs (hydro fluorocarbons) : R32, R125, R134a, R15a, R143a, R152a, R404a, R407a, R410a, R507 
  • Unclassifiable refrigerants: R630, R631, R12b1, R12b1, etc 

Refrigerant fluids are rarely called by their international designation because of the complexity of pronouncing their names. An abbreviation of the form R-ABCDe is preferred, R meaning refrigerant. 

  • A : number of double bonds, does not appear if equal to 0 
  • B : number of carbon atoms minus one (C-1), does not appear if equal to 0 
  • C : number of hydrogen atoms plus one (H+1) 
  • D : number of fluorine atoms (F) 
  • E : letter used to identify isomers (similar gross formula but not in its semi-developed form) 

For example, R134 is a freon composed of 2 carbon atoms, 2 hydrogen atoms and 4 fluorine atoms.

Properties of refrigerant fluids

Except for some organic compounds or hydrocarbons, refrigerants are generally not harmful to humans: they are non-flammable, non-corrosive and non-toxic. However, in case of abundant leak, they replace the breathable air, especially in poorly ventilated environments such as inhabited spaces (hotel rooms, EHPAD, nurseries, schools, dormitories, etc).  

In addition to the potential risk of anoxia, some freons also have anaesthetic properties, making them potentially dangerous, hence the need (and common sense) to set up a leak detection system.

The practical guide of the detection of refrigerant fluids

The GazDetect team provides you with a practical guide to the detection of refrigerant gases. Find in this white paper all the information and equipment available for the control of refrigerant gases in all your refrigeration applications:

The refrigerant detection practical guide