Importance Of Calibration Services for Gas Detectors

Avoid Life-Threatening and Critical Situations by Periodic Re-Calibration of MSR Smart Gas Detectors

When the Gas sensor is new it comes out with factory calibration which is done under controlled environments and therefore the Gas sensor will behave according to the characteristics stated in the manufacturer specifications. During use, however, its behavior will gradually diverge from the stated specifications for a variety of reasons. Such reasons include:

  1. Mechanical/Component wear
  2. Effect of dust & dirt
  3. Fumes and chemicals in the operating environment
  4. Changes in weather
  5. Bugs and spiders
  6. Humidity.

The rate of divergence from standard specifications varies according to:

  1. Type of instrument/sensor
  2. Frequency of usage,
  3. The severity of the operating conditions.

There comes a time when the characteristics of the Gas sensor will have drifted from the standard specifications by an unacceptable amount. When this situation is reached, it is necessary to re-calibrate the sensors to the standard specifications. Such re-calibration is performed by adjusting the sensor readings output until it matches the reference gas applied to it Digitally.

Frequency of Calibration

The frequency of calibration depends upon all the above-stated factors. Sensors should be bump tested/calibrated every 6 – 12  months. This allows the sensor to perform optimally and reduce any false alarms and errors. It is recommended that at every calibration/testing sequence of programming should be checked which consists of all the equipment terminated into the gas monitoring system. Mainly these are the correct operation of exhaust fans and fresh air inlet dampers when the system is in alarm, the performance of any audio/visual alarms, signal to BAS or Fire panel.

All Gas sensors are equipped to be calibrated for a certain number of times. This derives the life expectancy of the sensor cell. All sensors have an expiry date or better-called shelf life. This shelf depends upon the gas type sensor is detecting and type of sensor. Under certain conditions, the life span range of some of the common gas type sensors by MSR Germany GmbH are as follows:

  • Carbon monoxide (CO): > 6 years
  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2): > 2 years
  • Oxygen (O2): >2 years to >7 years
  • Combustible (CH4, H2, etc.):  >3 years

In the end, We would like to conclude that, as these systems are located in your building/ Industrial premises, it is advisable to educate supervisors or maintenance personal. This can avoid many incidents and damages. Proper commissioning of new systems, field calibration of new/existing systems, an inspection of a sequence programmed (standard or customized) and inspection of all equipment (ventilation, audio/visual alarms, BAS, Fire panel) tied with our gas monitoring system should be checked.

The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today. – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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