All refrigeration systems should be leak tight. This is easier said than done in commercial refrigeration applications. While domestic systems can remain leak tight their whole life many commercial systems develop a refrigerant leak in their operating life.
Regular leak testing is a way to detect leaks early before they develop into a major event. Regular leak testing is important for three reasons:
- Safety-even modest quantities refrigerant can cause asphyxiation. Releasing liquid refrigerant can cause frost burn if it contacts the skin. All business are required to keep their employees and customers safe.
- Environmental-knowingly releasing refrigerant into the atmosphere contravenes the Law because it is bad for the environment.
- Economic-Refrigerant prices are high and getting higher because of the carbon tax. It makes no sense to be buying refrigerant to top up a leaking system. Clearly, a leak-tight plant is optimum. Systems that are low on refrigerant consume more power and risk the failure of expensive components.
During regular leak detection procedures, the aim is to find the smallest leak possible. This requires special instrumentation that operates at the Minimum Detection Level (MDL). Thermo Tech has invested in the Bacharach H25-IR Pro Industrial leak analyser which can detect leaks down to 0.85g per annum.
When using an instrument with MDL capability refrigerant leaks can be detected before they become a significant problem. Therefore all commercial refrigeration system should have a regular leak detection protocol with an MDL instrument. The intention of commercial refrigeration maintenance is to identify and remedy issues before they become significant.
If the refrigerant leak is not detected at the minimum level the system will need to show signs of failure before detection is possible. In commercial systems the first the owner/operator will know about the failure is high temperature and possible loss of product. By this time a significant portion of the refrigerant charge will have been released to the atmosphere, system componentry will have been subject to stress and the cost of repair will be many times the cost of the maintenance visit.
Leak detection in particular and maintenance in general increases equipment life, efficiency and reliability for a fraction of the cost of a single breakdown event. Add to this the more difficult costs to calculate like disruption to business, product loss or deterioration and stress!
Make sure your commercial refrigeration systems are subject to a regular refrigerant leak detection program and maintenance by Thermo Tech. Remember only MDL capable instruments will detect leaks before they become an identifiable problem. This, in turn, allows our Technician time to remedy without disruption to the business. Please Call Thermo Tech Today!