Test Instruments and Sensors Keep Advancing

February 16, 2009
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E Instruments Group said its new 7897 MicroTool CO Sniffer is a portable, rugged, and easy-to-use leak detection tool, which records actual CO measurements in parts per million.

CHICAGO - Test instruments, meters, sensors, and monitors continue to gain sophistication. It’s the way diagnostic tools are headed, based upon what manufacturers brought and introduced at the 2009 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo).

Amprobe (www.amprobe.com) brought plenty of new instruments to the show. It featured 18 new meters it launched late last year, which was the largest product expansion for the company in over two years. The new meters conduct a wide range of measurements, including humidity, temperature, airflow, sound, light, gas detection, distance, revolutions per minute, pressure, and cable wiring.

New to the mix are six temperature and rh meters, designed for HVAC, data centers, plant maintenance, and food and beverage:

• The TMD-10 dual temperature meter is a portable, dual-input thermometer with a digital dual display, which displays T1, T2, and T1-T2.

• The new TH-1 compact probe-style rh meter is a small, portable rh/temperature meter designed to capture quick comfort-level measurements.

• The THWD-5 is a rh and temperature meter, which records wet bulb and dew point values.

• The TR100 and TR200 temperature data loggers with digital display, along with the TR300 temperature and rh data loggers, are three compact meters designed for recording temperature readings and/or rh using these parameters: sample interval timing, start-stop, date-time, high-low alarm threshold, unit selection, and number of memory points.

• The TMA40 anemometer, rh, and temperature instrument is designed to provide three measurements in one unit: airflow (velocity or volume), rh, and temperature.

Also new for technicians:

• The LM-100 light meter and LM-120 light meter with auto ranging, are designed for simple, one-hand operation. These meters are designed to measure the visible light from fluorescent, metal halide, high-pressure sodium, or incandescent sources.

• The SM-10 and SM-20 sound meters, designed to meet the sound level measurement requirements of safety engineers; health, environmental, and industrial safety offices; and quality control in various environments.

• The CM100 CO meter, a compact-size meter for measuring and displaying the presence and level of CO, with a meter alarm that can be set to alert when CO concentration goes beyond a predetermined safety level.

• The GSD600 gas leak detector, designed for detecting methane and propane gas (natural gas). It emits a tone when gas is detected. The frequency of the beep coincides with the concentration of the gas. LEDs display the level of gas present in the area.

• The UDM45 ultrasonic distance meter with laser pointer is designed to supply ultrasonic distance measurements of the area or volume of a room. The company said users may take single distance measurements or use the UDM45 to take continuous measurements.

• The MAN02 hand-held manometer is a portable, battery-operated tool for measuring pressure level differentials.
 


DATA LOGGERS, TEMP READERS, COMBUSTION ANALYZERS

Looking at what is new in monitors and test instruments, in alphabetical order:

ACR Systems (www.acrystems.com) announced the re-release of its SmartReader Plus 4 low-pressure differential data logger. The company said the instrument has “extra-fine pressure resolution” for commissioning, testing, and balancing HVAC systems. Typical applications include monitoring differential pressure across the air filter bank, building pressure, and air duct velocity and volume.

Ashcroft (www.ashcroft.com) featured six new pressure and temperature instruments. The company said its new CXLdp static and velocity pressure transmitter is engineered to provide reliable static or velocity pressure measurement in comfort control systems. A small housing and multiple mounting options allows the CXLdp to be mounted on a DIN rail, wall, or in-plenum. The transmitter is available in ranges from 0/0.1 through 0/25 inch H2O and in accuracies of ±0.8 percent and ±0.4 percent full scale.

The GC55 is a new wet/wet high differential pressure transducer designed for filter monitoring, hydronic cooling and heating systems, and pump controls. A three-wire 4-20mA or 1-5vdc output signal connects the transducer to external controls or data acquisition.

Also featured was the Weksler® universal adjustable-angle glass thermometer. It is rated at ±1 percent accuracy and is available with either a 7- or 9-inch scale. It sports a 360-degree case and stem rotation and large graduations are designed to make it easy to read in nearly all types of installations. Other standard features include a high-impact, lightweight Valox® V-shaped black case, a protective glass front, and blue spirit fill that eliminates the use of mercury.

Bacharach (www.bacharach-inc.com) touted its Fyrite® Insight, a new residential five-in-one combustion analyzer. The company said it is a room air CO test instrument, flue gas CO tester, dual-channel digital thermometer (up to 999°F), and a digital manometer, which measures draft and gas pressure. Capable of providing up to 100 combustion, pressure, and temperature records, the analyzer also displays measurement results for up to eight different fuels on its backlit, custom-readout graphic LCD display. In addition, specific information can also be uploaded to a PC or printed version via an infrared printer.

EdgeTech (www.edgetech.com) featured its new HTPB Series of humidity probes. The instruments offer a variety of measurement parameters: rh, temperature, dew point, pressure, and more. The probes are adaptable for most applications, including high temperature and high pressure “while maintaining precision accuracy,” said the company.

E Instruments Group, LLC (www.einstrumentsgroup.com) introduced three new instruments at the expo. The new 7897 MicroTool CO Sniffer is a portable detection tool designed to provide CO measurements in the 0- to 2,000-ppm range. The LED display is readable in either light or dark environments. The audible and visual alarms are designed to keep the user alert of ambient CO concentrations.

Also new are the 7895 Gas Sniffer and the MicroTool P differential manometer. The company said the 7895 is equipped with a sensitive tip, designed to pinpoint small leaks of any combustible gases and hydrocarbons from piping and/or appliances. The MicroTool P has 11 pressure units, including Pa, psi, mbar, bar, mmH2O, and in. H2O.

The manufacturer also featured two “low cost” portable combustion analyzers, the Btu 1000 and the Btu 2000+. A two-year sensor warranty comes with the Btu 1000. In addition to monitoring O2, CO, CO2, excess air, and efficiency, the Btu 2000+ is now capable of monitoring NO/NOx.



Lorenzo Porto, national accounts manager with General Tools and Instruments, shows off the company’s new wireless video borescope system.

MEASURING AND TESTING

Extech Instruments (www.extech.com) featured its MO280-KH2 professional home inspection kit. The kit includes the MO280 pinless moisture meter, 42500 mini infrared thermometer, and its 39240 waterproof stem thermometer. The company said the kit aids in the identification of moisture, HVAC, electrical, and hot-water system issues. It is supplied in a storage case.

Also new is its CO250, a portable IAQ CO2 meter-datalogger. The instrument measures CO2, temperature, humidity, dew point, and wet bulb.

Fieldpiece (www.fieldpiece.com) touted three new instruments, the SRH2 diagnostic psychrometer, SCM3 CO detector, and the return of its original stick meter, HS26. The new psychrometer is designed to measure temperature and rh. It also displays rh percentage, dry bulb, wet bulb, dew point, target superheat, and target evaporator exit temperature. The K-type thermocouples measure temperature, wet bulb, and drop across the evaporator coil.

The company said its new CO detector is capable of calibrating to ambient quickly with the “zero” button. It can measure CO ppm in flue gas using the optional AOXP2 pump. Because there was a demand for it, the company brought back its HS26 stick meter, which works with all of the company’s accessory heads.

Flir (www.goinfrared.com) featured its thermal imaging infrared cameras. The new b-Series provides instant imaging, insulation alarm, dew point alarm, and is capable of displaying thermal images superimposed over a digital image. Fluke (www.fluke.com) introduced several new thermal imagers: the TiR, TiR1, Ti25, and Ti10. All Fluke imagers come with IR-Fusion® technology, which allows the user to see both ways: infrared and visual (visible light) images fused together. The company said the new TiR1 and TiR are best suited for building envelope, restoration and remediation, inspection, and roofing applications. Meanwhile, the Ti25 and Ti10 are built for tough work environments and are “ideal for troubleshooting electrical installations, electromechanical equipment, process equipment, and HVACR equipment,” said the company.

Fluke also introduced the 1735 three-phase power logger, the 975 AirMeter™, and the 902 clamp meter. The power logger is designed for conducting energy studies and basic power quality logging. The 975 AirMeter is designed to simultaneously measure, log, and display temperature, humidity, CO2, and CO on a bright, backlit LCD display. The clamp meter can be used to capture flue gas temperatures, conduct flame rod testing, measure start and run motor capacitors, and measure performance of variable-frequency drives.

General Tools and Instruments (www.generaltools.com) featured its new wireless video borescope system, the DCS1800. It is a palm-sized, portable, wireless, two-piece system, which the company said can be operated anywhere without the cable. It includes hands-free, one-handed, and two-handed modes. It can record still images or streaming video at the touch of a button, said Lorenzo Porto, a national accounts manager with the company.

GrayWolf Sensing Solutions (www.wolfsense.com) introduced a new area monitor for IAQ and for other environmental monitoring applications. It said its WolfPack is a fully modular system: plug in one, up to three, GrayWolf DirectSense® probes with up to six sensors installed per probe. A user can add a particle counter, airspeed probe, change in pressure or other sensors; up to 21 parameters may be monitored simultaneously.



Kanomax said its new Anemomaster Model 6813 is suitable for ventilation and balancing applications as well as indoor air quality investigations.

LEAK DETECTORS, INSPECTION CAMERAS, FLOW METERS

Hioki (www.hioko.com) introduced its 3197 power quality analyzer. The instrument is designed to measure inrush current, voltage swell, voltage dips, plus measure and record power and power factors.

Inficon (www.inficon.com) displayed its new Whisper ultrasonic leak detector, designed to allow technicians to detect pressured gas, vacuum, pneumatics, and steam trap leaks, as well as worn bearings and electrical arching. The company said the tool is suited for noisy environments, such as mechanical rooms, because its internal noise control “ensures the instrument is unaffected by audible noise.” It comes with a plastic carrying case, batteries, and headphones, and an optional ultrasonic transmitter provides additional functionality for a variety of applications, the company said.

The company also featured its new Pilot Plus digital vacuum gauge. With its Pirani sensor technology, the gauge is designed to provide greater accuracy in the evacuation of air conditioning and refrigeration systems, said the company.

Kanomax USA (www.kanomax-usa.com) introduced a new line of rotating vane anemometers. The Anemomaster™ Model 6812, 6813, and 6815 are suitable for HVAC ventilation and balancing applications, as well as for IAQ investigations, said the company. According to the manufacturer, all three meters have a high accuracy of 1 percent for air velocity measurement. In addition to air velocity measurements, the Model 6812 adds volume calculations and the Model 6813 adds air temperature measurements. The Model 6815 includes air velocity, air temperature, and rh measurement functions.

There are two air velocity vane probes available for the 6810 Series, including the AP275, which is 2.75 inches in diameter with a measurement range of 40 to 7,800 fpm, and the AP100, which is 1 inch in diameter with a measurement range of 60 to 6,800 fpm, said the manufacturer.

Kavlico Corp. (www.kavlico.com) launched a new line of sealed industrial pressure sensors that incorporate a stainless steel diaphragm in an all-welded 304L stainless steel housing, “making them well-suited for hostile environment applications,” said the company. The sensors utilize the company’s oil-filled piezoresistive (PRT) sensing technology. Pressure ranges are available from 0-100- through 0-5,000-psi absolute or sealed gauge for the models P251/P251R and 0-6 through 0-400 bar.

The company also featured its new low-pressure sensors for pressure measurement applications in next-generation modulated furnaces. The Model P992 is suited to measure airflow while the P356 is designed to measure propane or natural gas flow. The manufacturer also featured its line of pressure sensors “specifically designed to address the needs of the refrigeration market.” Sensor models for refrigeration applications include the P158 refrigeration pressure sensor and the P528 high-volume refrigeration pressure sensor. Racine Federated (www.racinefed.com) introduced its RNS Series and RWS Series vortex steam flow meters. Flow rates are measured using accurate vortex shedding technology, said the company. The meters use “the smallest strut in the industry,” the manufacturer said. The meters are designed to allow for high levels of sensitivity, high turndown ratios, and low-pressure drops.

Under its Dynasonics label, the company featured its TFX ultrasonic clamp-on flow and energy meter. The unit is designed to clamp-on to the outside of existing pipe, reducing installation time and material costs. It is designed to provide accurate and repeatable flow measurement readings for full pipe liquid applications such as cooling lines. It is available as an energy flow meter measuring usage in Btu or tons, and is ideal for retrofit or chilled water applications, the company said.

Rigid Tool Co. (www.rigid.com) featured the portable microExplorer™ digital inspection camera. The monitoring tool can capture high-resolution JPG images or AVI video. It uses a rechargeable lithium ion battery.



UEi president Michael Kane shows off the company’s Smart Bell Combustion Meter™, which captured an AHR Expo Innovation Award.

MORE GAUGES, MONITORS AND DETECTORS

Robinair (www.robinairhvac.com) has expanded the coverage of its popular Two Way Standard Side Wheel Manifold. New models now feature gauges that measure various combinations of the most common refrigerants found in the HVACR industry. Designed for accuracy and ease of use, the products feature easy-to-read universal gauges protected with Lexan™ lenses. Improved face seal valves are designed to provide a tighter seal, less wear, and improve flow. Sealed Unit Parts Co. (www.supco.com) featured its new IAQ50 wall-mounted IAQ monitor and its new IAQ55 handheld indoor quality monitor. The instruments measure CO2, temperature, and humidity with dew point and wet bulb. Both come equipped with a triple LCD display and programmable alarms.

Testo (www.testo.com) released its new Saveris™ system for monitoring temperature and humidity in industrial control, food service, and processing applications via either wireless or Ethernet connection. According to the company, Saveris consists of three main components: wireless and/or Ethernet probes, a base, and system software. The probe-to-base transmission path is approximately 328 feet at a frequency of 2.4 GHz. The base records only the data from the probes and will sound an alarm if, for any reason, the link is ever interrupted, the company said. In that event, the data in both the probe and the base are completely secure until operation is resumed.

Testo also introduced its new 880 thermal imager, designed to see missing insulation, leaks in heating and cooling systems, and hidden wet areas quickly and easily. All models feature a large, full-screen display, and ergonomic design. A digital camera and reporting software are for documentation.

Thermal Gas Systems Inc. (www.thermalgas.com) showed its new wireless CO detection and ventilation control system, the Parkguard S/T wireless. The monitoring instrument was developed for large enclosed parking structures. It continuously monitors CO concentrations. If CO values exceed set limits, dampers and supply and exhaust fans are engaged via wireless remote relay modules, said the company.

TPI Corporation (www.tpi-thevalueleader.com) introduced three new hand-held particle counters: the 1020, 1025, and 1030. The concentration range for the counters is 0 to 3 million particles per cubic foot. Also new are three handheld IAQ meters. The 1008 Model measures CO2 and temperature. The 1010 Model provides the same, but includes CO and humidity measurement. The 1011 Model includes air velocity measurement.

TSI Inc. (www.tsi.com) featured its new Dust Trak II and DRX aerosol monitors. Each provides data logging, light-scattering laser photometers “that give you real-time aerosol mass readings,” said the company. The monitors measure aerosol contaminants such as dust, smoke, fumes, and mists. The instruments can be used for IAQ investigations and outdoor environmental monitoring, said the company.
UEi (www.ueitest.com) captured an AHR Expo Innovation Award for its Smart Bell Combustion Meter™, which measures CO2 and flue temperature and can be used to adjust combustion appliances such as small boilers, furnaces, and water heaters. The Smart Bell uses electro-optical sensor (EOS) technology, which the company said is new to portable flue gas instruments. This technology is designed to eliminate the need to replace oxygen sensors periodically, which lowers the cost of ownership for the user, “while providing a far more precise method of testing when compared to traditional wet-chemical kits,” said president Michael Kane.
The company also introduced the G2 Phoenix Pro, a clamp meter for electrical contractors.

Weiss Instruments (www.weissinstruments.com) displayed its new infrared thermometer, the IR921. It has a 9:1 ratio, laser pointer, pistol grip design, and is backlit.

Wika (www.wika.com) introduced its air2guide family of differential pressure gauges. The gauges are designed to measure low-pressure ranges from 1 to 25 in. wc. The company said the gauges feature a two-part measuring system that separates the media from case components. Standardized case designs allow mechanical and electrical output configurations to utilize identical components and permit the replacement of only the measuring system, it said.

The company also introduced the R-1 pressure transmitter, designed for refrigeration and HVAC applications. It features all-stainless steel construction and is available in ranges from 100-850 psi, including vacuum. The company said it provides a linear, amplified output with short-circuit, reverse polarity, and overvoltage protection.

Wohler (www.wohlerusa.com) featured its XWA11V walk-in alarm and light manager. It monitors the daily operation of walk-in coolers. It notifies when the door should be closed and sets off alarms when lighting is still on.

Publication Date: 02/16/2009
 

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