VESDA aspirating smoke detectors are used in a wide range of industrial applications; some of which are extremely challenging environments. On occasion, these applications require detectors to be installed in areas that are close to or outside the operating temperature range of the detector.
These situations mean that designers often reject VESDA as an option and revert to other types of detection technology. However, in other situations, and without proper advice and consideration, detectors are located in housings that are unsuitable for the environment or inappropriate locations that could cause ongoing performance issues and reduce the life of the detector.
However, there is a way in which VESDA detectors can still be installed in areas outside of their operating temperature range and still perform within their operating parameters.
Thermoelectric cooling is commonly used in portable coolers for camping (which can reduce the temperature by up to 20 degrees below the ambient), for cooling electronic components, and in small instruments. Some electronic devices intended for military use are also thermoelectrically cooled.
Thermoelectric cooling operates by the Peltier effect. The cooling device has two sides, and when a DC electric current flows through the device, it brings heat from one side to the other, so that one side gets cooler while the other gets hotter. The “hot” side is attached to a heat sink so that it remains at ambient temperature, while the cool side drops below room temperature. In instances where lower temperatures are required, multiple coolers can be cascaded together.
Single plate cooling devices for cooling small enclosures are available and are fairly inexpensive. For larger enclosures, more complex units that incorporate small fans and have greater cooling capabilities are available.
Thermoelectric coolers can be used to cool industrial enclosures and provide a variety of significant advantages in certain applications. In particular, by using an enclosure that employs thermoelectric cooling, VESDA can be used in temperatures that exceed the maximum temperature rating of the device.
Thermoelectric modules can also work as heating elements. This means that they can be used in conjunction with VESDA when the temperature of the area that the detector is installed is below the detectors recommended temperature range. This feature is particularly useful if thermal cycling is required or when seasonal temperature changes require dual functionality.
Xtralis and Eurofyre have successfully supplied heat control solutions for VESDA detectors located in harsh environments for many years. Applying thermoelectric cooling or heating to enclosures where VESDA equipment is housed requires technical expertise to ensure that the correct device is used and suitable for the required application. Therefore, please speak to Eurofyre to make sure that the best solution is provided.
For more information about VESDA aspirating smoke detection, or to discuss any of the other products that Eurofyre have to offer, please feel free to get in touch either by phone on +44 (0) 1329 835 024, by email to [email protected] or via the online enquiry form situated on our contact page.