Air Date: 4-29-2011|Episode 206
This week we will LEARN MORE about the technology behind the instruments we use with Rick Stonier Managing Partner at Graywolf Sensing Solutions...
This week we will LEARN MORE about the technology behind the instruments we use with Rick Stonier Managing Partner at Graywolf Sensing Solutions. Mr. Stonier has over 25 years of experience in design, production, sales and marketing of IAQ instrumentation. He is the Managing Partner at GrayWolf Sensing Solutions, a Connecticut based company with manufacturing in Ireland and worldwide sales of mobile PC based IAQ instrumentation. Mr. Stonier has a BS in Mechanical Engineering and has had an active involvement with ASHRAE’s TC 1.2 Instruments & Measurements committee for many years. We will discuss the nuts and bolts behind the measurement of Temperature, Relative Humidity, particulate, VOC’s, Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide, pressure differentials and more.
Instrumental in instrumentation
On today’s episode# 206 of IAQradio, Rick Stonier gave listeners a primer on sensing instruments. Rick has over 25 years experience in the design, production, sales and marketing of IAQ instrumentation. He is the managing Partner of GrayWolf Sensing Solutions a firm that manufactures and markets mobile PC based IAQ instrumentation worldwide.
Nuggets mined from today’s show:
•The potential financial opportunity of capitalizing on proposed IAQ legislation was the motivating factor which got Rick’s business into the IAQ field.
•Read the manuals that come with your instruments.
•Calibrate your instruments.
•Periodically change sensors. Some sensors, like batteries, are self-consuming and deplete over time whether being used or not.
•Electrochemical sensors may offer the options of low and high range. Rick suggests that the low range carbon monoxide sensor would be most useful to IEPs in most situations.
•Diffusion is the working principle of many sensors.
•Sensors can, depending on their type. provide either a general indicator of what’s going on such as VOCs or specifically measure a gas such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide or ozone.
•Rapid response is very important. Technicians may become impatient waiting for sensor reading and use invalid measurements.
•Drift- is the gradual change in the output of a sensor over time.
•What is the effect of airborne contaminates on sensors? Cigarette smoke in smoking lounges is the primary sensor contaminate of concern to IEPs. Sensor contaminates may be a concern in industrial settings.
•Using instrument to measure pressure differentials in buildings can help resolve IAQ problems i.e. carbon monoxide from car exhausts being drawn in from garages, stack effect, etc.
•Before Photo Ionization Detectors “PIDs” were developed most sensors relied on tin or other metal oxides. Metal oxide sensors have an inherent flaw, cross sensitivity to methane.
•PIDs can detect some specific gases in the PPM and PPB ranges. PIDs can be a valuable screening tool when used like a “bloodhound” to sniff odors and gases within a building.
•Sensing instruments can be a valuable precursor prior to air sampling.
Restoration technician/ IEP tips:
1) cutting a suitable sized hole to accommodate a sensor in a Styrofoam cut enables an IEP to monitor Temp/RH and GPP on airstreams from HVAC diffusers.
2) IEPs and restoration technicians should consider adding a line item onto their invoicing to cover the costs of instrument calibration, sensor use & depletion.
Significant and impressive progress has been made in sensing instruments, we are getting much closer to the day when an IEP will be able to use one instrument like Spock in Star Trek to analyze an indoor or the outdoor environment.
Today’s Music: “Every Measurement You Take” by Bill Nye the Science Guy
Z-Man Signing Off