Air Date: 12-6-2013| Episode: 308
This week we are going to discuss IEQ testing equipment focusing on particle counters and some new odor detection equipment with Tom Grillo of Kanomax USA…
Counting particles, one at a time
Tom Grillo, a National Sales Manager with Kanomax USA, began his career in IAQ test and measurement in 1991. Tom has experience in environmental engineering, monitoring of large remediation and outdoor air quality projects, emissions monitoring and process validation.
Nuggets mined from today’s episode:
•Two primary types of particle counters: Optical Particle Counters and Condensation Particle Counters. Most handheld particle counters are of the Optical Particle Counters (OPC) variety. Condensation particle counters are used to measure ultra fine particles 10 nanometers up to 1 micron. Particle counters count particles one at a time.
•Most particle counters use similar technologies, laser transmitters scatter light on particles which creates a signal value equated to a count. Particle counters use proprietary algorithms and firmware to count particles.
•Particle counter instrument cost is driven by sophistication, accuracy, flexibility, features, accessories and precision and time involved in production to establish the accuracy and number of size channels.
•Recommended calibration frequency for a particle counter? As instruments drift in accuracy and/or for certification purposes it’s recommended that particle counters be calibrated annually.
•How are particle counters calibrated? Calibration is performed in an laboratory environment where precision sized particles are generated. The unit being calibrated is compared to a laser particle counter.
•How does the particle generator work? The particle generation system using a specialty traceable particle (made by Thermo Scientific) and purified water or alcohol to create aerosolized, consistent size particles in the target range.
•How much does calibration cost? Calibration cost varies according to the sophistication of the instrument. ($340-$600)
•Particles >10 microns are considered too large to remain suspended, where gravity is having a much faster effect on them.
•Tools which IEPs involved with air balancing and or HVAC cleaning should consider include: pitot tubes, thermal anemometry for use with low velocities and rotating vane anemometry, and capture flow hoods for readings at diffusers and grilles. The newest technology uses Bluetooth technology to transmit information and measurements to electronic devices such as tablets and smart phones.
•IAQ 24/7 monitors measure RH, temperature, CO, CO2 and other potential gas or particulate sensors. These systems can provide around the clock information to agency or clients.
•Odor monitors? Kanomax offers 3 different odor monitors classified as a sniffer device thatdetect a range of gases and can be used by IEPs, healthcare facilities, sewage treatment to locate and pinpoint some odor emission sources.
•How can a particle counter provide a mass density reading? “Particle counters can attempt to provide mass density readings by using an algorithm that takes in to account the amount of particles counted, and the size of all particles counted, and equate that in to a mass reading (e.g. mg/m3). Most laser light scattering dust monitors or devices trying to read particulate mass values should be tested initially in a specific environment against a gravimetric lab certified sample. This allows for a correction factor to be calculated against the electronic instrument’s simultaneous reading take at the same time, so future readings are closer to the accuracy of the actual density of particles being measured in that environment.”
Today’s music: Home Improvement K&B Boys Song, YouTube
Z-Man signing off