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Making the best use of technology with your Flue Gas Analyser saves you time and money, reduces downtime, makes you look professional and reduces your liability in case of an accident – Peter Philpott from TPI Europe explains more.
The cost of not being able to complete a job can prove to be expensive and causes many frustrations for you and your customer. The cost could even be higher when it comes to your liability in case of an accident.
Combustion analysis is vital to the safety and performance of heating equipment and gas appliances. Modern working practices and an increasingly competitive marketplace require an analyser to do more than sample gas. Given this increased level of complexity, the FGA/ECGA has become an essential piece of equipment for installations, commissioning, servicing, and maintenance of a gas appliance.
Ensuring the highest level of operational reliability comes with product specification and design. Having introduced a system over eight years ago, at TPI we continue to use this proven method of avoiding water and dust ingress, with a pump protection filter and a water-stop disc filter in the lid of the FGA’s robust water-trap housing.
Even during the design stage, when re-imagining the Flue Gas Anaylser itself, we have ensured that they will reduce downtime and any risk of incorrect readings.
Technology helps here by alerting the user if the flow rate is compromised, shutting off the pump and only allowing the user to restart the pump once the blockage is clear. In fact, this can all be done remotely, via Bluetooth, with the TPI View app and our DC710 instrument.
It is equally as important to look for FGAs that have ‘calibration countdown clocks’ which will alert the user one month prior to the next calibration due date. Better still, the TPI View app colour codes the next calibration due date, alerting the user when calibration is nearing and then preventing the user from accessing the flue gas analysis section when calibration is overdue. It also goes one step further in allowing the user to book in the return of the DC710 through the app, making the whole process easy and less time consuming.
As well as using technology to keep your FGA running on a day-to-day basis, there are many advantages to the engineer which can help streamline their businesses by providing some, or in the case of the TPI DC710 and the accompanying TPI View app, all of the following features:
• Colour coded, green, amber, red readings, such as ‘in-spec’ ratio etc… making it easier to identify any issues
• Eliminate human error by auto populating sets of readings directly into a Landlord Gas Safety Record
• Name sets of readings for easy identification such as ‘high’ or ‘low’ rate tests
• Organise these sets of readings into an easy-to-navigate job management tool
• Add results and/or tests from other sources such as let-by/tightness tests, ambient CO2 tests, or flow & return temperature readings
• Allow each job to have an easily identifiable reference
• Allow each job to be signed off by the customer for added confirmation of a job completed
• Email completed jobs to multiple recipients, which is invaluable when submitting proof of sub-contract work, or for multinational organisations taking liability for assigned works
However, where using this type of technology really protects the engineer is that each and every report created is not only time and date stamped but also has a GPS location. This provides the user with unequivocal proof that the readings taken were done so using a working, in-calibration FGA, and records the exact time, date and location where the tasks were performed.
Moving forward, with new technology it will become easier to integrate FGAs into existing systems, such as what we have already achieved with the Expert Trades Office app, making them an even more essential tool, but one that the engineer feels is adding more than just readings to his portfolio.
In short, making the best use of modern technology can help to reduce costs, make an engineer’s workload lighter and keep the FGA running from day to day. It also streamlines the annual recalibration and provides security for the contractor/organisation and the engineer, and – most importantly – overall protection for the customer.