Refrigerant liquid or gas flow monitor design

Our client asked:

The client wanted to detect leaks from a refrigeration system but without breaking into the pipes. They wanted to monitor the flow through those pipes by attaching sensors to the outside of the pipe in a confined space. The state of the associated pipe valve also needed to be detected. The system needed to be self-contained and protected from the environment.

The project story:

Sagentia Innovation selected sensors required to detect the flow of both gas and liquid refrigerant fluid. We iterated the mechanical design around the sensors to ensure they were manufacturable and sealed against a hostile environment but also sensitive enough to detect the differences in flow and the valve state. Electronics and firmware were designed to interface with the sensors and to facilitate data capture. Algorithm development from the offline captured data enabled reliable flow, partial flow, or no flow to be detected, and additionally detection of the refrigerant cycle.

  • Flow and valve sensor selection
  • ‘wet lab’ flow experimentation
  • Detailed hardware design
  • Prototype build and configuration control
  • System integration and functional testing
  • Design transfer and support
  • Algorithm development

Results: deliverables and outcomes

We provided the client with a technology demonstrator that was suitable for the environment, together with data capture and analysis software. This allowed the client to perform more widespread verification testing before committing to product development.

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