Evaluation of the response of diffusion-type carbon monoxide sensors
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Evaluation of the response of diffusion-type carbon monoxide sensors

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      Carbon monoxide (CO) sensors are used in mine fire early-warning systems. Experiments were conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Mines with six diffusion-type CO sensors to determine their response to a reference CO concentration under both static and dynamic flow conditions. Static experiments were conducted with 0.5 L/min flow of 16 ppm CO in N2 through 8-and 12-L chambers. Dynamic flow experiments were conducted in two environmental chambers: One had directional flow capability of 1 m/s, and the second provided moderately nondirectional flow as high as 1.8 m/s. Reference CO concentrations of 13.5 to 19 ppm in air were used for the dynamic experiments. The results of the static experiments demonstrated that the sensors consistently underestimated the reference gas concentration. The dynamic experiment results showed the sensors provided reasonable agreement with the reference gas concentration when directional flow effects were not considered. Directional flow effects were evaluated for two sensors. One of the sensors showed a strong dependence upon the relative orientation of the diffusion tube with respect to flow direction. The second sensor did not show a dependence upon flow direction. The sensors' directional flow effect is significant for their proper in-mine utilization.
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