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Solar Heating of Stack-Mounted Equipment

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Many AMETEK Land products are designed to be mounted outdoors, often high on a flue gas stack or duct. The list includes the 4500 MkIII opacity monitor, WDG-1200 insitu oxygen analyser and Model 9100 cross-stack carbon monoxide analyser. They are all robust products, designed to handle driving rain and a wide range of ambient temperatures, so it is tempting to mount them on the most convenient location and let them do their stuff. However, it is worth giving some thought to the extreme conditions they can experience so they have the best chance of a long period of accurate measurements.

The effect of sunlight should not be underestimated, especially at low latitudes. The upper temperature limit for the 4500 MkIII is 55 °C (131 °F) and it is unlikely that the ambient temperature will exceed this anywhere on the surface of the earth. However, the combination of an ambient temperature in the region of 40 °C (104 °F) and solar radiation of 1000 W/m2 can easily take the enclosure temperature outside of the specified range. The consequence is both short-term drift and a reduction in long-term reliability. Such aggressive conditions also make it difficult for a service engineer to operate effectively, so routine servicing and calibration may have to be performed only in the early morning when conditions are more benign.Blog Solar Heating

Fortunately, there are steps we can take to make life easier for our equipment. The first is to install it in a shaded location, if possible. Low-level ducts leading to the stack may be shaded, or the annular space between the flue and the concrete stack are suitable. If a stack mount is essential, a simple shade can be provided. Alternatively, a purpose-made AMETEK Land weather cover provides shade as well as protection from driving rain.

Photo credit: Jeff Wheeler

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