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Commonly Available Combustion Analyzers

written by: Erik Hinrichsen • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 9/18/2010

This article provides a survey of some of the most popular combustion analyzers on the market. This review goes over some of the cheaper models, which are optimal for technicians, and more feature-rich models for engineers.

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    What are Combustion Analyzers for?

    The combustion analyzer is an indispensable tool in the arsenal of HVAC technicians and engineers. Combustion analyzers are used to check on the efficiency of a burner during the combustion process. They do this by indicating some of the byproducts of combustion, whose prevalence can be used to determine how complete combustion is. Certain compounds are more common in incomplete combustion, such as carbon, and indicate waste. There are several types of commonly available combustion analyzers, which are most often used in the field by HVAC technicians and other engineers. Firefighters can also use combustion analyzers to determine the cause of a fire and other useful information.

    Another increasingly common use of combustion analyzers is to measure the efficiency of car engines. Several states and cities now use combustion analysis tools to rate the efficiency of various automobiles; individuals can also use this technology to locate any inefficiencies or other problems in their internal combustion engines.

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    Popular Combustion Analyzers - The Testo 327

    testo 327   The Testo 327 is a very popular combustion analysis tool. It costs somewhere around $820, though this price can vary significantly depending on the vendor. The device is a basic, entry-level model; it was designed with heating technicians in mind. It can be used to measure combustion efficiency, temperature, oxygen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and flue draught levels. It is a rugged, sturdy instrument, and can measure temperatures from -40 to 932 Fahrenheit.

    Manufacturer: Testo Inc.

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    Bacharach PCA 2 and PCA 3

    pca 3   The Bacharach PCA 2 is another good option for portable combustion analysis (PCA). Bacharach manufactures a number of models of the PCA 2, such as the Bacharach 247189. The newest model is the PCA 3, which boasts several upgrades to increase its utility. The standard model can measure O2, CO2, CO, and flue oxygen level, but optional upgrades allow it to measure nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. Alternatively, users can purchase these sensors separately and add them on during operation. The extra sensitivity and range of gases measured make this a good choice for engineering analysis in the field.

    Manufacturer: Bacharach Inc.

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    Fyrite Tech 50/60

    tech50   The Tech 50 and Tech 60 are designed to be affordable electronic combustion analysis tools. With a cost under 500 dollars for the Tech 50, these models are some of the least expensive on the market. The Tech 50 measures O2 and ambient/stack temperature, and calculates combustion efficiency, CO2, and excess air. The Tech 50 measures all the previous items plus carbon monoxide, and calculates air free CO levels in addition to the originally measured items.

    Manufacturer: Bacharach Inc.

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    Madur GA-12 and GA-12plus

    ga 12plus   The GA-12 handheld combustion analyzer is a device from manufacturer Madur. While the GA-12 is very inexpensive, it lacks some of the features of the GA-12plus, which measures CO, CO2, O2, pressure, flow velocity, and relative humidity. With optional upgrades, the device can also detect NO, NO2, and SO2 levels.

    Manufacturer: Madur USA