Refrigerant Leak Testing

Category: Refrigerant Leak Testing
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UK:  The revolutionary RCS-Bacharach PGM-IR Portable Refrigerant Leak Detector has been shortlisted by judges at the RAC Cooling Industry Awards 2014.

The PGM-IR, a joint entry in the awards by RCS Energy Management and partners Murco, has been shortlisted in the Refrigeration Innovation category.

The PGM-IR represents a breakthrough in portable monitor technology for analysing and checking halogen-based refrigerant levels.

In addition to its portability, its advances include the detection and display of actual concentrations in real time.

This means it doesn’t zero out background concentrations, that it’s not looking for changes in concentration and, crucially for many refrigeration applications, that it isn’t disrupted by changes in temperature.

This, combined with highly sensitive 1ppm detection and fast response and clearing times, makes it possible to detect for the first time low level leaks in areas which render traditional leak detection technology ineffective – places such as already contaminated areas, the inside of chiller cabinets, and even outside the store.

RCS Commercial Manager Simon Grater said: “We are delighted that the RAC Cooling Awards judges have recognised the breakthrough nature of the PGM-IR in this way. “Everyone who has used the unit has quickly identified its power and potential – that it can locate for the first time the smallest leaks in the hardest to reach areas, and them prioritise where their leak prevention resources need to be deployed.

“We looking forward to the Awards night in September and fingers crossed that the PGM-IR is as successful in the awards as it is already proving to be in the market!”

For further product information visit: or contact Simon Grater directly on 01635 231600.

The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on 24th September at the London Hilton.

The 2013 Institute of Refrigeration (IoR) Annual Conference ‘REAL Zero 2013 and beyond: containment, efficiency and alternative refrigerants. Strategies and priorities for future proofing the industry’ took place on the 2nd December 2013 in London.  In a paper presented at the 2013 conference, Jane Gartshore from Cool Concerns Ltd looked at the impact of Real Zero and the lessons that the industry has learned.


Real Zero highlighted the scale and impact of leakage and raised the importance of leak reduction within the RAC industry. Part of its success has been in the branding of leakage reduction – from “Real Zero caps” for Schrader valves to a “Real Zero installation”. It has raised the profile of leakage and increased awareness. This paper discusses the lessons we learned and those we should have learned.  Leakage has always been an issue for the RAC industry and leakage issues have not fundamentally changed for decades. Leakage is why we had to change from ozone depleting refrigerants and why we are now facing a potential phase out of F Gas refrigerants.

Historically leakage issues have evolved from CFCs to HCFCs to HFCs. In some cases leakage has been exacerbated by retrofitting systems, for example by the effect of the conversion process itself on seals and gaskets. Many CFC and HCFC systems have been converted and little was done to repair leakage - reducing the ODP of the refrigerant was the sole aim.  The aim of Real Zero was to provide the resource to enable a fundamental change of attitude to one which prioritises leak reduction – whatever the refrigerant.

The full programme of papers and presentations can be downloaded here:

About Jane Gartshore BSc FInstR MASHRAE

Jane started her career as a graduate engineer working on the test, design and development of commercial compressors and condensing units.  She later moved into technical sales, preparing technical literature, carrying out training sessions, sizing equipment as well as troubleshooting and liaising with distributors worldwide.  Since 1991 she has carried out a wide range of consultancy and training work in the UK and overseas. She is immediate past president of the UK Institute of Refrigeration.