MSA Safety: Pioneer in refrigerant leak detection systems

Dr Jason Shilliday, Business Development Manager, MSA Safety outlines evolution of MSA Safety in India, solutions and products offered by the company for India, demand for gas sensor technologies or products and many more in an email interaction with Cooling India.

Established in 1914, MSA Safety Incorporated is the global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products. When do you enter India markets and how has your business in India evolved over the years?
MSA entered the India market in 1965 as MSA (India) Limited. Our business in India has steadily increased over the last 54 years in both our gas detection products and our PPE business. We work closely with consultants and end users and educate them on gas safety and our PPE safety products and systems.

A refrigerant leak is one common air conditioning problem. How is MSA Safety geared up for this challenge?
MSA manufactures refrigerant leak detection systems which can detect leaks down to 1 part per million. This enables even the smallest leak to be detected by our systems. Refrigerant leaks cause the cooling system to operate inefficiently, consuming more electricity than required. The leaking refrigerant can also be a safety concern due to the toxic nature of some of the gases and the risk of asphyxiation as most of the refrigerants have no smell to enable the person to sense the gas.

According to you, how to select a gas detector for EN 378 safety compliance?
EN378 is a safety standard for refrigeration systems. Gas detectors should be installed if, due to a leak the volume of refrigerant in the occupied space could go above the RCL (Refrigerant Concentration Limits). RCLs are set in EN378 and ASHRAE 34. This safety standard is mostly applied to machine rooms housing water-cooled chillers and VRF systems supplying cooling to hotel rooms, also Ammonia refrigeration systems. All these systems contain large volumes of refrigerant where there is a risk of asphyxiation or worse due to a leak.

What are the required safety practices and procedures to be used in connection with refrigerant gas detection?
ASHRAE has published Standard 15 which is a safety standard for the design of refrigeration systems and Standard 34 which is the safety classification of refrigerants, both have been updated for 2019. ISHRAE has published Guidelines to document ISO5149 which highlights Chapter 8 on Alarms due to refrigerant leaks and Chapter 9 on Refrigerant Detectors. EN378 is a European standard for the safe design of refrigeration systems.

What are gas sensor technologies or products offered by MSN Safety for refrigerant leak detection that comply ISHRAE and ASHRAE safety norms?
All of our refrigerant detection systems can make refrigeration systems comply with ASHRAE and ISHRAE safety standards when refrigerant leak detection is required.

How do you envisage the demand of MSA Safety products or technologies in India?
India is a growing market with ever increasing demand for cooling, both for air conditioning and for food processing and pharmaceutical processes. Safety awareness and the adoption of international and local standards on refrigerant safety should help to grow the demand of MSA Safety products.

Do you have robust service and maintenance network for your products in India?
MSA works with authorised service centres in India who are trained to install and maintain our products.

What are your future plans to introduce refrigerant leak products in Indian market?
We are looking forward to distributing our products though new and existing distribution channels in India and are currently working with consultants in the region on improving the safety of refrigeration systems and the safety of buildings. We offer free training sessions on how to apply the latest updates on ASHRAE 15 and EN378 to buildings.