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Free app boosts productivity by calculating fire extinguisher fill levels

12 June 2020

FIELD SERVICE technicians can now benefit from a new Link Instruments-designed app that calculates the liquid level in fire extinguishers. Using knowledge of the fill weight, the app indicates the fill level of liquid carbon dioxide in the cylinder such that technicians can easily locate the exact liquid/gas boundary by using a dedicated level checking device.

The level checking device could be a temperature sensing strip, for example, or an ultrasonic liquid level indicator like the Link Instruments ULLC2001.

Developed in-house by Link Instruments, the app is completely free of charge to download and can also be used in reverse to calculate the fill weight if the liquid level is known. Running on laptops, tablets and smart phones, both iPhone and Android, it can be used in the field even when offline.

“The convenience of this app will make servicing easier for field fire safety technicians, including in the marine sector,” said Link Instruments’ Dominique Christie. “We believe the app is the only one of its type.”

It uses the SG factors given in the Link Instruments ULLC200 instruction manual, which are based on the company’s extensive experience of testing for calibration checks on a carbon dioxide cylinder of known weight as well as tests using strip sensors and other thermal devices.

Experience indicates that the appropriate calculation factor is 1.0 for a cylinder temperature of 15°C, 0.9 for 20°C and 0.8 for 25°C, which is normally the temperature limit for testing carbon dioxide. Normally, the liquid level is found to be within 5% to 10% of calculations made using these factors.

Carbon dioxide cylinders are normally two-thirds full, with adjustments required for temperature and the operating instructions for the level checking instrument. However, using the above factors an approximate level can be produced, which is particularly useful if a 35 kg cylinder has been filled with 45 kg, for example, or where a larger cylinder has a lower volume tropical fill.

The app will also be able to work with extinguishers that use other liquid fire suppressing agents such as FM-200 and NOVEC 1230.

*For further information visit www.linkinst.com