Industry First for Icon’s Cloud Point Analyser
In an industry first, Icon Scientific is celebrating five years of consecutive use of one of its first Cloud Point analysers, installed in a French refinery in 2010.
"Our technology is a significant leap forward for the industry," said Kevin Fogarty, Managing Director at Icon. "Cloud point analysis - used to provide an indicator of the lowest temperature at which typically diesel fuel may be used - requires a sample to be cooled by a Peltier-based thermoelectric cooler until sufficient light-scatter is detected from precipitating wax crystals to trigger cloud point detection.
"While this technology is proven, for decades traditional cloud point analysers had all suffered the same flaw: moisture present in the ambient air inside an analyser air would freeze on the cell. This caused an issue during the next cycle when the cell would heat up and melt the ice. Eventually that moisture would run down onto the Peltier cooler, causing the cell to corrode and short out. Traditional cloud point analysers would fail between 4-6 times per year on this basis, forcing expensive downtime while costly replacements were fitted. The introduction of Icon’s vacuum chamber into our Cloud Point analysers has overcome this, entirely."
By consulting with customers, Icon was aware that reliability was a primary issue with the existing cloud point analysers available. Using the established technique of a Peltier-based thermoelectric cooling, Icon developed its Cloud Point analyser to incorporate the Peltier cell into a sealed vacuum chamber, protecting it from moisture damage. By using a specially-designed chamber containing the measurements which is sealed at Icon’s factory (so no vacuum pumps are required), Icon has advanced both the reliability and cost of ownership of its analysers in one go.
"The result is a cloud point analyser with a non-depleting, corrosive-proof cell," says Kevin. "That one of our first Cloud Point analysers has been in the field continually for five years without the need to replace the Peltier cell between twenty and thirty times over the same period, is testament to the durability, longevity and overall return on investment that customers can expect from all our analysers. This saving alone is worth tens of thousands of dollars over the product lifetime."
Icon’s Cloud Point analyser delivers class-leading repeatability and enhanced performance through sophisticated proprietary technologies that are more reliable than those used in traditional cloud point analysers. Exceptional measurement is achieved through a unique low mass-measuring cell, non-contact light source and the aforementioned proprietary vacuum insulation system detector. The result is outstanding thermal performance, without the need for an external cooler.
To find out more about Icon’s industry leading Cloud Point analyser, visit: http://www.iconscientific.com/products/cloudpoint