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The sensor responds to low-frequency (1 to 15 Hz.) flickering IR radiation emitted from flames during combustion.
IR flame flicker techniques enable the sensor to operate through a layer of oil, dust, water-vapour, or ice.
Most IR flame sensors respond to 4.3μm light, emitted by hydrocarbon flames. By responding to 1.0 to 2.7μm light emitted by every fire all flickering flames can be detected. Gas fires not visible to the naked eye e.g. hydrogen may also be detected.
The dual IR photo-electric detectors (IR2), responding to adjacent IR wavelengths, enable it to discriminate between flames and spurious sources of IR radiation. The combination of filters and signal processing allows the sensor to be used without risk of false alarms in difficult situations characterised by factors such as flickering sunlight.