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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 triple IR photoelectric detectors (IR³), responding to neighbouring 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 with a very low risk of false alarms in difficult situations characterised by factors such as flickering sunlight.