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The sensor responds to Ultra Violet (UV) and Infra Red (IR) flickering radiation emitted from flames during combustion.
The narrow spectral response (185 to 260nm) of the UV detector is completely insensitive to visible light, but quickly detects weak UV radiation emitted from flames. The UV detector also responds to high-voltage electrical discharges.
The dual IR detectors (IR2), respond to adjacent IR wavelengths (1.0 to 2.7μm), enable it to discriminate between flames and spurious IR sources. The IR detectors also respond to glowing embers but will ignore electrical discharges.
The combination of UV and IR2 detection, plus signal processing allows the sensor to be used without risk of false alarms in difficult situations characterised by factors such as flickering blackbody radiation or arc welding.
Most other UV/IR flame sensors respond to 4.3μm IR 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.