What Is the TEL Alarm and How Is It Used?

Medical Lab Collage

What is the TEL alarm? The TEL alarm is a digital fume hood airflow monitor designed to alert laboratory staff to conditions of low airflow inside the hood. Its manufacturer, TEL, is known worldwide for their reliable airflow monitors and controls, and use of a TEL alarm ensures lab safety and energy efficiency by providing audio/visual cues in the case of insufficient (or inefficient) air movement.

 

TEL airflow monitors are available in seven models: AFA500, AFA500/BSC, AFA1000/1, AFA1000/2, AFA1000/PR, AFA4000/1, and AFA4000/2. Each offers a unique set of design features and functionality and can suit a variety of laboratory settings and company needs. The details for these models can be found at the TEL website.

 

Regardless of the specific model, the TEL alarm provides four primary benefits:

 

• Safety

 

Continuous, accurate monitoring of airflow velocity (face velocity and duct velocity)

 

• Reliability

 

Stable, reliable readings that remain accurate for years without re-calibration

 

• Reporting

 

Recorded data in the form of real-time graphs of airflow/air pressure

 

• Flexibility

 

Varied monitor models with different functions and capabilities to meet a wide range of laboratory needs

 

Because it can be easily retrofitted to existing fume hoods, the TEL alarm is also an ideal solution for adding updated safety measures to older equipment. Thanks to its many benefits, the system is quite popular worldwide; according to the manufacturer, there are currently more than 300,000 TEL airflow monitoring and control systems being used in laboratories across the globe.

 

Installation and Use of a TEL Alarm

 

Before the monitor is installed, an HVAC professional should balance the air supply and exhaust in the laboratory. After this process has been properly completed, the TEL alarm can be field-calibrated upon initial startup.

 

The device will then automatically test its functions and stabilize itself in the environment, after which it will enter normal operating mode. This indicates that the device has been calibrated successfully. Re-calibration can be performed whenever errors are suspected, but the design of the TEL alarm should give you several years before you need to do so.

 

When the device is ready for installation, the TEL airflow monitor is mounted on the front of the fume hood with an air hose connected directly to the inner chamber of the fume hood. With this positioning, the airflow monitor is able to measure the overall air pressure of the laboratory as well as the internal air environment of the fume hood. This allows the device to appropriately identify any problematic readings.

 

So long as the TEL airflow monitor is properly installed and calibrated, laboratory staff will be alerted to any dangerous readings or events with an audible alarm. Depending upon the model, the TEL alarm will also provide some manner of visual feedback in the case of an alarm event.

 

The TEL airflow monitor can also be temporarily or permanently muted if necessary. In some models, the device can even be muted when the lab is not in use via a mode called “night setback.” To enable night setback, the alarm must be wired to an external element (lighting, hood power, etc.). When that element is shut off, night setback mode will be enabled.

 

Laboratory Beakers

The Importance of Airflow and Fume Hood Safety

 

As with any laboratory procedure or equipment, safety is of the utmost importance. When it comes to fume hoods, the velocity of the airflow at the front of the fume hood—known as face velocity—is one of the key measures of performance and safety. Without proper airflow, hazardous fumes may escape the hood, creating a health and safety concern for all in the lab; not only can the fumes create respiratory distress (even with personal protective equipment), but they can create a risk of fire or explosion.

 

The escape of fumes from the hood could also potentially lead to the contamination of various reactants and products, and inefficient airflow means higher energy costs for the company or institution involved. Both of these pose major financial concerns that can be avoided by simply monitoring fume hood function. With how difficult it can be to acquire laboratory funding, it’s important to prevent such setbacks.

 

In addition to being important for employee safety and financial reasons, proper airflow and fume hood function are regulated by the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the American National Standards Institute/American Industrial Hygiene Association (ANSI/AIHA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with safety recommendations from multiple other organizations.

 

The TEL Alarm Is a Perfect Partner for Genie Scientific Fume Hoods

 

All fume hoods manufactured by Genie Scientific are UL listed and ASHRAE 110 tested, with aerodynamic airfoil design to provide the best possible ventilation. Still, even the very best of laboratory equipment can benefit from TEL alarm monitoring. By combining the high-quality construction of a Genie Scientific fume hood with the reliable measurements and reporting of a TEL alarm, you can ensure the highest level of safety for your employees and/or students.

 

Our fume hoods are designed with a steel superstructure, chemical-resistant liners, contained work surfaces, a strong chain and sash, ideal ventilation, and easily fitted exhaust collars for straightforward installation. Each of our fume hoods is highly customizable with a variety of optional fixtures and features. Choose from floor-mounted walk-in fume hoods, distillation hoods, bench-top hoods and a range of specialty hoods, then tailor your choice to meet your lab’s specific needs.

 

If you’re seeking to install fume hoods in a new laboratory or as part of a remodeling project, let our professional laboratory planning professionals help you create the most efficient, complete research space possible. Genie Scientific’s laboratory installation and planning specialists will work with you on an individual basis to develop an in-budget plan for maximum laboratory output and growth potential.

 

Should you choose to use our lab planning services, a Genie Scientific planning specialist will also help you identify any other lab furniture you may need to create an optimal workspace. Add additional storage and keep chemicals and supplies where they belong with a variety of stainless steel laboratory cabinetry and shelving. Replace or supplement old lab benches and tables with new steel tables and workstations in a variety of counter top finishes.

 

Whatever furniture your laboratory needs, Genie Scientific has the quality construction and professional planning capabilities to make it happen.

 

To learn more about our stainless steel furniture, lab planning services, or how to use a TEL alarm with a Genie Scientific fume hood, browse our online catalog or contact us today at (800) 545-8816.

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