Measuring the flue gas parameters of the burner (CO, O2, and temperature, etc.)
The soot count is an important performance characteristic and in many countries an established measuring requirement. In the case of oil heating systems, this is carried out before the actual flue gas loss and CO/CO2 measurement. The soot count is a primary indicator of the quality of combustion in an oil heating system: the less soot there is, the better the combustion. Soot is a black solid comprising up to 99.5% carbon. The level of soot contamination in flue gas is established by the degree of blackening of a measurement spot on white filter paper.
The defined flue gas quantity of 1.63 l is removed through a probe shaft by means of a manually operated hand pump, or semi-automatic and electronic measuring instrument and hits the filter paper. The blackening on the filter paper is then compared with the 10 grey shades of a soot count scale.
This measurement is taken three times in a row to establish an average value and allow comparison with the maximum permitted soot count; this is significant for determining the operational reliability and therefore approval of an oil heating system.
The soot spot can also be tested for oil deposits by dripping acetone on the edge of the spot. If a yellow discolouration is discerned on the soot measurement spot, this indicates oil deposits.