Combustible Gas Detectors - Overview


Combustible gas detectors are the ones of the basic safety equipments required should there be combustible gas inside plant site. Auto-ignition temperature and Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) describe the potential dangers of combustible gases.

Auto-ignition climate is the lowest temperature from which combustible gas may be ignited spontaneously (self-sustained combustion), without worrying about source of ignition. Meanwhile, Lower Explosive Limit or LEL is the lowest concentration of combustible gas in mid-air that will propagate flame when encountered with a source of ignition.

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There's 2 types of combustible gas detectors in market. The initial type is electrocatalytic (catalytic bead), which is also referred to passive sort of gas detector. The other type is infrared detector, which uses infrared absorption as detecting technology. It's the active type.

Electrocatalytic type is trusted in various industries and customarily applied as single-point detectors for combustible gases. The operating principle is based on oxidation reaction of combustible gas and oxygen from your air on the heterogeneous catalytic element. Heat through the reaction heats the platinum coil embedded in the catalyst this also change resistance from the coil. Then, it can be measured and monitored.

There's 2 factors that affect the sensitivity of catalytic type gas detectors, i.e. blockage in the flame arrestor by which combustible gas flows through and poisoning in the active bead. Besides, mechanical failure is quite possible caused by vibration. Vibration can break the platinum wire.

Benefits of electrocatalytic sensors are relatively low unit cost, basic and better accuracy weighed against other detection methods.

Alternatively, infrared type detectors detect the use of any combustible gas determined by infrared radiation absorption at the certain wavelengths.

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Some key important things about infrared type are free of charge of maintenance because calibrated by the factory, can be used for single-point and open path devices, can be located at inaccessible location inside the plant site, no chemical poisoning possibility, don't safe technology, doesn't need oxygen to measure combustible gas concentration, internal compensation virtually eliminates span drift and befitting continuous gas environment.

If you want to choose which combustible gas detectors you should obtain, read the following tips. You need a short research before making any selection. Here are tips.

 1. Determine clearly your particular requirements of combustible gas detectors

 2. Select multiple or single types. Some gas detectors can also detect other gases instead of only combustible gases, such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ammonia and so on.

 3. Check the detection range of combustible gases. It implies check its percentage of Lower Explosive Limit (LEL). The detectors a minimum of should be capable of detecting 10%~15% with the lower LEL. Give this specification more attention, since this will give you more time for you to take actions when gas leak is detected.

 4. Select which type of detecting sensors is suitable for your needs.

 5. Get information about battery and sensors lifetime. Almost all of the important when you need to exchange them.

 6. Decide which alarms are required to alert gas leakage. Sound or light, or might be both.

 7. Receive the spare parts price of the detectors, mainly the sensors. Do not select a gas detector when unit expense of one unit is virtually same with sensor's price.

 8. Select only detectors that certified by common standards or even the government.

 9. Pay for trusted manufacturers only. Look for testimony from others.


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