Used in various work environments where natural gas or carbon monoxide buildups are possible, catalyst sensors are relied upon to keep workers safe on a daily basis. Designed to include the latest technology in terms of alarm systems, calibration methods, and ability to withstand harsh work environments, these sensors are accurate and reliable in almost any situation. But just as it is with other types of sensors, there are factors that come into play to ensure maximum efficiency once they are installed. In considering the use of a catalytic-type gas sensor for your facility, here are some key points to keep in mind.
Open Path Technology
Using open path technology that allows for the scanning of large areas in a much quicker fashion, catalytic bead sensors are usually installed throughout a building near areas where a gas leak or buildup is most likely to occur, such as near confined spaces or close to pipes, valves, and storage tanks. However, it is important to note that when deciding on sensor placement, it is best to avoid areas where they may be experiencing long-term exposure to hydrocarbons, since this can potentially weaken the sensor’s transmission signal.
While catalyst bead sensors work well in many facilities, some companies now prefer to use standalone catalyst detectors that can be positioned in a central location. By doing so, a building will need only one monitor to scan a large area for dangerous gas buildups and leaks. However, if your company is on a budget, pay close attention to the types of detectors you purchase. For example, while bead sensors are relatively inexpensive and offer versatility in placement, standalone detectors can cost upwards of $10,000 each and may have more restrictive placement guidelines.
As with any type of gas detection equipment, catalyst monitors have specific maintenance requirements to keep them performing at a high level of accuracy and reliability. This is particularly true regarding calibration methods, which must be done on a regular basis by trained technicians or engineers. Since these detectors will be placed in areas where contamination issues from chemicals such as chlorine will be possible, technicians should regularly test the sensors by exposing them to small levels of various gases. By doing so, not only will the sensors stay active, but the data can be transmitted to engineers in real-time for immediate analysis, ensuring the sensors are in proper working order.
Shocks and Vibrations
When these detectors are placed in work areas where equipment is present, they can be subjected to varying amounts of shocks and vibrations. While most detectors can withstand this, there are times when excessive shocks and vibrations can lead to issues with sensor circuitry, raising the possibility of an occasional false reading. To avoid this, it is best to place the sensors in an area where shocks and vibrations will be limited. In many cases, portable detectors are used rather than fixed monitors, especially in areas such as confined spaces that are difficult to monitor.