Whether it is a confined space inside a chemical processing plant or an isolated area on a natural gas pipeline or offshore drilling platform, the threat of a toxic or combustible gas buildup is always possible. In these and other work environments, engineers often recommend installing infrared LEL gas leak detectors so that potentially dangerous gas buildups can be quickly detected and stopped before a catastrophic event occurs. While offering many benefits, these detectors also come with many aspects of advanced technology that must be well-understood to ensure maximum effectiveness. To learn if LEL gas detectors are right for you, here is additional information regarding their risks and rewards.
Since these LEL detectors contain state-of-the-art electronics and infrared technology, they can often cost in excess of $5,000 or more. Because of this, they may be cost-prohibitive to some companies that have smaller operating budgets. However, they are known for being very accurate and reliable, which often gives companies a good investment for their money due to the many years these detectors will perform at high levels.
Due to the electronics contained in these LEL sensors, they come enclosed in protective magnetic shields. Along with offering protection against dust and dirt, humidity levels, and temperature extremes, these shields will also allow the sensors to maintain their ability to self-calibrate. By doing so, the real-time data they transmit to monitoring personnel is virtually guaranteed to be accurate and reliable.
Monitoring for Various Gases
With the introduction of infrared technology in recent years, LEL monitors now possess the capability to scan for multiple gases at the same time. Because of this, the monitors can be used in a wider array of work settings, opening up their use to more companies in various industries. As a result, the monitors can scan for such gases and substances as methane, benzene, propane, butane, and many others, adding to their ability to keep workers in a facility much safer.
While in years past many facilities required the installation of multiple sensors to maintain accurate monitoring capabilities, today’s infrared LEL technology now makes it possible to use only one monitor that is placed in a central location. With this capability, more companies may be able to afford this type of monitoring. Though the cost of the one monitor may be several thousand dollars, needing to purchase only one may make it a more attractive option for smaller companies.
With many of today’s infrared sensors also using open path technology, they are able to be placed in some of the toughest work environments. Whether it is an offshore drilling platform where high temperatures and humidity levels will be present, manufacturing plants where equipment vibrations will be occurring, or chemical processing plants that contain numerous confined spaces, the use of open path technology will allow for multiple pathways to be scanned simultaneously. In doing so, the chances of harsh environmental conditions creating inaccurate and unreliable data being sent to engineers are negligible.