Whether it is a manufacturing plant, offshore drilling platform, or other industrial facility, keeping workers safe is always a top priority. To accomplish this, facilities rely on LEL monitors to guard against the possibility of fires or explosions due to undetected levels of dangerous gases. These devices, known as Lower Explosive Limit detectors, allow for extremely precise monitoring of gas levels in both confined spaces as well as large areas, making them a key component of most industrial safety programs. Because they have become so important in recent years thanks to technological advances, it’s crucial to have an understanding of why they work so well in a variety of situations.
One of the most vital advancements in gas detection technology, electrochemical sensing is perhaps the biggest reason LEL sensors have gotten a reputation for accuracy and reliability in virtually any type of industrial setting. Whereas many types of earlier gas detectors relied on only one particular pathway to detect gases, an electrochemical LEL gas detector uses various pathways to quickly detect high levels of dangerous gases. Using both open path and sample draw detection, these LEL detectors can detect gas levels at much smaller amounts, allowing engineers to make the necessary changes in equipment before a situation becomes critical.
When potentially dangerous gas levels are detected, it’s vital those in the surrounding area be notified as quickly as possible. To accomplish this, an LEL gas leak detector is often equipped with multiple types of alarm systems, allowing it to be effective in many different work environments. For example, if the sensors are installed in a large area where noise may hinder a worker’s ability to hear sirens, they can instead look to warning lights or flashing strobes that change colors to alert them of nearby danger. Likewise, if the detectors are installed in areas where workers are spread out and may be unable to visually detect lights and strobes, sirens can be used very effectively as a warning system.
Needless to say, because these detectors are responsible for discovering very small amounts of potentially lethal gases, they must be properly calibrated to provide accurate and reliable results 24/7. To do so, they have been equipped with technology allowing them to be calibrated both on-site and from remote locations. If calibrated on-site, technicians use controlled amounts of gas to gauge the sensor’s effectiveness. However, if calibrated from a remote monitoring center, engineers use sophisticated computer programs to run simulations, allowing them to then calibrate the sensors.
To ensure monitoring is as effective as possible, today’s Lower Explosive Limit detectors use wireless networks to stay online day and night. By doing so, engineers can monitor data in real-time, and can add as many as 12 more sensors to an existing network if needed, giving them even greater monitoring flexibility. Not only can they monitor more areas with this technology, but also make quicker decisions should an emergency situation present itself that requires evacuations.