Within the oil and gas industry as well as other related industries, being able to detect for dangerous gases is a must to keep employees safe during their workday. To accomplish this, many facilities rely on Lower Explosive Limits monitors, better known as LEL monitors. Designed to detect combustible gas levels so that they do not reach levels that lead to fires or explosions, these electrochemical gas detectors play a vital role in any industrial safety program. Used in a variety of settings including offshore oil drilling platforms, gas pipelines in remote locations, and in refineries or manufacturing plants, it’s crucial to have a thorough understanding not only of their importance, but also how they work.

Electrochemical Gas Sensors

To learn how an LEL monitor works, it’s best to start by understanding how its sensors monitor for dangerous gas levels. Perhaps the biggest advantage these electrochemical toxic gas sensors offer is their ability to detect gases by way of both open paths or sample draws, enabling them to detect gases that are traveling in various pathways. By doing so, the LEL monitor has a much better chance of detecting gas levels that may just be approaching dangerous levels, rather than detecting them after they have already reached critical levels that could lead to fires or explosions.

Automatic Alarms

Along with being able to detect gas levels before they reach levels that lead to fires or explosions, LEL monitors are also equipped with an electrochemical gas sensor that can trigger automatic alarms when lower explosive limits reach percentage levels between 10-20 percent of the LEL. Able to provide greater protection to employees working in confined spaces or other hazardous areas, the alarms on the monitors are designed to sound once when gas levels near the critical stage, since this is a requirement of current federal regulations.

Accurate and Reliable Calibration

Because the environments in which LEL monitors are placed require careful and reliable monitoring to keep workers safe, they have also been designed to allow for easy calibration both on-site and from remote locations. By introducing a controlled amount of gas, the electrochemical sensor can then measure the gas and be properly calibrated. Once this is done, technicians can then create wireless connections between the LEL monitor and monitoring centers in other locations, enabling gas levels to be monitored 24/7 from different locations. Along with this, up to 12 additional sensors can be added to the monitor, letting it be used in virtually any type of work environment.

Data in Real-Time

Once a wireless connection is made, the LEL monitor is then able to transmit real-time data that on-site managers and technicians can access, as well as those monitoring the facility from an off-site monitoring center. Along with this, the sensors have displays showing concentration graphs updated in real-time, enabling safety engineers to make quick decisions if gas readings approach dangerous levels. No matter what type of workplace an LEL monitor is installed, there’s no doubt safety levels increase substantially.