Wireless alarms have increased the safety of commercial and industrial companies while decreasing the cost of installing and maintaining them. Overall, it’s a win-win.
So, just how do these wireless systems perform their jobs of monitoring toxic and explosive gas levels while keeping people safe? Read on to find out.
The first step of defense in these amazing devices is a highly-sensitive sensor. The sensors contain an electronic mechanism that operates in one of two ways. The first is a sensor that emits a continuous electronic signal. These are found more on wired systems, although they have uses in wireless setups, too.
The second is a sensor that emits no electronic signal at all, sometimes called no-signal sensors. These are more common in wireless systems because they use less electricity and can be run on batteries.
Both types of sensors contain reactive chemicals inside. As gases, such as carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, or even oxygen, distribute through a room, chemical reactions take place within the sensors.
In continuous units, the chemical reactions between the dangerous gases and the chemicals in the sensor block the transmission of the signal. In no-signal sensors, the chemical reaction creates a path for electricity to flow across the sensor. When the standard state of the circuitry in these sensors changes, the sensors relay the information back to the wireless alarm systems.
Radio, Wi-Fi, and Other Wireless Communication
Depending on the size and the technology of the sensor and its system, the information gained from the sensors is sent by radio, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or other wireless transmissions to a central hub. At least, they are when they are connected to a wireless system. (Some sensors are independent of a central hub.)
This hub can be wired to keep it powered at all times and fed into a computer for data analysis and record keeping. However, it also monitors input from all sensors included on the system to alert of potential problems.
Since some of the gases that can build up are not only toxic but explosive (such as oxygen), the dangers and risks related to the gas build up don’t always apply to the people in the area of highly concentrated gases. If one sensor trips, all of the alarms on the system will sound.
Many of the sensors contain at least one main form of transmitting information (usually radio), and sometimes a secondary (such as Wi-Fi) to maintain constant communication. However, the word “wireless” often relates to the way the devices communicate, as many are hardwired for power.
Wireless systems are also useful for other industries, such as deep-sea and land oil drilling. Sensors, with attached power units, can be placed along pipes and vents undersea and deep within the Earth’s core to monitor the level of gases (and fluids).
Because the information can be transmitted without the use of miles of wire, their technology makes them amazingly cheap for monitoring activity in these situations.