In many oil and gas work environments, gas leaks can lead to serious health and safety hazards for workers as well as others located nearby. To guard against this, VOC sensors are placed in strategic locations to ensure the presence of volatile organic compounds is detected in a timely manner. However, before these sensors are put into place, safety personnel must make sure the VOC monitors are properly calibrated. Whether it’s a refinery, manufacturing facility, offshore drilling platform, or other area, there are steps to take in order to calibrate these sensors.
One of the most important factors involved in calibrating these sensors is electrochemical analysis. Due to the sensor having numerous small holes in the outer shell, whatever gas is in the immediate atmosphere will immediately penetrate the shell and be analyzed by the sensor. In doing so, it not only can measure for dangerous levels of hydrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide, but also do so by requiring only very small amounts of gas molecules. To be properly calibrated, safety engineers always check the computer chip located inside the sensor to make sure the current passing through can be correctly analyzed.
In monitoring the chemical makeup of the surrounding air, a VOC detector relies on automatic programming to analyze the atmosphere and relay the correct data to monitoring stations. In measuring the density of gas in the air, a Volatile Organic Compound VOC sensor can then be calibrated so that if density levels reach dangerous levels, equipment can be automatically shut down and alarms can be set off to alert workers and others to potential danger.
To ensure a VOC sensor is properly calibrated, a series of customized networks are put into place to act as detection points. In doing so, safety engineers can then lower the risk of having workers exposed to various compounds such as benzene and methylene chloride, which are extremely hazardous to humans. To make sure contamination does not happen, a multi-step calibration process is always in place to guarantee safe gas levels are always maintained, along with government regulations which are designed to protect workers who may be exposed to these compounds in the course of their jobs.
To ensure unauthorized personnel are not able to make changes to these sensors, most are constructed with a series of magnetic switches surrounding the display. Allowing for quick configuration changes to be made from remote locations, they play a key role in correctly calibrating these sensors. Whether it’s on a pipeline or in the confined spaces of an offshore platform, having these safety measures in place allows emergency workers to know they are being relayed the correct information in the event of an emergency. Since many oil and gas industry sites deal with high humidity levels as well as extreme temperatures, dust, and vibrations, these switches allow management to periodically check the sensors to ensure they are not malfunctioning due to an increased resistance to various environmental factors.