Open Path Gas Detectors

Open Path Gas Detector

Product Group | Open Path Gas Detectors

Open Path gas detection, also known as line-of-sight gas detection or perimeter gas detection is used to detect gas clouds passing over a distance of 200 meters. This technology consists of a transmitter and receiver which need to be placed in a direct unobstructed line across from each other of up to 200 meters distance.

There are different technologies available on the market such as lasers, UV and IR based units. All these units work on a basis of signal absorption by the gas which allows the unit to quantify the gas could in LEL per meter.

The most commonly used open path gas detectors are the units calibrated to detect gas leaks from hydrocarbon-based gases, C1 to C8 molecules. Another technology available in open path gas detection is Toxic gas detection. These units are able to detect gas clouds of H2S, NH3 and SO2.

The Spectrex Open path gas detection series offers sets that are capable of detection hydrocarbon gas leaks over a path length of 200 meters and toxic gas leaks over a path length of 60 meters.

All Spectrex Quasar open path gas detectors are factory calibrated with real gas to ensure the highest level of accuracy.

Spectrex Open Path Gas Detectors

The Spectrex Open Path gas detectors are, just like the flame detector, third party performance tested by FM and have a wide variety of approvals. Explosion safety approvals such as ATEX, IEcex, SIL2, FM, Inmetro and CU TR EAC are available on all models.

The Spectrex Quasar 900 series incorporates the latest technology from Spectrex. An open path gas detector set always consists of a transmitter and a receiver. The available models for hydrocarbon gases are:

  • Quasar 901: QT-x-1xx + QR-x-1xx – distance 7 to 20 meters
  • Quasar 902: QT-x-2xx + QR-x-1xx – distance 15 to 40 meters
  • Quasar 903: QT-x-3xx + QR-x-1xx – distance 35 to 100 meters
  • Quasar 904: QT-x-4xx + QR-x-1xx – distance 80 to 200 meters

Spectrex also offers Toxic open path detectors for H2S, NH3 and SO2 which are available in the following models:

  • Quasar 951: QTU-x-1xx + QRU-x-1xx – distance 5 to 16 meters
  • Quasar 952: QTU-x-2xx + QRU-x-1xx – distance 14 to 40 meters
  • Quasar 953: QTU-x-3xx + QRU-x-1xx – distance 35 to 60 meters
  • Quasar 961: QTU-x-1xx + QRU-x-2xx – distance 5 to 16 meters
  • Quasar 962: QTU-x-2xx + QRU-x-2xx – distance 14 to 40 meters
  • Quasar 963: QTU-x-3xx + QRU-x-2xx – distance 35 to 60 meter

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FAQ

An open path gas detector, also known as an open path gas sensor or open path gas monitor, is a type of gas detection system used to monitor the presence of hazardous gases or vapors over an open area. Unlike point gas detectors that detect gases at a specific location, open path gas detectors operate by projecting a beam of light across a defined path to detect the presence of gas. Here’s a simplified explanation of how an open path gas detector typically works:

  1. Transmitter and Receiver Units: The open path gas detector consists of two main components: a transmitter unit and a receiver unit. The transmitter unit emits an infrared or ultraviolet beam of light across the desired detection path, while the receiver unit receives and analyzes the light signal.
  2. Beam Projection: The transmitter emits a focused beam of light towards the receiver, creating a defined detection path or beam path. The length of the beam path can vary depending on the specific requirements of the application, ranging from a few meters to several hundred meters.
  3. Gas Presence Detection: The beam of light passes through the monitored area, and if a hazardous gas or vapor is present, it can absorb or scatter some of the light energy at specific wavelengths. This phenomenon is known as absorption or scattering spectroscopy.
  4. Light Signal Analysis: The receiver unit detects the light signal received from the transmitter and analyzes it to determine the presence and concentration of the target gas. The receiver compares the received light intensity with the emitted light intensity, allowing it to detect any reduction in intensity caused by the presence of the gas along the beam path.
  5. Alarm or Indication: If the concentration of the target gas exceeds a predetermined threshold, the open path gas detector triggers an alarm or indication to alert personnel of the potential gas hazard. The alarm can be in the form of audible and visual signals, such as sirens, strobe lights, or digital displays showing gas levels. Additionally, the open path gas detector may interface with a central control system for further monitoring and response actions.

Open path gas detectors are commonly used in outdoor or large indoor areas where the coverage of a point gas detector may not be feasible or efficient. They are suitable for applications such as oil and gas facilities, chemical plants, wastewater treatment plants, tank farms, perimeter monitoring, and other areas where gas leaks or releases can occur over a wide area.

An open path gas detector, also known as an open path gas sensor or open path gas monitor, is a type of gas detection system used to monitor the presence of hazardous gases or vapors over an open area. Unlike point gas detectors that detect gases at a specific location, open path gas detectors operate by projecting a beam of light across a defined path to detect the presence of gas.

The main components of an open path gas detector are a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter emits an infrared or ultraviolet beam of light across the desired detection path, while the receiver receives and analyzes the light signal. The beam of light passes through the monitored area, and if a hazardous gas or vapor is present, it can absorb or scatter some of the light energy at specific wavelengths.

The receiver unit detects the light signal received from the transmitter and analyzes it to determine the presence and concentration of the target gas. By comparing the received light intensity with the emitted light intensity, the receiver can detect any reduction in intensity caused by the presence of the gas along the beam path.

If the concentration of the target gas exceeds a predetermined threshold, the open path gas detector triggers an alarm or indication to alert personnel of the potential gas hazard. This can be in the form of audible and visual signals, such as sirens, strobe lights, or digital displays showing gas levels. Open path gas detectors may also interface with a central control system for further monitoring and response actions.

Open path gas detectors are commonly used in outdoor or large indoor areas where the coverage of a point gas detector may not be feasible or efficient. They are suitable for applications such as oil and gas facilities, chemical plants, wastewater treatment plants, tank farms, perimeter monitoring, and other areas where gas leaks or releases can occur over a wide area.

There are several types of open path gas detectors available, each utilizing different sensing technologies to detect specific gases. Here are some common types of open path gas detectors:

  1. Infrared (IR) Open Path Gas Detectors: IR open path gas detectors use infrared light to detect the presence of gases. They typically operate based on two different technologies:
  2. Non-Dispersive Infrared (NDIR): NDIR detectors emit infrared light at specific wavelengths and measure the amount of light absorbed by the target gas. They are effective for detecting gases such as methane (CH4), and other C1-C8 hydrocarbons.
  3. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR): FTIR detectors measure the entire infrared spectrum, allowing them to detect a wide range of gases simultaneously. They are versatile and suitable for detecting various hazardous gases, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), toxic gases, and industrial pollutants.
  4. Ultraviolet (UV) Open Path Gas Detectors: UV open path gas detectors utilize ultraviolet light to detect specific gases. They operate based on the absorption or scattering of UV light by target gases. UV detectors are commonly used for gases like hydrogen sulfide (H2S), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and ammonia (NH3).
  5. Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy (TDLAS): TDLAS open path gas detectors employ a tunable diode laser that emits laser light at specific wavelengths. The detector measures the absorption of the laser light by the target gas, enabling the detection of gases such as methane (CH4), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and carbon monoxide (CO).
  6. Photoacoustic Spectroscopy (PAS): PAS open path gas detectors rely on the photoacoustic effect, where the absorption of light by target gases generates acoustic waves. These detectors measure the acoustic waves to determine the presence and concentration of gases like ethylene (C2H4), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The selection of the appropriate open path gas detector depends on the specific gas or gases to be detected, the required detection range, environmental conditions, and the industry requirements. It’s important to consult with gas detection experts or manufacturers to choose the most suitable open path gas detector for the intended application.

Testing an open path gas detector is crucial to ensure its proper functioning and reliability in detecting hazardous gases over a defined area. While the exact testing procedure may vary depending on the specific detector and manufacturer’s instructions, here are some general steps to test an open path gas detector:

  1. Review Manufacturer’s Instructions: Familiarize yourself with the specific testing procedures and recommendations provided by the manufacturer of the open path gas detector. Follow their guidelines for testing and any specific safety precautions.
  2. Ensure Safety Precautions: Before testing, follow appropriate safety protocols, such as wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and ensuring proper ventilation in the testing area. Take necessary precautions to prevent exposure to hazardous gases.
  3. Notify Others: Inform relevant personnel or stakeholders about the open path gas detector testing to avoid confusion or unnecessary responses to the alarm.
  4. Prepare Testing Equipment: Gather the necessary testing equipment, which may include a test gas cylinder containing a known concentration of the target gas, or a gas generator capable of producing the desired gas concentration for testing.
  5. Establish Test Conditions: Ensure that the environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, and wind speed, are within the acceptable range specified by the manufacturer. This will help simulate realistic testing conditions.
  6. Align the Transmitter and Receiver: Align the transmitter and receiver units of the open path gas detector according to the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring that the beam path is properly aligned over the desired detection area.
  7. Gas Injection or Generation: Introduce the test gas into the detection area by using the gas cylinder or gas generator. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the specific gas and concentration to be used. Ensure that the gas concentration reaches the desired level for testing.
  8. Observe Detector Response: Monitor the open path gas detector’s response to the test gas. The detector should indicate the presence of the gas, typically through an alarm activation or indication on the control panel.
  9. Verify Alarm Activation: Confirm that the open path gas detector’s alarm is triggered appropriately based on the gas concentration exceeding the predetermined alarm thresholds. Ensure that the alarm is both audible and visible as per the device’s design.
  10. Record and Document: Keep a record of the test, including the date, time, gas used, gas concentration, and detector response. Maintain a testing log as part of the maintenance and compliance records.
  11. Restore Normal Operations: Once testing is completed, remove the test gas source and allow the open path gas detector to return to normal operating mode.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and any relevant safety guidelines when testing open path gas detectors. If you have any uncertainties or questions, consult a qualified technician or contact the manufacturer for assistance.

The best type of open path gas detector depends on various factors, including the specific application, the target gases to be detected, environmental conditions, and industry requirements. Each type of open path gas detector has its advantages and limitations. Here are some commonly recognized types of open path gas detectors:

  1. Infrared (IR) Open Path Gas Detectors: IR detectors are widely used for open path gas detection due to their reliable performance and versatility. They can detect a range of gases, including methane (CH4) and other C1-C8 hydrocarbons. Non-Dispersive Infrared (NDIR) and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) technologies are commonly employed in IR open path gas detectors.
  2. Ultraviolet (UV) Open Path Gas Detectors: UV detectors are effective for detecting specific gases that absorb or scatter UV light. They are often used for gases like hydrogen sufide (H2S), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and ammonia (NH3). UV detectors can provide rapid response times and are suitable for applications where these gases pose a risk.
  3. Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy (TDLAS): TDLAS open path gas detectors utilize a tunable diode laser to measure the absorption of light by specific gases. They offer high sensitivity and selectivity, making them suitable for detecting gases such as methane (CH4), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and carbon monoxide (CO).
  4. Photoacoustic Spectroscopy (PAS): PAS open path gas detectors use the photoacoustic effect to detect the presence of gases. They offer excellent sensitivity and can detect gases like ethylene (C2H4), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The best type of open path gas detector ultimately depends on the specific requirements and conditions of the application. Factors such as the target gases, detection range, environmental conditions, maintenance requirements, and compliance with safety standards should all be considered. It is recommended to consult with industry professionals, safety experts, or gas detector manufacturers to determine the most suitable type of open path gas detector for your specific needs. They can provide tailored recommendations based on their expertise and experience in gas detection applications.

Open path gas detection is used in various industries and applications where the monitoring of gases over a wide area is critical for safety. Here are some common areas where open path gas detection is employed:

  1. Petrochemical and Refining Facilities: Open path gas detection is extensively used in petrochemical plants and refineries to monitor the release of hazardous gases, such as methane, hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These facilities often have large areas with potential leak sources, and open path gas detection helps ensure early detection and response to gas leaks.
  2. Oil and Gas Exploration and Production: Open path gas detectors are utilized in the oil and gas industry, particularly in offshore and onshore drilling sites, production platforms, and pipeline facilities. They provide continuous monitoring over a wide area to detect the presence of gases like methane and hydrocarbons, ensuring worker safety and preventing potential explosions or fires.
  3. Chemical Manufacturing: Open path gas detection is crucial in chemical manufacturing plants, where a wide range of hazardous gases and vapors are present. It helps detect leaks, spills, or releases of gases such as chlorine, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and volatile chemicals, ensuring the safety of personnel and preventing accidents.
  4. Tank Farms and Storage Facilities: Open path gas detectors are commonly used in tank farms, storage terminals, and warehouses where flammable or toxic gases can accumulate. They monitor the air in the vicinity of storage tanks, ensuring the early detection of gas leaks and preventing potential hazards.
  5. Wastewater Treatment Plants: Open path gas detection is employed in wastewater treatment facilities to monitor the presence of gases like hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and methane (CH4), which can be produced during the treatment process. Early detection of these gases helps protect workers, prevent odorous emissions, and avoid potential explosions.
  6. Perimeter Monitoring and Fenceline Monitoring: Open path gas detectors are used for perimeter monitoring and fenceline monitoring around industrial facilities to detect any potential gas leaks or emissions that could impact surrounding communities or the environment.
  7. Mining Operations: Open path gas detection is utilized in mining operations, particularly in underground mines, to monitor for gases such as methane and carbon monoxide. It helps ensure the safety of miners by providing early warning of potential gas hazards.
  8. Landfills and Waste Management Facilities: Open path gas detectors are used in landfills and waste management facilities to monitor the release of methane and other gases produced by the decomposition of organic waste. It helps ensure regulatory compliance, prevent gas migration, and mitigate the risk of fires or explosions.

These are just a few examples of where open path gas detection is commonly used. The specific deployment of open path gas detectors depends on the industry, regulatory requirements, specific hazards present, and the need for safety monitoring and compliance.

An open path gas detector can be designed to detect various hazardous gases or vapors depending on the specific requirements and configuration. Here are some common gases that can be detected with an open path gas detector:

  1. Combustible Gases (C1-C8 hydrocarbons):

   – Methane (CH4)

   – Propane (C3H8)

   – Butane (C4H10)

   – Hydrogen (H2)

   – Ethylene (C2H4)

   – Acetylene (C2H2)

   – Ethanol (C2H5OH)

   – Natural Gas (mainly composed of methane)

  1. Toxic Gases:

   – Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)

   – Ammonia (NH3)

   – Carbon Monoxide (CO)

   – Chlorine (Cl2)

   – Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

   – Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

   – Ozone (O3)

   – Phosphine (PH3)

   – Formaldehyde (HCHO)

   – Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

  1. Industrial Gases:

   – Hydrogen Chloride (HCl)

   – Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN)

   – Hydrogen Fluoride (HF)

   – Hydrogen Bromide (HBr)

   – Various other gases used or produced in industrial processes

 

The availability of gas detection capabilities in an open path gas detector can vary among different models and manufacturers. Some open path gas detectors are designed to detect specific gases, while others may have the ability to detect a wide range of gases simultaneously.

It’s important to consult with the manufacturer or supplier of the open path gas detector to determine the specific gases that can be detected by their particular model. They can provide information on the detector’s capabilities, sensitivity, detection ranges, and any limitations or requirements for specific gases.

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