Point Gas Detectors
Product Group | Point Gas Detectors
Point gas detection, or single point detectors are used for gas detection at a specific place. Unlike Open path and thermal imaging gas detection which can cover a large area, they are normally used to protect a circle of no more than 5 meters in diameter (detector located in the heart). Point gas detectors are capable of providing a reading/gas measurement in %VOL, %LEL, and PPM.
Depending on the type of gas present (combustible or toxic) the type of measurement is selected. Toxic gas detectors are mostly configured to measure in PPM. This to show the lowest possible reading of toxic gas that is present. In order to detect toxic gasses, either a Catalytical or Electrochemical sensor is used (other sensors are also available).
Combustible gasses are mainly measured in %LEL by an infra-red sensor. This type of sensor is the one that needs to be calibrated the least and is the most stable sensor in point gas detectors. The downside of this sensor is that it’s only capable of detecting hydrocarbon gasses.
Within the IR sensors there are two variations. The first one is a classic point gas detector with a LCD display. Another option is an ultra-fast point gas detector that operates on a small open path technology. These detectors can reach a T90 (90% of the amount of present gas) in <2 sec.
The American brand ESP Safety located in San Jose, California, are manufacturing a wide range of point gas detectors. Within the ESP portfolio there are two types of point gas detectors.
The Vector has an LCD display and is available with a wide variety of sensors (Toxic and combustible). The Vector can also be configured to have two sensors on one detector body to measure both combustible and toxic gasses simultaneously. These sensors can be placed up to 150 meters away from the detector housing.
The SGOES is a point gas detector with open path technology. This unit is available with an optional 4-digit display and can reach a T90 of <2 seconds.
This unit can operate with a lens obscuration of 75% and has a build in heater to ensure proper operation in harsh conditions.
All ESP units have multiple globaly recognized approvals such as FM, Atex, and EAC.
The units are available in both stainless steel 316 and coated aluminum housing.
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A point gas detector, also known as a gas sensor or gas monitor, is a device used to detect the presence of specific gases in the surrounding environment. It is designed to monitor the air for the presence of hazardous gases and provide an alarm or indication when gas levels exceed predetermined thresholds. Here’s a simplified explanation of how a point gas detector typically works:
- Gas Sensing Element: The point gas detector contains a gas sensing element that is designed to be sensitive to a specific target gas. There are various types of gas sensing technologies, including electrochemical sensors, catalytic bead sensors, infrared sensors, and semiconductor sensors. Each sensing element is selective to certain gases or gas groups.
- Gas Detection Principle: The gas sensing element interacts with the target gas through different physical or chemical processes, depending on the sensing technology used. For example, electrochemical sensors use chemical reactions to generate an electrical signal proportional to the concentration of the target gas. Infrared sensors measure the absorption of infrared light by the gas molecules, while catalytic bead sensors rely on the combustion of gases on a heated surface.
- Gas Concentration Measurement: The gas detector continuously measures the concentration of the target gas in the surrounding air using the gas sensing element. This measurement is typically displayed on the device itself or transmitted to a central control system for monitoring.
- Alarm or Indication: When the measured gas concentration exceeds a predefined threshold or alarm level, the point gas detector triggers an alarm 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. In some cases, the gas detector may also activate ventilation systems, initiate shutdown procedures, or interface with other safety systems to mitigate the gas risk.
- Calibration and Maintenance: Periodic calibration and maintenance are necessary to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the point gas detector. Calibration involves verifying and adjusting the sensor’s response to known gas concentrations. Regular maintenance may include sensor replacement, sensor cleaning, filter replacement, and overall functionality checks.
Point gas detectors are commonly used in industrial settings, laboratories, manufacturing facilities, and other environments where the presence of hazardous gases poses a risk to human health, safety, and property. The selection of the gas detector and the specific gases it can detect depend on the application, industry regulations, and the types of gases present in the environment.
A point gas detector, also known as a gas sensor or gas monitor, is a device used to detect the presence of specific gases in the air at a specific location or “point.” It is called a point gas detector because it is designed to monitor gases at a specific spot rather than providing a continuous monitoring of a larger area.
Point gas detectors are used to enhance safety by detecting and alerting personnel to the presence of hazardous gases, which may be toxic, flammable, or pose other risks. They are commonly used in various industries and applications, including:
- Industrial Settings: Point gas detectors are deployed in industrial facilities such as oil refineries, chemical plants, manufacturing plants, and storage areas where the presence of gases can be a safety concern. They help monitor and detect gases emitted during production processes, leaks, or accidental releases.
- Laboratories: Gas detectors are utilized in research laboratories to ensure the safety of personnel working with potentially hazardous gases or chemicals. They help detect leaks, spills, or abnormal concentrations of gases that could pose health risks.
- Commercial Buildings: Point gas detectors can be found in commercial buildings such as office complexes, hotels, shopping malls, and parking structures. They help monitor for gases like carbon monoxide (CO), natural gas, or propane that may result from malfunctioning equipment, gas leaks, or combustion processes.
- HVAC Systems: Gas detectors are sometimes integrated into heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to monitor the air quality and detect gases that can impact indoor air quality or pose safety risks.
- Utilities and Energy: Gas detectors are used in utility plants, energy facilities, and infrastructure to monitor and detect gases such as methane, hydrogen, or sulfur compounds. They assist in preventing gas leaks, ensuring worker safety, and avoiding potential explosions or fires.
Point gas detectors can utilize different sensing technologies, including electrochemical sensors, catalytic bead sensors, infrared sensors, semiconductor sensors, or photoionization detectors (PID), depending on the targeted gases and the desired detection capabilities.
These detectors play a vital role in providing early warning and enabling prompt responses to gas hazards, allowing for preventive measures, evacuations, or the activation of safety systems. Regular maintenance and calibration are essential to ensure their reliable operation and accuracy.
There are various types of point gas detectors available, each utilizing different sensing technologies to detect specific gases. Here are some common types of point gas detectors:
- Electrochemical Gas Detectors: Electrochemical sensors are commonly used for toxic gas detection. They operate by electrochemical reactions between the target gas and an electrolyte, generating an electrical signal proportional to the gas concentration. They are effective for gases like carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), chlorine (Cl2), and oxygen (O2).
- Catalytic Bead Gas Detectors: Catalytic bead sensors are used for the detection of combustible gases. They consist of a bead coated with a catalyst that promotes the combustion of gases. When a combustible gas comes into contact with the bead and reaches its lower explosive limit (LEL), the resulting heat increases the sensor’s resistance, indicating the presence of the gas. Common gases detected include methane (CH4), propane (C3H8), and hydrogen (H2).
- Infrared Gas Detectors: Infrared (IR) gas detectors operate by measuring the absorption of infrared light by specific gases. They emit infrared radiation and analyze the amount of absorbed radiation to determine gas concentrations. IR detectors are used for gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and hydrocarbons.
- Semiconductor Gas Detectors: Semiconductor sensors utilize a metal oxide semiconductor element that changes its electrical conductivity when exposed to specific gases. They are commonly used for detecting gases such as hydrogen (H2), ammonia (NH3), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- Photoionization Detectors (PID): PID detectors use ultraviolet (UV) light to ionize gas molecules, producing an electrical current proportional to the gas concentration. They are effective for detecting a wide range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous substances in the parts-per-million (ppm) range.
- Metal Oxide Gas Detectors: Metal oxide sensors are composed of a sensing element that reacts with gases, causing changes in electrical resistance. They are suitable for detecting gases like carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and hydrogen (H2).
It’s important to note that different gas detectors are designed to detect specific gases or groups of gases. The selection of a point gas detector depends on the targeted gases, environmental conditions, required sensitivity, response time, and compliance with relevant safety standards and regulations.
Testing point gas detectors is essential to ensure their proper functioning and reliability in detecting hazardous gases. Here are general steps to test a point gas detector:
- Review Manufacturer’s Instructions: Familiarize yourself with the specific testing procedures and recommendations provided by the manufacturer of the gas detector. Follow their guidelines for testing and any specific safety precautions.
- Prepare Testing Equipment: Gather the necessary testing equipment, which may include a gas cylinder containing a known concentration of the target gas or a gas generator capable of producing the desired gas concentration for testing.
- 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.
- Select Test Gas: Identify the appropriate test gas for the specific point gas detector being tested. This should be the gas or gases the detector is designed to detect.
- Establish Baseline: Before testing, ensure the gas detector is in normal operating mode and record the baseline reading of the gas concentration. This establishes a reference point for comparison during the test.
- Perform Zero and Span Calibration (Optional): Some gas detectors require periodic zero and span calibration. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to perform calibration if needed, using calibration gases of known concentration.
- Test Gas Exposure: Introduce the test gas to the gas detector by placing the gas source near the detector or connecting the gas cylinder or generator according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure the gas reaches the sensor area for detection.
- Observe Detector Response: Monitor the gas detector’s response to the test gas. The detector should indicate the presence of the gas, typically through an audible alarm, visual indication, or a change in displayed gas concentration.
- Verify Alarm Activation: Confirm that the gas detector’s alarm is triggered appropriately based on the gas concentration exceeding the predetermined alarm thresholds. Ensure the alarm is both audible and visible as per the device’s design.
- 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.
- Restore Normal Operations: Once testing is completed, remove the test gas source, allow the gas detector to return to normal operating mode, and ensure it functions properly.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and any relevant safety guidelines when testing gas detectors. If you have any uncertainties or questions, consult a qualified technician or contact the manufacturer for assistance.
The choice of the best type of point gas detector depends on various factors, including the specific application, the target gases to be detected, environmental conditions, and industry requirements. Here are some commonly recognized types of point gas detectors:
- Electrochemical Gas Detectors: Electrochemical sensors are widely used for the detection of toxic gases. They offer high sensitivity, accuracy, and selectivity for specific gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), chlorine (Cl2), and oxygen (O2). Electrochemical detectors are suitable for a range of industries, including industrial, commercial, and laboratory applications.
- Infrared (IR) Gas Detectors: IR detectors utilize the absorption of infrared light by specific gases to detect their presence. They offer good accuracy and reliability for gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and hydrocarbons. IR gas detectors are effective in environments with potential interference from other gases or background contaminants.
- Catalytic Bead Gas Detectors: Catalytic bead sensors are commonly used for detecting combustible gases. They operate based on the combustion of gases on a heated bead, providing reliable detection of gases such as methane (CH4), propane (C3H8), and hydrogen (H2). Catalytic bead detectors are highly responsive and suitable for applications where combustible gas leaks or hazards are a concern.
- Semiconductor Gas Detectors: Semiconductor sensors offer sensitivity to a wide range of gases, including hydrogen (H2), ammonia (NH3), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They are versatile and cost-effective, making them suitable for various industrial, commercial, and residential applications.
- Photoionization Detectors (PID): PID detectors are effective for detecting a wide range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous substances in the parts-per-million (ppm) range. They utilize ultraviolet (UV) light to ionize gas molecules, generating a measurable current proportional to the gas concentration.
The best type of point gas detector ultimately depends on the specific requirements and conditions of the application. Factors such as the target gases, detection range, response time, 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 point gas detector for your specific needs. They can provide tailored recommendations based on their expertise and experience in gas detection applications.
Point gas detectors are used in various industries and applications where the detection of hazardous gases is critical for safety. Here are some common areas where point gas detectors are employed:
- Industrial Facilities: Point gas detectors are widely used in industrial settings such as oil refineries, chemical plants, manufacturing facilities, and storage areas. They help monitor and detect gases emitted during production processes, leaks, or accidental releases that could pose risks to worker safety or result in equipment damage.
- Laboratories: Gas detectors are essential in research laboratories, pharmaceutical facilities, and chemical laboratories. They monitor for the presence of toxic or flammable gases, ensuring the safety of personnel working with hazardous materials.
- Commercial Buildings: Point gas detectors are installed in commercial buildings such as office complexes, hotels, shopping malls, and parking structures. They help monitor for gases like carbon monoxide (CO), natural gas, or propane that can result from malfunctioning equipment, gas leaks, or combustion processes.
- HVAC Systems: Gas detectors are integrated into heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to monitor air quality and detect gases that can impact indoor air quality or pose safety risks. This is particularly important in spaces where flammable or toxic gases may be present, such as parking garages or boiler rooms.
- Utilities and Energy Facilities: Point gas detectors are used in utility plants, energy facilities, and infrastructure to monitor and detect gases such as methane (CH4), hydrogen (H2), or sulfur compounds. They help prevent gas leaks, ensure worker safety, and avoid potential explosions or fires.
- Mining and Extraction Sites: Gas detectors play a vital role in mining operations, where the presence of gases like methane poses serious safety risks. They help detect and monitor gas levels in underground mines and extraction sites, providing early warning to miners and enabling safety protocols.
- Confined Spaces: Point gas detectors are employed in confined spaces such as storage tanks, tunnels, manholes, or underground structures. They ensure the safety of workers by monitoring for hazardous gases and providing timely alerts to potential risks.
- Transportation Systems: Gas detectors can be found in transportation settings such as airports, train stations, tunnels, or ports. They help detect hazardous gases associated with fuel storage, vehicle maintenance facilities, or areas with potential leaks from gas pipelines or storage tanks.
These are just a few examples of where point gas detectors are commonly used. The specific deployment of gas detectors depends on the industry, regulatory requirements, specific hazards present, and the need for safety monitoring and compliance.
Point gas detectors are available for detecting a wide range of gases, each designed to detect specific target gases or groups of gases. Here are some common gases that can be detected with point gas detectors:
- Toxic Gases:
- Carbon Monoxide (CO)
- Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)
- Ammonia (NH3)
- Chlorine (Cl2)
- Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
- Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
- Ozone (O3)
- Phosphine (PH3)
- Formaldehyde (HCHO)
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Combustible Gases:
- Methane (CH4)
- Propane (C3H8)
- Butane (C4H10)
- Hydrogen (H2)
- Ethylene (C2H4)
- Acetylene (C2H2)
- Ethanol (C2H5OH)
- Natural Gas (mainly composed of methane)
- Oxygen (O2) Depletion or Enrichment: Point gas detectors can monitor the oxygen concentration in the air to detect situations of oxygen deficiency or enrichment.
- Specific Gases in Industrial Settings: Gas detectors can be designed to detect gases specific to certain industries or applications. Examples include hydrogen chloride (HCl), hydrogen cyanide (HCN), hydrogen fluoride (HF), hydrogen bromide (HBr), and various other gases used or produced in industrial processes.
It’s important to note that the availability of specific gas detection capabilities can vary among different models and manufacturers of point gas detectors. Gas detectors are typically designed to detect one or more specific gases or gas groups based on their sensing technology and configuration.
When selecting a point gas detector, it’s crucial to consider the targeted gases for the specific application, comply with safety regulations and industry requirements, and consult the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure the detector is capable of detecting the desired gases.