11/13/2015 - Combustible Gas Detectors - Overview
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Combustible gas detectors are the ones of the basic safety equipments required if you find combustible gas inside plant site. Auto-ignition temperature minimizing Explosive Limit (LEL) describe the possibility dangers of combustible gases.

Auto-ignition temperatures are the lowest temperature at which combustible gas could be ignited spontaneously (self-sustained combustion), without the presence of source of ignition. Meanwhile, Lower Explosive Limit or LEL is the lowest concentration of combustible gas in mid-air that will propagate flame when encountered with a source of ignition.

combustible gas detector

There's two types of combustible gas detectors in market. The initial type is electrocatalytic (catalytic bead), also is referred to passive sort of gas detector. The second type is infrared detector, utilizing infrared absorption as detecting technology. It's the active type.

Electrocatalytic type is trusted in various industries and generally applied as single-point detectors for combustible gases. The operating principle is founded on oxidation reaction of combustible gas and oxygen from your air on the heterogeneous catalytic element. Heat in the reaction heats the platinum coil embedded in the catalyst which change resistance from the coil. Then, it can be measured and monitored.

There's 2 factors that affect the sensitivity of catalytic type gas detectors, i.e. blockage from the flame arrestor by which combustible gas flows through and poisoning in the active bead. Besides, mechanical failure is attainable caused by vibration. Vibration can break the platinum wire.

Important things about electrocatalytic sensors are relatively low unit cost, easy and better accuracy weighed against other detection methods.

Conversely, infrared type detectors detect the presence of any combustible gas according to infrared radiation absorption with a certain wavelengths.

CH4 gas detector

Some key advantages of infrared type are free of maintenance because calibrated through the factory, can be used for single-point and open path devices, may be located at inaccessible location inside the plant site, no chemical poisoning possibility, fail to safe technology, does not require oxygen to measure combustible gas concentration, internal compensation virtually eliminates span drift and befitting continuous gas environment.

When you require to choose which combustible gas detectors you should obtain, read the following tips. You will need a short research before making any selection. Here are tips.

 1. Determine clearly your particular requirements of combustible gas detectors
 2. Select multiple or single types. Some gas detectors also can detect other gases rather than only combustible gases, like sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ammonia and so on.
 3. Confirm the detection range of combustible gases. It indicates check its amount of Lower Explosive Limit (LEL). The detectors at the very least should be capable of detecting 10%~15% from the lower LEL. Give this specification more attention, because this will give you more time for you to take actions when gas leak is detected.
 4. Decide which type of detecting sensors is appropriate for your needs.
 5. Get information regarding battery and sensors lifetime. Almost all of the important when you need to change them.
 6. Decide which alarms are required to alert gas leakage. Sound or light, or might be both.
 7. Receive the spare parts price of the detectors, specially the sensors. Do not select a gas detector when unit tariff of one unit is virtually same with sensor's price.
 8. Select only detectors that certified by common standards or government.
 9. Pay for trusted manufacturers only. Seek out testimony from others.
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