- November 20, 2019
- United Electric Controls
November 20, 2019 — United Electric Controls, a producer of safety, alarm and emergency shutdown technology, has added ammonia and hydrocarbons sensors to its Vanguard WirelessHART Gas Detector. United Electric Controls WirelessHART gas leak detectors can run on a single battery for five or more years.
Ammonia leak detection is critical in chemical plants that produce or store it for use in their processes. A good example is temporary storage tanks, which must be monitored for the presence of fugitive vapors constantly, but for which wiring communications and power can be costly and labor-intensive. Wireless detectors help to deploy or redeploy sensors where and when they are needed.
Ammonia gas leaks in food and beverage plants and other settings where refrigeration is in use are increasingly common as federal regulations drive ammonia to replace fluorocarbons refrigerants. Ammonia is popular for this because it is readily available, has low Global Warming Potential (GWP) and Ozone Depletion (ODP) values, but it is also both toxic and combustible, which requires real-time monitoring.
In the power industry, ammonia is used to reduce nitrogen oxide (NO) — the chemical that creates smog and acid rain (NOx) -- in flue gas in coal-plants before it enters the atmosphere. Leaks are possible during operation or in storage areas.
Cost-effective leakage of non-methane hydrocarbon gases (NMHCs) such as butane (CH4H10), pentane (C5H12), and propane (C3H8) are also increasingly necessary for plant safety and regulatory compliance.
In the power industry, for example, remote locations are increasingly moving to liquefied propane gas (LPG) as a power source over alternatives like diesel and fuel oil because it is more environmentally friendly. Storage tanks and transportation for these would require monitoring for leaks.
Refineries, petrochemical plants, and other downstream operations produce hydrocarbon gases, such as propane, heptane, and butane for applications from primary fuel sources to byproducts of other chemical reactions. Each point of use or storage has the potential for leaks that can be toxic, flammable, explosive, or harm the environment.
WirelessHART Vanguard Gas Detectors interface with existing networks to provide continuous coverage while working to reduce the cost of detecting toxic and combustible gases. Vanguard gas detectors handle an ambient operating temperature range (-40°C to 65°C); feature enhanced zero stability, and are equipped with interchangeable firmware that enables measurement of additional gases without changing the base unit.
Sensor heads for hydrocarbons gases will be available in January of 2020. In addition to NH3 and hydrocarbons gas leak monitoring, Vanguard offers interchangeable sensor heads for methane (CH4) carbon monoxide (CO), and hydrogen sulfide (H2S.) Future Vanguard versions will detect other gases, including hydrogen from electric generators and battery rooms and oxygen that might be depleted in continuous emissions monitoring (CEM) shelters.