Combustible Gas Detection - upgrade to upper class! Monitoring the environment for explosive gases most of the time you would be looking for hydrocarbons. It is a characteristic of hydrocarbons that they have a number of C - H bonds. These bonds absorb infrared light at a wavelength of 3,4 mm ( unsaturated hydrocarbons absorb at 3,3 mm ). This effect can be used to reliably detect these substances The most important advantage is that they are resistant against catalyst poisons and high concentrations. They can even be used in oxygen free atmosphere. Another important advantage of this technology is that a failure cannot go unnoticed. If an important component such as the lamp or the detector fails, the system will recognise this as 100 % absorption (an alarm situation). Most infrared gas detectors are designed as so - called NDIR (Non Dispersive Infra Red) double- beam detectors. This means, the light beam is divided in two portions with different wavelengthes. One is the measuring beam that will be absorbed by gas, the other is a reference beam at a wavelength that will not be absorbed by gas. This beam compensates for intensity variations of the lamp, dirt and corrosion. As the optics are mostly self maintained, an eventual inspection only checks if there is gas access to the sensor. Therefore much longer maintenance intervals compared to the catalytic sensor can be justified. As a rule of thumb, twice as long is OK. For plants which already have installed a combustible gas detection system, there is now a chance for a very cost- effective upgrade: The Statox 501 LC IR or LC MR! It consists of an EEx e (enhanced safety) terminal box and a sensor with integrated electronics. This sensor operates at the same supply voltage as a catalytic sensor. Its output signal is also identical to the signal of a catalytic sensor! This new innovative technical approach keeps the price in the same ballpark as catalytic sensors! All advantages of an infrared gas detector are now available for nearly the same price as a catalytic sensor and existing gas detection systems can now be upgraded without replacing the existing hardware. Of course the miniaturised chip inside the sensor cannot provide the same powerful electronics and software package as a high- end instrument, but however the new Compur Statox 501 IR LC features the most important advantages of an infrared system. So the next time maintenance is due with your gas detection system, check with Compur Monitors. The investment for an upgrade might pay back within one maintenance interval.

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