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Proceedings Paper

Early detection of combustible gas leaks using open path infrared (IR) gas detectors
Author(s): Edward Naranjo; Shankar Baliga
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Paper Abstract

Open path IR gas detectors are a mainstay in the oil and gas industry. They are used in a variety of instances to identify gas accumulations or monitor gas cloud migrations. In offshore installations, open path optical gas detectors are used to monitor drilling and production operations, crude oil separation, compression, and exhaust and ventilation systems. Because they can monitor a perimeter or fence line, they are ideally suited for detecting gas in open facilities, where point gas detectors would be difficult or expensive to deploy. Despite their widespread use, open path optical gas detectors are rarely employed to detect low level concentrations of combustible gases. Standard models are typically set to alarm at 50% LEL-m (50% LEL extended over one meter), providing sufficiently early warning when gas accumulations occur. Nevertheless, in cases in which a combustible gas is diluted quickly, such as ventilation exhaust ducting, it may be necessary to set the detector to alarm at the lowest predictable level. Further, interest in low level infrared gas detection has been growing as gases such as CH4 and CO2 are greenhouse gases. The present paper describes a mid-wave infrared (MWIR) open path system designed to detect combustible and carbon dioxide gas leaks in the parts-per-million-meter (ppm-m or mg/cm2). The detector has been installed in offshore platforms and large onshore facilities to detect a variety of flammable gases and vapors. Advantages and limitations of the system are presented. False alarm immunity and resilience to atmospheric interferences are also discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 May 2012
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8366, Advanced Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Sensing Technologies IX, 83660V (9 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.919201
Show Author Affiliations
Edward Naranjo, General Monitors Inc. (United States)
Shankar Baliga, General Monitors Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8366:
Advanced Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Sensing Technologies IX
Tuan Vo-Dinh; Robert A. Lieberman; Günter Gauglitz, Editor(s)

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