Portable Detector Locates Methane Leaks from a Safe Distance
05 August 2016
Methane leaks are an important safety issue in many industries, but how do you monitor from a safe distance? With Crowcon’s lightweight and compact Laser Methane mini, leaks can be detected at a distance of up to 30 metres, ensuring operators can stay well clear of any hazards.
Crowcon Laser Methane mini (LMm) portable methane detector allows the gas to be detected at distances of up to 30 metres to provide improved operator safety.
A key application for the LMm detector is remote monitoring of methane gas leaks in closed premises or confined spaces. By allowing the operator to remain at a safe distance from potentially dangerous leaks, the LMm provides additional safety, as well as making the detection process faster and easier. The LMm also eliminates the risk of false positive readings because it is sensitive only to methane and is not affected by the presence of other gases.
Other remote monitoring applications include the monitoring of above-ground riser pipes which carry gas to consumer premises, allowing them to be checked from ground level to eliminate the need for ladders or access to the building. In addition, the LMm can be used to check valves, fittings and pipes inside a pressure regulating station, providing readings which are faster and more accurate than the results from traditional methods. Because the laser beam penetrates transparent surfaces, such as glass, they can detect methane through a window using LMm. This means not having to worry about finding whoever has the key or entering a potentially hazardous environment in order to survey for leaks.
A two-year trial of the LMm detector, across a number of cities throughout Italy, allowed the device to be tested under a range of operating and weather conditions. The trial confirmed that, even in difficult urban situations, the LMm detector was able to monitor gas leaks from a remote location.
The LMm uses laser absorption spectroscopy to measure methane density and presents the readings in numerical and graphical formats on a clear backlit display. It also includes a separate LED alarm indicator and louder audible notification. On start-up, it performs a self check which maintains the accuracy of the readings whilst also eliminating the need for external calibration.
The LMm is ATEX-approved for use in explosive environments and can detect methane at a distance of up to 30 meters in standard mode, or 100 meters with a reflector. Weighing just 600 grammes, the LMm is both compact and lightweight and features automatic ranging and a battery life of five hours.
LMm now ships with a green laser guide light, which is more visible especially under strong sunlight, as standard. Laser Methane mini-Green (LMm-G) also combines the benefit of LMm with additional data storage functions and comes with Bluetooth capability, allowing connection to any Android device through the Gasviewer app. Important data like location, gas levels, date and time can also be saved or emailed to a central point.
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