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Tank-Pro meets the “tank” challenge

16 January 2017

Hydrocarbon gases stored in inert environments create a particular flammable gas detection challenge. Tank-Pro is a specialist gas detection unit for use in this specialist environment where standard gas detectors just won’t work. At 340g, it is light enough to clip to a belt or overalls. A lightweight and robust, portable multigas monitor, Tank-Pro detects oxygen, toxic and flammable gases in inert environments. 

Tank-Pro – the Tank Gas Specialist

Tank-Pro is a specialist gas detection unit for use in specialist environments where standard gas detectors just won’t work. Hydrocarbon gases stored in inert environments create a particular flammable gas detection challenge.

The elements of fire

For combustion to occur, 3 things are required; sufficient fuel, sufficient oxygen and a source of ignition. Each hydrocarbon gas has a minimum explosive level (LEL) below which it cannot ignite. Regardless of the level of hydrocarbon gas, if oxygen is below about 8% volume, ignition can’t occur.

Minimising the risk

Therefore, when storing flammable gas, minimising the amount of oxygen is vital in any safety strategy. As flammable gas is removed, the space is commonly flushed with an inert gas, such as nitrogen. If maintenance is planned, oxygen will be required for the maintenance team to breathe. However, only once the hydrocarbon gas is well below its LEL can the oxygen level be allowed rise.

Figure 1 illustrates the interplay of these gas concentrations in relation to creating a flammable mixture. It is important to be able to monitor the changing levels of gas mixture to be sure safe levels are being maintained throughout this process.

A common technology for monitoring hydrocarbon gases is the catalytic bead (or pellistor) sensor. However, for this particular purpose, it is highly unsuitable, for 2 reasons:

 

Figure 1: interplay of gas concentrations on mix flammability
Figure 1: interplay of gas concentrations on mix flammability

1.  The mechanism of this sensor technology requires oxygen to be present

2.  In high hydrocarbon concentrations, the detection mechanism is inhibited

These factors make catalytic bead sensors useless for this application.

Detect the danger

Tank-Pro employs the best sensor technology to reliably monitor such environments: dual IR. IR sensors are not inhibited by high hydrocarbon concentrations and don’t require oxygen to work. Unlike single IR sensors, the dual nature of this sensor enables it to cope with gas in high %vol as well as %LEL concentration. Therefore, it copes equally well with a full tank of hydrocarbon and one which is fully purged. An integrated pump quickly draws samples from lines up to 30 metres long, so tanks can be checked quickly.

Other hazards may well also be present, so Tank-Pro also monitors oxygen and toxic gas levels. At 340g, it is light enough to clip to a belt or overalls. Unlike heavier, bulkier equipment, this is especially beneficial when the atmosphere to be sampled is a long walk or climb away. With IP65 and IP67 ingress protection, it meets the demands of most industrial environments.

Tank-Pro – the best solution

Hydrocarbon gases stored in inert environments create a particular flammable gas detection challenge. A lightweight and robust, portable multigas monitor, Tank-Pro detects oxygen, toxic and flammable gases in inert environments. Unlike other units that can perform this function, it is light-weight yet robust, so perfect to carry with you all day.


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