Safety Check

Advancements in leak detection systems

In recent years, combustible gas leak detection has gained importance because of increased safety concerns. Gas leak detection is a way of non-destructive testing of dangerous combustible gases from sealed components or systems. Leaks can easily result from poor seals and connections as well as from inadequate welds. Slow gas leaks from small defects or vibrations can be dangerous, expensive, frustrating and time-consuming, and can potentially lead to sickness, death or explosions. For years, gas utilities have been using the conventional soap and water method for leak detection. However, the method is highly ineffective in detecting the precise location of leaks, particularly small gas leaks. Of late, gas leak detectors and gas sniffers have become much more popular and useful. US-based SENSIT Technologies has been pioneering the development of innovative leak detection devices. SENSIT’s consistent growth over the years has fuelled the development of products that have changed the way energy companies, first responders and other technicians detect and respond to gas leaks.

Innovative leak detection systems

SENSIT Technologies designs, manufactures and services a complete line of gas leak detection instruments, combustible gas indicators and confined space monitors. The company’s product line also includes vehicle-mounted methane detectors and underground pipe locators. SENSIT now employs over 100 employees and supplies products to customers in more than 60 countries. SENSIT’s combustible gas leak detectors and hazardous gas monitors have been engineered to match the standards used within the natural gas industry. The instruments developed by the company undergo stringent testing for durability and intrinsic safety.

The company has recently developed a new product called GIS 360, which facilitates server-based real-time monitoring and recording of leak detection activities. GIS 360 also simplifies workflow management, as it helps gas utilities in identifying the locations where immediate attention is needed. It can also be integrated with all SENSIT product platforms for enhanced traceability and monitoring. The product is expected to be launched by the second quarter of 2021.

The company has recently launched a laser-based portable methane detector called SENSIT PMD2 for mobile and walking leak surveys. It is a lightweight, battery-operated instrument used for detecting pinpoint and grade methane leaks. The product offers a detection range of 0-100 per cent volume for faster natural gas leak classification. PMD2 allows users to perform walking or vehicle-based leak surveys quickly and accurately, using TDLAS technology. It is an intrinsically safe product and can be integrated with GIS 360 for data management and mapping. The company’s GAS-TRAC LZ-50 is an innovative hand held methane gas detector that provides instantaneous and accurate readings and is ideal for hard-to-reach locations. Lightweight and easy to use, the LZ-50 utilises TDLAS technology to detect methane in a 50 metre range. The Wi-Fi-enabled product offers precise GPS coordinates, and is compatible with GIS 360. The next-generation leak detection device is expected to be released in the next few months. Similarly, SENSIT G3 is expected to be released in mid-2021. It is a GPS and bluetooth-enabled leak detection device with datalogging features.

Meanwhile, the company’s SMART-CAL 360 Calibration Station has taken the calibration of SENSIT instruments to the next level. In addition to logging calibration data, time, date, sensor and pump performance, SMART-CAL 360 pushes firmware updates to selected SENSIT instruments without the need to return the instrument to the factory. The product tracks sensor life, and gives an early warning when it’s time to replace calibration bottles. It communicates over LAN and Wi-Fi, so that the station can be positioned where it is most convenient and accessible, and it works with any SMART-CAL-compatible instrument.

Conclusion

SENSIT Technologies offers innovative instruments for natural gas pipeline operators and gas distribution companies to detect gas leaks and identify the possible migration area. These instruments assist utility workers when surveying, pinpointing and repairing leaking pipeline assets. Instruments such as portable methane detectors and vehicle methane detectors quickly and accurately identify methane leaks along transmission pipes as well as distribution mains and service lines. When used with specially designed probes, SENSIT GOLD G2 and Trak-it IIIa instruments detect, measure and pinpoint the source of underground gas leaks. Many SENSIT instruments have special features to make the process easier, more efficient, and accurate for the user. The company has also come up with next-generation leak detection systems such as SENSIT PMD2 and SENSIT G3. Such innovations can be seen as a step towards ensuring accuracy, efficiency and complete safety in gas distribution.

Based on a presentation by J. Scott Kleppe, President and Chief Executive Officer, SENSIT Technologies, at a recent conference on City Gas Distribution in India