United Electric Controls, a leading producer of safety, alarm and emergency shutdown technology, is demonstrating wireless gas detection solutions for the power industry, including new ammonia and hydrocarbons sensor head options for its Vanguard WirelessHART gas detector.
Wireless gas detection reduces compliance costs and improves safety by eliminating the need for wiring and terminations, reducing installation costs by as much as 90 percent and enabling greater coverage density. United Electric Controls WirelessHART gas leak detectors reduce costs and improve safety further because they can run on a single battery for five or more years.
“By adding ammonia and additional hydrocarbons to our popular Vanguard line, we extend the benefits of our WirelessHART solution to give power producers more flexibility to improve plant safety and comply with emissions regulations. Detection of toxic and combustible gases is critical to both plant safety and emissions monitoring. Wireless technology makes it much more affordable to install gas detectors in areas of the plant that are hard to reach or where running new power or communication wires is cost-prohibitive,” said Chris Frail, Vanguard product manager.
Following are among the most common toxic or combustible gases that can be leaked from power operations:
• Ammonia (NH3). Power producers use ammonia to reduce nitrogen oxide (NO) — the chemical that creates smog and acid rain (NOx) — in flue gas in coal-plants before it enters the atmosphere. Leaks are possible during operation or in storage areas.
• Non-methane hydrocarbon gases (NMHCGs). Remote locations are increasingly moving to liquefied propane gas (LPG) as a power source over alternatives like diesel and fuel oil because it is more environmentally friendly. Storage tanks and transportation would require monitoring for leaks.
• Methane (CH3) is a highly potent greenhouse gas, with more than 80 times the climate warming impact of carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after release. Methane can leak above the burners and in areas near the boiler casings. Natural gas-fired plants typically monitor methane at the custody transfer and pressure reduction points, which is the responsibility of the natural gas suppliers.
• Carbon monoxide (CO). Carbon monoxide is a toxic component of incomplete combustion primarily leaking from boiler casings and smoldering coal. Leak detection applications include the baghouse, silos, coal tunnels, bunkers, hoppers and tipper rooms to detect pre-fire conditions. CO leaks can also happen when using natural gas.
• Hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Nuclear power plants use H2S to produce heavy water instead of regular water, which enables nuclear reactors to run on ordinary uranium fuel instead of enriched uranium.
WirelessHART Vanguard Gas Detectors interface with existing networks to provide continuous coverage while reducing the cost of detecting toxic and combustible gases. Vanguard gas detectors handle a broad ambient operating temperature range (-40°C to 65°C); feature enhanced zero stability and are equipped with interchangeable firmware that enables measurement of additional gases without changing the base unit.
Sensor heads for NH3 are available immediately, as are heads for CH4, CO and H2S. Heads for hydrocarbons gases will be available in January of 2020. Future Vanguard versions will detect other gases commonly found in the power industry, including hydrogen from electric generators and battery rooms and oxygen that might be depleted in continuous emissions monitoring (CEM) shelters.
For more information on how wireless gas detection can reduce costs and improve safety for power producers visit POWERGEN 2019 booth 1106 or contact Chris Frail at [email protected]
About United Electric Controls
United Electric Controls (UE,) a privately held corporation founded in 1931 and headquartered in Watertown, Massachusetts, USA, is a global supplier of toxic and combustible WirelessHART gas detectors, electronic transmitter-switches, pressure and temperature switches, transmitters, sensors and controls for the process, discrete, semiconductor, aerospace and defense industries. Focused on protecting equipment, processes, personnel and the environment, our products are critical for safety, alarm and shutdown functions with uncompromising quality produced from innovative design and superior lean manufacturing.