Gas Detection System to Detect Generator Exhaust Emissions

The BACKGROUND

Backup power generators are fundamental to maintain power supply in the event of a power outage. Sometimes these generators are portable so they can be positioned where power is needed. These generators are fuelled by diesel. Given their portability, this means that there's no flue to remove exhaust fumes.

This will mean that once the generator engines are working, the exhaust emissions will fill the surrounding air. Gas detection equipment should be used to detect an unsafe level of gas that could potentially pose a danger to people or the facility.

The CHALLENGE

Following a risk assessment, the site identified that the exhaust fumes from the power generator could pose a danger to workers. If the exhaust pipe failed or leaked, then high levels of Carbon Monoxide from the diesel fumes could accumulate in the room.

The site had no current Carbon Monoxide monitors operating in the room. So anyone working in or entering the room would have had no notice of the gas levels or if it was unsafe to enter. Carbon Monoxide has a TWA of 20ppm and STEL of 100ppm.

The site wanted to have a gas detection system installed that would provide;

  • a warning for the threat of increasing gas levels;
  • a warning for unsafe levels and;
  • data logging to show long-term trending data

The SOLUTION

The site contacted a1-cbiss to specify, design and install a fixed gas detection system for monitoring exhaust emissions.

Following a thorough site survey conducted by a technical advisor and install manager, a1-cbiss discussed the gas detection equipment.

To effectively activate an alarm, local gas sensors were installed close to the source of exhaust emissions. A gas controller is also required to activate alarms.

a1-cbiss installed an Oldham MX43 gas controller due to its flexibility and market-leading features plus its I/O capabilities for several sensor inputs. The MX43 gas controller is connected to the OLCT 100 Carbon Monoxide sensors. a1-cbiss chose the OLCT100 as it is robust, reliable and suitable for heavy industry.

The gas detection system is designed to activate an alarm inside and outside the building. Due to the loud environment, a visual flashing alarm beacon will be utilised alongside an audible alarm to warn site employees before they enter the building. The external alarm will provide a warning that there is an issue. If there is an event, suitable precautions should be taken i.e. breathing apparatus should be worn to enter the area. The internal alarm warning will alert workers to vacate the area.

a1-cbiss provides the full gas detection offering including service contracts. For this project, a1-cbiss provided a service contract that includes two visits per year to carry out system functionality checks and gas sensor calibrations.

Following the completion of the project, the site manager was happy with the support from a1-cbiss. Particularly so for taking care of the project and maintaining open communications with project progression. After discussing the project with the onsite team (the people who work with the power generators) and having the right people conducting the site survey to advise what’s needed, the site manager felt confident that a1-cbiss would deliver exactly what was needed.