Compressor stations offer unique safety challenges with great potential for fires, gas leaks and oil leaks. As a result, it is critical these facilities choose the right type of detection equipment to properly cover all risk areas. The compressor station is an excellent example of the fact that no single detection technology can do it all and most plants need “layers of detection” to protect people and property. Here are some useful examples of typical detection challenges compressor stations face:
Challenge: Pressurized leaks at critical junctions can create atomized fuel or lube oil in the intake or exhaust manifold leading to the risk of combustion when contacting hot operating surfaces within the enclosure.
Solution: The air particle monitor applies primarily to those compressor station applications which have auxiliary turbine generators on site. The air particle monitor provides users with a viable solution to detect atomized liquid leaks. Fuel and lube oil spray are the leading cause of hazardous fires in gas turbines and heat exchangers within compressor stations.
Challenge: Leaks of pressurized hydrogen or natural gas can occur at multiple locations and across multiple compressors within a facility creating an unsafe environment that could lead to an explosion.
Solution: Ultrasonic gas leak detection provides the fastest preliminary means of detection for pressurized toxic and combustible gas leaks. It also covers a larger detection area compared to conventional detection methods. While unable to identify gas composition or concentration, the Incus provides the greatest combination of response time, area coverage, and cost effectiveness.
Challenge: Natural gas releases are difficult to detect over large enclosed or semi-enclosed modules with few obstructed areas.
Solution: The combustible open path gas detector’s transmitter and receiver communicate to monitor a straight line path up to 660 feet (200 m) in length. If a combustible gas crosses the path, an alarm will result.
Challenge: Combustible material releases, if ignited, can quickly engulf a gas compressor building endangering personnel and damaging property. Furthermore, these structures contain a wide range of combustible substances with different fire properties which must be taken into account for a full protection scheme.
Solution: Optical flame detectors are placed along the perimeter of the area to be monitored. These devices detect hydrocarbon and hydrogen flames that may be present at the plant. Rosemount flame detectors are built with a high-speed response and can be configured to detect flames from a variety of fuel sources.
Challenge: Stratification or uneven mixing may result in localized high gas concentrations of combustible material which, if ignited, can lead to fires and explosions.
Solution: Fixed gas detectors provide localized gas detection for a variety of combustible and toxic gases.
This brief compressor plant example shows that industrial flame and gas detection requires an intelligent analysis of risk and selection of the appropriate detection tools to combat that risk at every juncture.
How do you layer flame and gas detection technologies to protect your facility?
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