Gas Detectors for a Wide-range of Toxic and Combustible Gases in Research Laboratories
Experts in Research Laboratory & Clean Room Gas Detection
Sensidyne has a long history of doing business with research labs. We understand the environment and requirements and our products are particularly suited to their needs. As gas sensor requirements change, the user simply plugs in a new sensor to address the new work. In a research lab, various experiments are conducted using a wide variety of gases and liquids, many of which are highly toxic or flammable. Some lab work involves environmental chambers and engines of various kinds (Natural gas, Gasoline, Diesel, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell). Much work is performed in small rooms or labs. Gas cylinder storage may be in these labs, gases may be piped in or a separate storage area maintained.
The types of labs we protect vary from Healthcare and Drugs to engine emissions and fuel cell experimentation, vapor deposition processes plus catalyst development. The list doesn’t end there as current emphasis on Hydrogen as a clean fuel is pushing Universities to install H2 research facilities. The latest lab to use Sensidyne is Factory Mutual Global.
Factory Mutual Global (FM) Chooses Sensidyne For New Environmental Testing Laboratory
Located in Hanover, MA, Wozney & Barber contacted companies with FM approved gas detection products for FM Global’s new environmental testing laboratory at their Research Campus in Glocester, RI. Ed Wojcik Architects of Providence had been subcontracted for the structure with W&B personnel doing the electrical layout. A conference call was arranged between Sensidyne, W&B project engineers, the Architect and an FM Global representative. A discussion as to the exact system requirements, building automation and security system implementation ensued. Questions about certain regulations and standard practices were raised and answered. Armed with this information and a rough specification plus a building floor plan, a one-line drawing was produced by us to describe the proposed Sensidyne gas detection system. A one-line drawing shows the logical layout of the gas detection equipment with sufficient information as to location, annunciation, power sources, AHJ requirements and supervisory notifications. The drawing is quite descriptive and guides the contractor in bidding and submitting the job once all the details are worked out. Notes on mounting the gas sensors (elevation and spacing) and annunciation/placement are given. Critical alarms and supervisory notification is also noted.
The warehouse, adjacent storage areas and rooms in some of the building are serviced by Propane fueled lift trucks. Propane engines can emit percent levels of Carbon Monoxide without smoking and CO monitoring is highly advisable. Eight areas were included on the plan for CO sensors and based on the square footage, 15 sensors were considered adequate coverage. The CO sensors will control the HVAC outside air ratio using a voting scheme in the Model 7100 Controller and outputs to the building security/automation system. FM approved Ventrex CO sensors were used. The Controller is mounted in the shop area which is normally occupied and central to the monitored rooms. SensAlert PLUS’s TWA alarm function will provide a rolling 8 hour TWA which aids in OSHA compliance for CO exposure.
The Specimen Storage area and Earthquake Lab have the potential for Oxygen Deficiency and Oxygen sensors were deployed in those areas with the Controller in the Control Room. Since this condition is deadly, added annunciation is being installed in and outside those areas. Many room hazards require both inside and outside annunciation to protect occupants and prevent entry if a problem exists.
The Weathering, Corrosion and UV labs all use Hydrogen Sulfide. The sensors are positioned in the breathing zone and the controller is in the hall outside the labs. Inside annunciation and supervisory notification is mandatory as H2S is deadly (stops involuntary breathing) above 100 ppm. A low flashpoint flammable liquid storage area required compliance with NFPA 30. This includes a low mounted LEL Sensor and an optical flame detector along with bottom air make-up ventilation because flammable vapors are invariably much heavier than air. The flame detector is mounted high in a corner to provide complete coverage. The controller is outside the room and contacts from the flame detector go directly to the building security / automation system to indicate a fire. In the case of several flammable liquids being stored, the worst case is evaluated and protection is designed around those characteristics.
This job’s scope of supply included commissioning and calibration gases and the services of a factory technician to check and start-up the equipment. Since all transmitters are identical 3-wire units, only one spare was purchased. The sensors have the predictive failure function and indicate Percent Remaining Life, so spares are not required, rather, new sensors are ordered when remaining life reaches 10% (a configurable warning).
Toxic chemicals, flammables and Oxygen deficiency exist in many research and manufacturing facilities. From single point SensAlarm or 4 points with a 4-Channel Controller to 8 or 16 points on our 7100 Digital Controller, Sensidyne can and will provide the total solution to you plus work with contractors and engineering firms prior to the actual equipment purchase.
- AHJ: Authority having Jurisdiction, i. e., Fire Marshall, Building Inspector, etc.
- A critical gas detector alarm must report to an authority that is manned 24/7/365 so that a person in distressed can receive aid if necessary. An example is guard shack, security system or fire department.
- The OSHA permitted exposure level (PEL) to CO is 50 ppm expressed as an 8 hour time weighted average (TWA)Ventrex is the in-house Sensidyne LP sensor manufacturing division
- Flashpoint is the temperature at which a flammable mixture will form above the liquid. The lower the flashpoint the higher the danger. Class IA and IB are the most dangerous liquids with flashpoints below 73° F and boiling points at or near 100° F.
- FPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code, NFPA, 1 Batterymarch Park, PO Box 9101, Quincy, MA 02269-9101