Crowcon showing latest gas safety technology at Offshore Europe

Crowcon is showing its latest gas safety technology at the Offshore Europe Conference and Exhibition in September. On the Crowcon stand (#4B110) visitors can see the new Gas-Pro portable gas detector, bump/calibration testing equipment and state-of-the-art data management software. You can also learn about the I-Test and Q-Test gas test and calibration systems, with supporting software, which provides extensive reporting capabilities.

Crowcon's new flameproof, compact Vortex control panel, to be shown at Offshore Europe

Crowcon’s new flameproof, compact Vortex control panel, to be shown at Offshore Europe

Also on show will be the Gasmaster control panel which is now available in one, two, three or four-module formats; the new flameproof, compact Vortex control panel; and new network capabilities for the Detective Plus, which is used for wide area gas monitoring.

If you need to know about gas detection or if you’re considering purchasing gas detection equipment, come and talk to the experts at Crowcon. They will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Comments Off

Gas Safety in Confined Spaces

A confined space is any space large enough for someone to enter and perform assigned work, which has limited means of entry or exit, and which is not designed for continuous worker occupancy. This covers just about every industry, including utilities, construction, hydrocarbon exploration and processing, petrochemicals, marine, agriculture, food processing and brewing, as well as the emergency services.

Crowcon’s Gas-Pro multi-gas detector is ideal for use in confined spaces.

Crowcon’s Gas-Pro multi-gas detector is ideal for use in confined spaces.

Employers must assess the risks these workplaces pose to their employees and endeavour to prevent them.  In most cases, both the assessment and the safe working system will require testing of the atmosphere with gas detection equipment.

Crowcon’s Gas-Pro multi-gas detector is ideal for this purpose. Robust, reliable and simple to use with a bright, easy to read display and long battery life, it means personnel entering confined spaces can focus on the task in hand, safe in the knowledge that their gas detector is watching their back.

Confined space gas risks can be divided into three broad categories: combustible gas, toxic gas, and oxygen depletion or enrichment.

Combustible gas risks
For combustion to occur the air must contain a minimum concentration of combustible gas or vapour. This quantity is called the lower explosive limit (LEL). Different compounds have different LELs so it’s vital that detectors are capable of detecting at the correct levels.

Typically, storage vessels which have contained hydrocarbon fuels and oils present a danger.  Other dangers come from fuel leaks: burst fuel containers; pipelines on and off site, gas cylinders and engine-driven plant. For workers in pits, sewers and other sub-surface locations, methane formed by decaying organic matter is an almost universal danger.

Toxic gases and vapours
Confined-space workers may be exposed to many toxic compounds, depending on the nature of the work.  A risk assessment should be made of which toxic substances a worker may be exposed to in any given work situation.

When looking at toxic gases related to specific applications, the water industry for example uses many toxic compounds for cleaning and processing both waste and clean water. Hazards such as chlorine, ozone, sulphur dioxide and chlorine dioxide then pose additional risks both in storage and treatment areas.

Oxygen – too high or too low?
The normal concentration of oxygen in fresh air is 20.9%.  An atmosphere is hazardous if the concentration drops below 19.5% or goes above 23.5%.

Without adequate ventilation, the simple act of breathing will cause oxygen levels to fall surprisingly quickly. Combustion also uses up oxygen, so engine-driven plant and naked flames such as welding torches are potential hazards. Oxygen can also be displaced.  Nitrogen, for example, when used to purge hydrocarbon storage vessels prior to re-use, drives oxygen out of the container and leaves it highly dangerous until thoroughly ventilated.

High oxygen levels are also dangerous.  As with too little, too much will impair the victim’s ability to think clearly and act sensibly.  Moreover, oxygen-enriched atmospheres represent a severe fire hazard.

Gas detector types
Both portable and fixed gas detectors can be used for confined space monitoring.  Fixed systems typically comprise one or more detector “heads” connected to a separate control panel. If a detector reads a dangerous gas level, the panel raises the alarm by triggering external sirens and beacons. This sort of installation is suited to larger spaces like plant rooms, which have sufficient room for the hardware or remote stations that are usually unmanned.

However, much confined space work takes place in more restricted areas, making compact portable units more suitable. Ease of use, with one button operation, means minimal training is required while increased safety is ensured.  Combining one or more sensors with powerful audible and visual signals to warn when pre-set gas levels are reached, portable detectors can be carried or worn wherever they are needed. In addition, a compact instrument is easily carried in a confined space, ensuring that pockets of high gas concentration are not missed.

Certain features should be expected in every portable gas detector.  Clearly, life-saving tools for demanding environments must be as tough as possible, with reliable electronics housed in impact-resistant casings.  While the need to leave gas sensors exposed to the atmosphere means that no instrument can be fully sealed, a high degree of protection against dust and water ingress is essential.  Toughness notwithstanding, a well-designed detector will also be light and compact enough to wear for an entire shift.

Finally, because of the difficulties of working in a cramped space, perhaps under poor lighting, instruments should be easy to use.  No matter how advanced a detector’s internal architecture or data management options, personnel in the field should be faced with nothing more daunting than a clear display, simple, one-button operation and loud/bright alarms.

Comments (0) »

Vortex FP control panels monitor gas detectors in Zone 1 hazardous areas

Compact model now available for tight spaces where other flameproof panels may not fit

Crowcon’s new Vortex FP Compact control panel increases the flexibility of its flameproof product range. Like the existing Vortex FP, the FP Compact is specifically designed to monitor toxic and flammable gas detectors or fire detectors where there is a need for the control system to be installed in Atex Zone 1 and 2 hazardous areas. Its more compact size, however, means it is particularly suited to confined spaces such as analyser shelters in refineries, offshore rigs or FPSO (floating production, storage and offloading) installations.

Vortex FP control panels monitor gas detectors in Zone 1 hazardous areas

Vortex FP control panels monitor gas detectors in Zone 1 hazardous areas

All day-to-day operations on either model can be performed without having to open the panel’s enclosure: gas levels, alarms and faults are viewed at a glance through a window and all system functions are accessed either via buttons or a ‘Crowmag’ magnetic key (supplied). This means the whole system can be checked at a glance without a ‘hot work’ permit being required, which in turn means adjacent areas can remain online, saving time and money.

The standard Vortex FP contains up to 24 relays and can monitor up to 12 gas/fire detectors, while the FP Compact contains up to 16 relays and can also monitor up to 12 detectors. Rated IP66 for dust and water ingress, both models meet all the latest gas detection legislation and EMC standards and is validated to the IEC 61508 (SIL 1) functional safety standard.

The control panel is also highly configurable: it can be factory-set according to end-user requirements or altered at any time by a PC using the software provided. Adjustments can also be made in-situ without the need for additional equipment.

All relays are monitored continuously, ensuring the integrity of the entire control system. Modbus capability also allows two-wire linkage between the panel and the control room, saving on a potentially large number of costly cable linkages.

In areas where explosive or toxic gases are a real and imminent danger, both the Vortex FP and the Vortex FP Compact allow workers to perform their jobs more efficiently without compromising their safety.

Comments (0) »

Crowcon Showing its Latest Gas Detectors at EIC Connect Oil & Gas 2012

Gas detection specialist Crowcon is showing its latest portable and fixed gas detectors for the oil and gas industry at EIC Connect Oil & Gas 2012 in Manchester between 27-28 November.

Crowcon Clip and Clip+ single gas detectors

Crowcon Clip and Clip+ single gas detectors

Among the new products on show will be the Crowcon ‘Clip’ and ‘Clip+’ single-gas, fixed-life personal gas detectors. Simple to use, they are designed with one thing in mind: compliance with regulations and company procedures in the oil and gas industry. Ideal for use in hazardous areas, they offer reliable and durable fixed life monitoring in a compact, lightweight and maintenance-free package. Application-focused features include hibernation and changeable alarm levels, as well as user friendly gas test and calibration solutions.

Crowcon will also be showing a number of other new portable gas detection products, including the Gas-Pro portable confined space entry gas detector and the T3 Gas Tester, an un-powered gas test unit for the Tetra 3 portable gas detector.

In addition, the new IRmax infrared (IR) flammable fixed gas detector will be on display. Unlike conventional IR gas detectors, IRmax does not use heaters to prevent condensation on windows and mirrors. Instead, its optical components are treated with a highly durable hydrophobic coating called STAY-CLIR that completely prevents signal faults due to condensation.

All these new products, as well as Crowcon’s existing range of state-of-the-art gas detection products, can be found at Stand A48. Crowcon’s experts will also be on hand to answer any gas-safety related questions.

Comments (0) »

Crowcon’s IRmax Infrared Hydrocarbon Gas Detector Certified to SIL 2

Crowcon’s IRmax infrared hydrocarbon gas detector has been certified to SIL 2 by Sira Test and Certification Ltd according to the requirements of the IEC 61508 and EN50402 functional safety standards. This certification provides 3rd party assurance of the integrity and dependability of the IRmax and allows it to be included as part of a SIL 2 safety system.

Crowcon’s IRmax Infrared Hydrocarbon Gas Detector Certified to SIL 2

Crowcon’s IRmax Infrared Hydrocarbon Gas Detector Certified to SIL 2

According to Sira, the IEC 61508 functional safety standard “provides the assurance that the safety-related systems will offer the necessary risk reduction required to achieve safety for the equipment”.

The EN50402 (Electrical apparatus for the detection and measurement of combustible or toxic gases or vapours or of oxygen. Requirements on the functional safety of fixed gas detection systems) takes the general requirements of IEC 61508 and extends them by applying them specifically to gas detection equipment.

During the six month certification process, Sira scrutinised every detail of the IRmax’s design – from hardware and electronics to software – against the required standards to achieve SIL 2 certification. The product was performance tested according to EN60079-29-1 and documentation for the product (specifications, software structure) – as well as Crowcon’s quality management systems – were also assessed to ensure compliance with the strict requirements of the standards.

“Product documentation including a SIL certificate and ‘safety manual’ provide the data and information to ensure that the product can be easily integrated into a SIL 2 system and installed operated according to the requirements of the certification,” comments Andy Avenell, Crowcon’s Senior Product Manager.

“Crowcon’s management systems ensure that IRmax continues to comply with the standards regardless of modifications during the product’s life-cycle,” he added.

Crowcon’s commitment to functional safety extends beyond product design: key members of Crowcon’s R&D team are certified ‘Functional Safety Engineers’. A Crowcon engineer is also a member of the European committee currently updating the EN50402 standard.

Sira Test and Certification Ltd (a CSA Group company) is UKAS accredited and uses the CASS methodology to provide third party certification to IEC 61508 and other standards on safety related issues. This includes the products’ performance tests, functional safety management systems, hardware and software.

About the IRmax

Featuring dual-wavelength IR sensor technology in a rugged 316 stainless steel package, the ultra-compact IRmax is designed to detect methane gas and other potentially explosive hydrocarbons in the harshest conditions.

Unlike conventional IR gas detectors, the IRmax does not utilise heaters to prevent condensation on windows and mirrors. Instead, its optical components are treated with a highly durable hydrophobic coating called STAY-CLIR that completely prevents signal faults due to condensation.

As the IRmax contains no components for artificially heating optical surfaces, power consumption is dramatically reduced. It requires less than 1 Watt of power, typically 75-90% lower than conventional IR gas detectors. A gas detection system using IRmax detectors therefore requires smaller (and lower cost) power supplies and battery back-up systems. Longer cables can also be used and more detectors can be powered on addressable networks.

References:
IEC 61508 Certification: http://www.siracertification.com/safety.aspx
International Electrotechnical Commission: http://www.iec.ch/functionalsafety/

Comments (0) »

Crowcon Showing its Latest Gas Detectors at WWEM 2012

Gas detection specialist Crowcon is showing its latest portable and fixed gas detectors at the WWEM Exhibition in Telford this November.

Among the new products on show will be the Gas-Pro portable confined space entry gas detector. Specifically designed for confined space work in the utility industries, the Gas-Pro features a top-mount display, internal pump, detection of up to five gases simultaneously, and a tri-colour status indicator.

Crowcon will also be showing a number of other new gas detection products, including the T3 Gas Tester, an un-powered gas test unit for the Tetra 3 portable gas detector which utilises the functionality of the Tetra 3 to carry out a simple and fast gas test in a matter of minutes.

In addition, the IRmax infrared (IR) flammable gas detector will be on display. Unlike conventional IR gas detectors, IRmax does not use heaters to prevent condensation on windows and mirrors. Instead, its optical components are treated with a highly durable hydrophobic coating called STAY-CLIR that completely prevents signal faults due to condensation. The company will also be introducing its Crowcon Clip and Clip+ single gas monitors. Intended for use in hazardous areas, they offer reliable and durable fixed life monitoring in a compact, lightweight and maintenance-free package.

All these new products, as well as Crowcon’s existing range of state-of-the-art gas detection products, can be found at booths 118 and 119. Crowcon’s experts will also be on hand to answer any gas-safety related questions.

Comments Off

Crowcon’s new Website is a Revelation

Crowcon’s new website is designed with the end user in mind – it’s attractive, simple, informative and easy to navigate.

It allows visitors to easily move around the site and identify specific product pages where they can view rotatable, 3D images of many of its gas detection products. In addition to that, as well as being able to view and download supporting material like datasheets and manuals, visitors can now also view and enquire about all accompanying accessories.

The website also provides detailed, industry-specific information and recommendations of specific products for particular applications, allowing visitors to narrow down their search and find relevant information quickly and easily.

Support pages provide useful information about what Crowcon can offer customers once a gas detector has been chosen, such as support, service, or training for your engineers.

Another new feature of the website is a ‘Partners’ zone, where Crowcon’s distributors can log in and access additional information about upcoming product launches, updates and improvements, allowing them to keep their customers fully updated.

Comments Off

Gas Safety in Confined Spaces

Introduction

A confined space is any space large enough for someone to enter and perform assigned work, which has limited means of entry or exit, and which is not designed for continuous worker occupancy. This covers just about every industry, including utilities, construction, hydrocarbon exploration and processing, petrochemicals, marine, agriculture, food processing and brewing, as well as the emergency services.

Gas Safety in Confined Spaces

Gas Safety in Confined Spaces

Employers must assess the risks these workplaces pose to their employees and endeavour to prevent them.  In most cases, both the assessment and the safe working system will require testing of the atmosphere with gas detection equipment.

The gas risks can be divided into three broad categories: combustible gas, toxic gas, and oxygen depletion or enrichment.

Combustible gas risks

For combustion to occur the air must contain a minimum concentration of combustible gas or vapour. This quantity is called the lower explosive limit (LEL). Different compounds have different LELs so it’s vital that detectors are capable of detecting at the correct levels.

Typically, storage vessels which have contained hydrocarbon fuels and oils present a danger.  Other dangers come from fuel leaks: burst fuel containers; pipelines on and off site, gas cylinders and engine-driven plant. For workers in pits, sewers and other sub-surface locations, methane formed by decaying organic matter is an almost universal danger.

Toxic gases and vapours

Confined-space workers may be exposed to many toxic compounds, depending on the nature of the work.  A risk assessment should be made of which toxic substances a worker may be exposed to in any given work situation.

When looking at toxic gases related to specific applications, the water industry for example uses many toxic compounds for cleaning and processing both waste and clean water. Hazards such as chlorine, ozone, sulphur dioxide and chlorine dioxide then pose additional risks both in storage and treatment areas.

Oxygen – too high or too low?

The normal concentration of oxygen in fresh air is 20.9%.  An atmosphere is hazardous if the concentration drops below 19.5% or goes above 23.5%.

Without adequate ventilation, the simple act of breathing will cause oxygen levels to fall surprisingly quickly. Combustion also uses up oxygen, so engine-driven plant and naked flames such as welding torches are potential hazards. Oxygen can also be displaced.  Nitrogen, for example, when used to purge hydrocarbon storage vessels prior to re-use, drives oxygen out of the container and leaves it highly dangerous until thoroughly ventilated.

High oxygen levels are also dangerous.  As with too little, too much will impair the victim’s ability to think clearly and act sensibly.  Moreover, oxygen-enriched atmospheres represent a severe fire hazard.

Gas detector types

Both portable and fixed gas detectors can be used for confined space monitoring.  Fixed systems typically comprise one or more detector “heads” connected to a separate control panel. If a detector reads a dangerous gas level, the panel raises the alarm by triggering external sirens and beacons. This sort of installation is suited to larger spaces like plant rooms, which have sufficient room for the hardware or remote stations that are usually unmanned.

However, much confined space work takes place in more restricted areas, making compact portable units more suitable. Ease of use, with one button operation, means minimal training is required while increased safety is ensured.  Combining one or more sensors with powerful audible and visual signals to warn when pre-set gas levels are reached, portable detectors can be carried or worn wherever they are needed. In addition, a compact instrument is easily carried in a confined space, ensuring that pockets of high gas concentration are not missed.

Certain features should be expected in every portable gas detector.  Clearly, life-saving tools for demanding environments must be as tough as possible, with reliable electronics housed in impact-resistant casings.  While the need to leave gas sensors exposed to the atmosphere means that no instrument can be fully sealed, a high degree of protection against dust and water ingress is essential.  Toughness notwithstanding, a well-designed detector will also be light and compact enough to wear for an entire shift.

Finally, because of the difficulties of working in a cramped space, perhaps under poor lighting, instruments should be easy to use.  No matter how advanced a detector’s internal architecture or data management options, personnel in the field should be faced with nothing more daunting than a clear display, simple, one-button operation and loud/bright alarms.

Comments (0) »

Crowcon’s T3 Gas Tester Ensures Compliance

The new T3 Gas Tester ensures Crowcon’s Tetra:3 (T3) portable, multi-gas detector complies with relevant national/regional safety regulations and individual company requirements.

Crowcon’s T3 Gas Tester Ensures Compliance

Crowcon’s T3 Gas Tester Ensures Compliance

The device feeds the T3’s sensors a known concentration of gas, a process known as ‘bumping’, to ensure the sensors are working correctly. The way it works is simple: when a T3 is inserted into the Gas Tester, the T3 automatically switches into ‘bump’ mode and either passes or fails. Once the test is complete the T3 is removed and the bump result is then accepted by the user and automatically logged in the T3. When the test has passed, the user is safe in the knowledge their detector is in good working order while, if it fails the bump, it informs the user that their instrument needs to be re-calibrated or serviced. All this is done without requiring a power supply, as the T3 detector does all the work.

The Gas Tester can bump for flammable, oxygen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide sensors. Capable of testing up to four gases within just 60 seconds, it is a fast and simple way of ensuring all T3 detectors in a fleet are working correctly. In addition, the device also tests that a T3’s visual and audible alarms are working correctly. When used with a fixed flow regulator, the Gas Tester allows approximately 100 bumps per 34 litres of quad gas (four gases in one cylinder), making it a very cost-effective option for owners of T3 detectors.

Rugged and robust, the T3 Gas Tester is a lightweight, stand-alone unit ideal for both on-site and in-field gas testing. Fast and simple to use, it features automatic gas detector recognition and automatic gas delivery. It can also be wall- or desk-mounted or attached to a DIN rail.

Comments (0) »

Crowcon ‘Clip’ and ‘Clip+’ Single Gas Fixed-Life Monitors Deliver Compliance

Personal monitor with hibernate feature, extending life and reducing lifetime costs

The new Crowcon Clip and Clip+ single gas monitors are simple to use and designed with one thing in mind: compliance with regulations and company procedures in the oil and gas industry. Intended for use in hazardous areas, they offer reliable and durable fixed life monitoring in a compact, lightweight and maintenance-free package. Application focused innovations allow hibernation, deliver industry leading alarm time, changeable alarm levels, as well as user friendly gas test and calibration solutions.

Crowcon ‘Clip’ and ‘Clip+’  Single Gas Fixed-Life Monitors Deliver Compliance

Crowcon ‘Clip’ and ‘Clip+’ Single Gas Fixed-Life Monitors Deliver Compliance

Ideal for non-specialists such as contractors during shutdown/turnaround, the Clip and Clip+ monitor for hazardous gases such as hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and carbon monoxide (CO), ensuring workers are protected at all times, whether they are involved in exploration, production or refining.

With over 2900 alarm minutes, both the Clip and Clip+ offer a full year of shelf life followed by a two-year run time which includes four minutes of alarm time per day of operation. This ensures that even when a monitoring is regularly gas (bump) tested, or enters alarm whilst in use, the battery still has ample capability to last the 2 year product life. The Crowcon Clip+ also includes an innovative hibernate facility, allowing full monitor shutdown for times when not in use – very useful for shutdown and turnarounds when site population drastically increases.

Single button operation maintains the simplicity of the monitor. Once activated, the operator button can be used to run a self-test (demonstrating audible, visual and vibrate alerts as well as running internal electronic diagnostics) or show the alarm points (low and high in turn). This means users won’t get side-tracked by lengthy menus or functionality that is simply not required.

Designed with the user in mind, the monitors measure just 85mm x 50mm x 28mm (3.2in x 2.0in x 1.1in) and weigh just 76g (2.7oz) making the Clip and Clip+ non-intrusive and comfortable to wear.

Information is available when needed in the form of an event log capable of storing up to 25 individual events, including self tests, alarm events, gas test and calibration detail. Events can be accessed either via the IR link or C-Test gas (bump) test station and are stored in .csv format, ensuring data is provided in an easy to manipulate and understandable format. Fleet or safety managers also have the capability to change alarm points, ensuring compliance with changing regulations or company procedure.

Attached to a wall, the C-test gas (bump) test station can be used to calibrate the detectors and also acts as a USB data storage and IR/USB set-up device. Alarm levels and gas test intervals can be changed using the IR interface or C-Test, ensuring implemented fleets can keep up with changing industry, regional or company regulations.

Both the Crowcon Clip and the Clip+ are extremely robust and can operate in harsh environments over a temperature range of -40o to + 50o Celsius and in 5 to 95% humidity, ensuring their suitability for the increasingly harsh environments monitors are required for. They are also IP66 and IP67 ingress protected for dust and water.

The monitors have certification in the form of ATEX ll 1 G, IECEx Ex ia llC T4, CSA22.2 and UL913 to Class l Division l Groups A, B, C, D, ensuring they are suitable for the international market place.

Simple to train, simple to implement and simple to use, the Clip and Clip+ offer the ideal solution for operators who need to comply with regulations, but who don’t need to spend excessive time training workers in the use of more complicated monitors. Complementing Crowcon’s  existing portable range, Crowcon Clip and the Clip+ are simple to train, simple to implement and simple to use.

Comments (0) »

css.php