Generally, there are two reasons that you would install a continuous gas detection system: Personnel safety and ventilation control. Of course, these factors are not always going to be mutually exclusive. We can lay out some precepts that should help…
1. Identify all the point sources of the toxic gas. These could be areas along a process stream: sterilizers in a hospital’s sterile processing department (SPD) or contract sterilization facility; containers that could develop leaks; or upset conditions that could generate dangerous gas concentrations.
2. Where are are people located in the affected occupancy? How many hours per day will people be stationed in these spots?
3. If ventilation control is the goal, how many air movers are there, and how granular do you need the control to be?
4. Check if adequate ventilation exists in the affected occupancy. While horror stories exist describing how exhaust air is tracked back into the facility, this is, thankfully, infrequent. And, if ventilation is adequate, bear in mind that a gas release will disperse rapidly. Recall the junior high science experiment in which the teacher opens a bottle of perfume in the front of the classroom, and within less than a minute, even the kids in the back can smell the fragrance.
5. What is your budget? As the number of sampling points increases, so too does the price of the gas detection system. And, we are referring to both the acquisition cost and the maintenance cost. We have seen senseless overkill in SPD monitoring applications, whereby dedicated sampling points were assigned to sterilizers right next to each other. And, in some of those same installations, a preposterous number of annunciator panels, redundantly displaying alarm and concentration information were also included.
Modern systems really do not need such annunciators anymore; certainly, they don’t need duplicates of them. Instead, Web-based information can be accessed on any authorized device.
6. The above considerations will get you started. We encourage you to contact us to discuss your application in more detail.