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More Safety for Biogas Plants Using CH4 Gas Monitoring

Gas sensors from MSR-Electronic in Lower Bavaria ensure safety at biogas plants.

Image Credit: AdobeStock_158290689 Biogas plant

Biogas has proven to be a very good alternative of natural energy generation and is particularly in demand due to its weather-independent production. With biogas, the basic energy demand can be provided without grid fluctuations.

According to the German Federal Environment Agency, however, serious accidents occur in biogas plants every 2 weeks. Of all the accidents recorded, 46 % involved fires, making them the most frequent type of accident. In another 9 %, there was also at least one explosion. The reason would be the poor safety standard of the plants.

Methane (CH4) can react explosively with air. This poses a high risk potential for the operator of biogas plants. An explosive mixture exists when the concentration of methane in the air is between 4.4 % vol and 16.5 % vol.

For example, gas monitoring in pump rooms can protect people from dangerous leaks. Continuous measurement in the double membrane of the biogas air dome storage also ensures that there are no leaks and thus no losses.

In addition, escaping methane emissions not only have a negative impact on the profitability of the biogas plant, but also on the climate, because methane is around 25 times more harmful to the climate than carbon dioxide.

When operating biogas plants, the protection of people and the safety of the plant are therefore of crucial importance. With the gas warning products from MSR-Electronic, you work preventively against dangers. Gas sensors, controllers and warning devices are used to measure combustible and toxic gases as well as oxygen. Leakages are thus localised at an early stage.

Solutions from MSR-Electronic for CH4 gas monitoring

The fixed PolyXeta®2 gas detector PX2 is used for the continuous monitoring of the ambient air to detect combustible gases and vapours in the hazardous areas of zones 1 and/or 2 according to Directive 2014/34/EU.

It is a microprocessor-based gas detector with 4–20 mA / RS-485 Modbus output signal, alarm and fault relays (all SIL2 certified) for monitoring the ambient air to detect combustible gases and vapours by means of a catalytic sensor element (Pellistor).

On-site recalibration thanks to X-Change technology. The calibration of gas detectors without LC display is carried out via the calibration device STL06-PGX2 or the PC software PCE06-PGX2. Gas detectors with LC display have an integrated calibration routine that is started from the outside by a permanent magnet without opening the housing. In case of an alarm or failure the backlight of gas detectors with LC display changes from green to red.

APPLICATION

The PolyXeta®2 gas detector PX2 is used in industrial areas like oil/gas industry, biogas plants, petrochemical industry, power plants etc. in Ex zone 1/2. The gas detector is also suitable for commercial areas like e.g. gas transfer stations etc., and for use on ships, shipyards and offshore platforms etc.

ZERTIFICATES

  • ATEX and IECEx certificates MSR-Electronic for electrical Ex protection
  • MED Certificate and TA Certificate: Approval according to Marine Equipment Directive 2014/90/EU by DNV
  • Approved Measuring Function for the Explosion Protection
  • SIL2 safety functions 4–20 mA, RS-485 and relay
  • Enclosure: additional FM and CSA certificates for Class I, Div. 1

FEATURES

  • Continuous self-monitoring
  • Microprocessor with 12-bit converter resolution
  • Reverse polarity protection, overload protection
  • Easy calibration: Calibration service by exchanging the sensor head
  • Proportional 4–20 mA output
  • Serial interface to the control centre
  • Alarm and fault signal relay
  • Options:
    • LCD display with status LEDs
    • Connection of SSAX1 sensor head – not in conjunction with approved Measuring Function for the Explosion Protection
    • IP66 protection with SplashGuard accessories

Further information on MSR products can be found here in the current Online Catalog or in the webshop www.msr-24.com.

Source: http://www.msr-electronic.de/en

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