Our Partnership with Hatech Gasdetectietechniek B.V.

Service providers are vital in supplying products and solution services to customers. However, they also provide customers with a range of knowledge and expertise to ensure they supply their customers with the correct equipment.

Background

Founded in 1994 and located in Raamsdonksveer, North Brabant, Hatech Gasdetectietechniek B.V. are a gas detection specialist. With over 25 years of experience, Hatech is the biggest service provider in the Netherlands, operating as a seven-person organisation and supply gas detection for the office, workshop, factory, plants, offshore, biogas or any other industrial environment. Hatech supply a wide range of gas detection products, from portable devices to complete fixed setups and customised installations. In addition to the supply of gas detection, Hatech is also a ‘one-stop shop’ as they issue calibration, service and supply rental of gas detection equipment.

Views on Gas Detection

Gas detection is a crucial piece of safety equipment for those who work in hazardous environments; therefore, supplying the correct equipment for the job is vital. Hatech ensures they provide the knowledge and understanding to enable their customers to understand and know the equipment they are buying correctly. Hatech issues tailor-made advice that ensures they know what application and who will be entering these environments to ensure that they offer the most suitable solution for your gas detection application.

Working with Crowcon

A 15-year partnership and continued communication have allowed Hatech to supply their customers with a gas detection solution. Although Hatech Gasdetectietechniek is based in the Netherlands, our partnership provides them with a short lead time allowing for a quick turnaround in products. Hatech is an official service centre for portable devices and supplying service engineers for fixed products. “Crowcon detectors are a premier gas detection solution that is simple to operate, with a complete sales and service team. Our partnership has provided our customers with new technology and the knowledge and understanding allowing for the correct equipment for the right application.”

Our Partnership with Tyco (Johnson Controls)

Background 

Johnson Controls has over 120 years’ experience in providing complete life safety to the oil and gas industries world-wide helping to provide 90% of the world’s top fifty oil and gas companies. Merging with Tyco in 2018 they now provide a full turn-key solution for the global marine and navy industries. The merge has allowed for the protection of over 80% of the vessels at sea for all types of assets and facilities including fixed and portable devices. Johnson Controls also supply gas detection to the renewable industry.

Views on Gas Detection 

Johnson Controls is uniquely positioned to offer comprehensive and integrated solutions for a wide range of proven products and systems across several industries and applications. Johnson Controls have a culture that focuses on innovation and continuous improvement which in turn helps to us to solve current challenges whilst constantly looking to ‘What’s next’. As gas detection is an essential instrument for many workers within the oil and gas and marine industries, providing honestly and transparency is key as well as upholding the highest standards of integrity and honour in the commitments they make, ensure that their customers are given a solution that not only solves their pain but also protects their workers.  

Working with Crowcon 

Through continuous communication, our partnership with Johnson Controls has allowed them to provide honesty and transparency to their customers. This partnership has allowed Johnson Controls to reach a variety of industries and applications. Although previously our partnership has predominately been focused on our portable product range, future hopes will be focussed on our fixed product range, of which will allow Johnson Controls to expand their customer base as well as providing a solution to a wider audience. “Our partnership with Crowcon has allowed us to offer a solution to all customers, ensuring that those who we supply equipment to are protected.”  

How do Electrochemical sensors work? 

Electrochemical sensors are the most used in diffusion mode in which gas in the ambient environment enters through a hole in the face of the cell. Some instruments use a pump to supply air or gas samples to the sensor. A PTFE membrane is fitted over the hole to prevent water or oils from entering the cell. Sensor ranges and sensitivities can be varied in design by using different size holes. Larger holes provide higher sensitivity and resolution, whereas smaller holes reduce sensitivity and resolution but increase the range.  

Benefits  

Electrochemical sensors have several benefits.  

  • Can be specific to a particular gas or vapor in the parts-per-million range. However, the degree of selectivity depends on the type of sensor, the target gas and the concentration of gas the sensor is designed to detect.  
  • High repeatability and accuracy rate. Once calibrated to a known concentration, the sensor will provide an accurate reading to a target gas that is repeatable. 
  • Not susceptible to poisoning by other gases, with the presence of other ambient vapours will not shorten or curtail the life of the sensor. 
  • Less expensive than most other gas detection technologies, such as IR or PID technologies. Electrochemical sensors are also more economical. 

Issues with cross-sensitivity  

Cross-sensitivity occurs when a gas other than the gas being monitored/detected can affect the reading given by an electrochemical sensor. This causes the electrode within the sensor to react even if the target gas is not actually present, or it causes an otherwise inaccurate reading and/or alarm for that gas. Cross-sensitivity may cause several types of inaccurate reading in electrochemical gas detectors. These can be positive (indicating the presence of a gas even though it is not actually there or indicating a level of that gas above its true value), negative (a reduced response to the target gas, suggesting that it is absent when it is present, or a reading that suggests there is a lower concentration of the target gas than there is), or the interfering gas can cause inhibition. 

Factors affecting electrochemical sensor life  

There are three main factors that affect the sensor life including temperature, exposure to extremely high gas concentrations and humidity. Other factors include sensor electrodes and extreme vibration and mechanical shocks. 

Temperature extremes can affect sensor life. The manufacturer will state an operating temperature range for the instrument: typically -30˚C to +50˚C. High quality sensors will, however, be able to withstand temporary excursions beyond these limits. Short (1-2 hours) exposure to 60-65˚C for H2S or CO sensors (for example) is acceptable, but repeated incidents will result in evaporation of the electrolyte and shifts in the baseline (zero) reading and slower response.  

Exposure to extremely high gas concentrations can also compromise sensor performance. Electrochemical sensors are typically tested by exposure to as much as ten-times their design limit. Sensors constructed using high quality catalyst material should be able to withstand such exposures without changes to chemistry or long-term performance loss. Sensors with lower catalyst loading may suffer damage. 

The most considerable influence on sensor life is humidity. The ideal environmental condition for electrochemical sensors is 20˚Celsius and 60% RH (relative humidity). When the ambient humidity increases beyond 60%RH water will be absorbed into the electrolyte causing dilution. In extreme cases the liquid content can increase by 2-3 times, potentially resulting in leakage from the sensor body, and then through the pins. Below 60%RH water in the electrolyte will begin to de-hydrate. The response time may be significantly extended as the electrolyte or dehydrated. Sensor electrodes can in unusual conditions be poisoned by interfering gases that adsorb onto the catalyst or react with it creating by-products which inhibit the catalyst. 

Extreme vibration and mechanical shocks can also harm sensors by fracturing the welds that bond the platinum electrodes, connecting strips (or wires in some sensors) and pins together. 

‘Normal’ life expectancy of electrochemical Sensor  

Electrochemical sensors for common gases such as carbon monoxide or hydrogen sulphide have an operational life typically stated at 2-3 years. More exotic gas sensor such as hydrogen fluoride may have a life of only 12-18 months. In ideal conditions (stable temperature and humidity in the region of 20˚C and 60%RH) with no incidence of contaminants, electrochemical sensors have been known to operate more than 4000 days (11 years). Periodic exposure to the target gas does not limit the life of these tiny fuel cells: high quality sensors have a large amount of catalyst material and robust conductors which do not become depleted by the reaction. 

Products  

As electrochemical sensors are more economical, We have a range of portable products and fixed products that use this type of sensor to detect gases.  

To explore more, visit our technical page for more information. 

 Our Partnership with Point Safety 

Background

Point safety Ltd is one of the UK’s leading gas safety consultants with 20 years of experience, knowledge and background in the instrumentation industry. Founded in 2011, it specialises in sectors such as oil and gas, pharmaceutical, utilities and telecommunication, providing a range of industries, supplying, installing and maintaining bespoke solutions and the service and supply of test equipment. Point Safety provide constancy to their customers as they believe that there is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ nor does one solution have to be ‘fit for purpose.

Views on Gas Detection

Portable gas detection is an essential piece of equipment when detecting toxic or explosive gasses and measuring gas concentration. Point Safety puts customers at the forefront of gas detection; they believe that it protects their customers’ plants and processes and, more importantly, helps prevent injury, thereby helping to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of its workers. 

Through the supply and support of Crowcon, our portable instruments allow Point Safety’s customers to have the freedom to have reliable, efficient service with the confidence and knowledge that the equipment being provided allows for the protection of workers and their employees. Therefore, turnaround is important to Point Safety; ensuring a quick and effective service turnaround for all units is essential, ensuring minimal downtime and increased customer satisfaction.

As Point Safety provide the supply, installation and maintenance of the bespoke solutions, the implementation and servicing of their fixed systems that are provided nationwide are vital to their customers. Point Safety are confident that the continuous monitoring of these systems ensures that our customers’ and their employees’ lives are safe and that of their surroundings.

Working with Crowcon

Through continuous communication of knowledge and expertise with Point Safety, our partnership will allow for the supply of gas detection instruments to ensure the safety of those working within the oil and gas, pharmaceutical, utilities and telecommunication industries.
“We have a long-standing relationship with Point Safety, now a trusted partner in the North. Point Safety offers outstanding service to our end-users and is extremely knowledgeable on Crowcon products” – Katherine Winter, Northern Account Manager. Our partnership, Point Safety, allows for the distributors of Crowcon products throughout the UK in portable and fixed gas detectors/systems. Our partnership has also enabled Point Safety to become a Crowcon calibration site, with all its engineers fully trained and certified to Crowcon standards. “Point Safety Ltd are extremely proud to be associated with Crowcon, the leaders in gas detection systems, not only in the UK but worldwide. Their expertise, knowledge, first-class product range, and total support is second to none.” – Dawn Beever, Head of Sales and Marketing.

Facts on Fixed Detection

Optimal placement of fixed gas detectors requires thorough risk assessment. This short video highlights some of the questions you need to ask before buying or installing a fixed system at your plant or site.

Continue reading “Facts on Fixed Detection”

Hydrogen Sulphide: toxic and deadly – Chris explains more about this dangerous gas

Many of you will have come across hydrogen sulphide (H2S). If you have ever cracked a rotten egg the distinctive smell is H2S.

H2S is a hazardous gas that is found in many work environments, and even at low concentrations it is toxic. It can be a product of man-made process or a by-product of natural decomposition. From offshore oil production to sewerage works, petrochemical plants to farms and fishing vessels, H2S presents a real hazard to workers.

Continue reading “Hydrogen Sulphide: toxic and deadly – Chris explains more about this dangerous gas”