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Detecting Gas Leaks Reduce Costs and Minimise Dangers

26 April 2012

The potential consequences of undetected gas leaks have been well reported over recent years, including causing illness in personnel and building collapses, and harming the environment.

Many chemical compounds and gases are invisible to the naked eye and some are odourless. Yet many companies work intensively with these substances before, during and after their production processes. The effective detection of any type of leak is of course a priority for any business because of the cost and safety implications.

Conventional leak detection equipment such as Volatile Organic Compound meters – or sniffers – mean the operator must visit and test each potential leak site. However, by using a Gas Find thermal imaging camera an operator can get a complete picture and immediately exclude areas that do not need any action. This can save time, reduce costs and minimise dangers to which personnel are exposed. Systems can also remain live during an inspection.

Aberdeen-based remote visual inspection specialist Inspectahire uses Gas Find cameras to detect gas leaks in pipelines, tanks and facilities operated by oil and gas companies.

The camera is also dual-purpose. Because it uses infrared technology to detect gas leaks, it can be operated as a traditional thermal imaging camera for industrial maintenance inspections.

John Rennie, operations director, said: "It is estimated that 84% of leaks occur in less than 1% of the plant. This means that time can be spent scanning safe and leak free components, so there is a definite need for employing leak detection equipment which is time efficient.

"Gas Find cameras enable miles of pipe to be scanned from a safe distance and leaks can be pinpointed in real time. The infrared technology used by the camera shows gas emissions as a plume of smoke. Thousands of components can be scanned per shift without the need to interrupt the process.

"There is no set-up involved and images are displayed almost immediately after switch on. There is no post processing required either – video footage can be played back via Windows Media Player.”

Some gases are hazardous to the environment and contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions. Gas Find cameras can, therefore, help to reduce carbon emissions and improve a company’s environmental footprint.

When carrying out maintenance, it is vitally important that maintenance engineers can obtain as complete a picture as possible of the plant’s condition. Gas Find cameras are increasingly being adopted by plants across the world for the visualisation and documentation of gas leaks.