Case Study by Honeywell: Ultrasonic gas leak detection (UGLD) is capable of offering an enhanced mechanism for detecting pressurised gas leaks in applications where more traditional technologies fail to perform effectively due to high natural ventilation rates or excessive vibration. Detection methods such as point and open path IR absorption, catalytic beads and EC cells are dependent on large localised gas clouds forming in order to detect a gas leak. Such gas clouds form well in enclosed areas however, in exposed or elevated areas subject to strong winds leaking gas dilutes quickly with the leak potentially going undetected for long periods of time.
Ultrasonic noise can be generated in a number of ways that may lead to inappropriate positioning or alarm condition such as; mechanical noise, process generated ultrasound, electrical equipment. The main reason for undertaking a survey is to measure the ultrasound in the operational plant, quite simply because we cannot hear what the detector hears. Where new build installations are considering the use of UGLD’s, assumptions of background sound levels are made based on a wealth of experience from live plant studies.