Gas detectors help in detecting the various gases present in an area. They are used for detecting various harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, Ammonia, Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide and Hydrogen sulphide among other combustibles. They have the capability to interface with control systems and are used to detect gas leakages in various industrial environments. Gas detection is crucial in industrial environments as they help in protecting people as well as the plant.

Depending on the situation and requirement, these gas detectors vary in shape and size, but the basic component present in all the gas detectors is gas sensing technology. There are different types of gas sensing technologies present in the market for various types of applications. These sensing technologies include electrochemical gas sensors, Infrared gas sensors, catalytic bead gas sensors, and semiconductor gas sensors.

Electrochemical gas sensors are majorly used in industrial safety and hygiene applications. These sensors detect gases present in the surrounding area by producing a chemical reaction between the gases and oxygen present in the sensor. The physical size and dimension of these electrochemical sensors depend on the intended applications and might vary significantly. The gas sensors are used in various industries such as automotive, food & beverage, agriculture, medical, water treatment, petrochemical, and aerospace.

Infrared gas sensors use Non-Dispersive Infrared (NDIR) methods and these gas diffusion sensors require connection to a transmitter system for their power supply and signal processing capabilities.

Catalytic bead gas sensors are generally used for the measurement of gas concentration. These sensors operate using the Wheatstone bridge principle due to the circuit’s ability to identify the small changes in voltage.

Infrared sensors are favored over catalytic bead gas sensors and electrochemical gas sensors because the infrared sensors do not come into contact with the gases present in the environment during measurement.

Developments

  • In 2017, Honeywell International Inc., launched the Honeywell Sotera Express software as a replacement for the legacy software present on the connected worker applications.Itis useful in understanding the information received from the gas detectors.
  • H2Scan Corporation recently introduced the new Gen 5 system, a hydrogen sensor which has the capability to alert the power utilities regarding the health of the transformers, which are crucial components of any power system.
  • International Gas Detectors Ltd recently launched the new 2-Wire gas detection system, in which all the devices are connected using two wires for communication and power respectively.

Challenges

The gas detector industry is constantly under high pressure due to the stringent regulations and has to deal with the changing standards in the industries regularly. The price of ownership is significantly affecting the growth of the market in industrial sectors. The cost of ownership is high due to various upfront costs such as installing vents in hazardous environments and the constant replacement of the consumables present in these gas detectors. The suppliers of these consumables are also driving up the costs, resulting in increased maintenance costs.

Key Gas Detector Manufacturers

Some of the major manufacturers of gas detectors are Honeywell International Inc., Dragerwerk AG & Co KgaA, MSA Safety Inc., Emerson Electric Company, SENSIT Technologies, 3M, Industrial Scientific, New Cosmos Electric Co. Ltd, Trolex Ltd, Crowcon, Hanwei Electronics Group Corporation, International Gas Detectors, and Sensidyne, LP.

Patents

In 2018, Honeywell International Inc. was granted a patent for manufacturing a gas detector using a Golay cell. The components present in this device include a microphone, a substrate, and a gas cavity that is formed in the substrate. Due to the presence of numerous applications with varying requirements, gas detector manufacturers are significantly investing in their respective R&D divisions in order to manufacture a product with a specific objective. Apart from Honeywell International, companies such as General Electric, New Cosmos Electric Co and Riken Keiki co., ltd have also been granted patents recently.

Conclusion

The gas detectors market has a bright future owing to the increase in the installation of safety systems across various end-user industries due to factors such as increasing occupational hazards and stringent regulations. Gas detectors also hold significant importance in the exploration of shale gas and oil exploration. Due to the aforementioned factors, gas detectors are expected to have significant importance in industrial environments in the upcoming future.