The photo-ionization sensor detects volatile organic compounds or VOCs and can be added to a standard four gas configuration or combined with non-standard combinations of other sensors. Offers maximum versatility in a portable multi-gas detector that can be used almost anywhere. Five gases can be monitored and displayed at the same time. Lock your instruments settings allowing only authenticated personnel to change your settings.
VOCs are characterized by their tendency to evaporate easily at room temperature and include substances such as solvents, paint thinners, benzene, butadiene, hexane, toluene, as well as vapors associated with fuels such as gasoline, diesel, heating oil, kerosene, and jet fuel. The GasAlertMicro 5 PID's integrated photoionization detector (PID) enables sensitive broad spectrum monitoring of volatile organic contaminants. Highly configurable to suit a range of applications, GasAlertMicro 5 PID comes as a diffusion or pumped instrument; with either alkaline or NiMH rechargeable hot-swappable battery pack and has optional datalogging capabilities.
VOCs and PID
VOCs are organic compounds characterized by a tendency to evaporate easily at room temperature with the potential of forming a toxic gas concentration. While some volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are acutely toxic at low concentrations, the harmful effects of most VOCs are delayed. Negative effects may occur long after the primary exposure thus many people ignore the potential danger. Long-term effects can include leukemia, memory problems, loss of hand-eye coordination, cancer, and a range of other physiological affects. Many personnel throughout the world are unprotected from VOCs in their daily work either because they are unaware of the toxic hazards, or because they are without a detector that detects for these gas concentrations.
Most VOCs have surprisingly low occupational exposure limits. An increased awareness has resulted in several newly revised VOC exposure limits, including TLVs for diesel vapor, kerosene, and gasoline. Photoionization detectors (PIDs) are able to detect VOCs and large hydrocarbon molecules that are undetectable by catalytic and electrochemical sensors. PID equipped instruments are generally the best choice for measurement of VOCs at exposure limit concentrations. This table lists ten common VOCs, their lower explosive limit (LEL) concentration and their exposure limits per the UK OEL, NIOSH REL and ACGIH TLV. The table also identifies those contaminants (highlighted in dark gray) with toxic exposure limits lower than 5% LEL.
|10 Common VOCs|
|Contaminant||LEL (Vol%)||OSHA PEL||NIOSH REL||TLV||5% LEL in ppm|
|Acetone||2.5||1,000 ppm TWA||250 ppm TWA||500 ppm TWA 750 ppm STEL"||1250 ppm|
|Diesel (No. 2) vapor||0.6||None Listed||None Listed||15 ppm||300 ppm|
|Ethanol||3.3||1,000 ppm TWA||1000 ppm TWA||1000 ppm TWA||1,650 ppm|
|Gasoline||1.3||None Listed||None Listed||300 ppm TWA 500 ppm STEL||650 ppm|
|Hexane||1.1||500 ppm TWA||50 ppm TWA||50 ppm TWA||550 ppm|
|Isopropyl alcohol||2||400 ppm TWA||400 ppm TWA 500 ppm STEL||200 ppm TWA 400 ppm STEL||1000 ppm|
|Kerosene/Jet Fuels||0.7||None Listed||100 mg/M3 TWA (approx. 14.4 ppm||200 mg/M3 TWA (approx. 29 ppm)||350 ppm|
|MEK||1.4||200 ppm TWA||200 ppm TWA 300 ppm STEL||200 ppm TWA 300 ppm STEL||700 ppm|
|Turpentine||0.8||100 ppm TWA||100 ppm TWA||20 ppm TWA||400 ppm|
|Xylenes (o, m and p isomers)||0.9-1.1||100 ppm TWA||100 ppm TWA 150 ppm STEL||100 ppm TWA 150 ppm STEL||450~550 ppm|
|PID (VOCs)||0-1000 ppm||1 ppm||50||100||50||100|
|Size||5.7 x 2.9 x 1.5 in. / 14.5 x 7.4 x 3.8 cm|
|Weight||13.1 oz. / 370 g|
|Temperature||-4 to +122°F / -20 to +50°C
14 to +104°F / -10 to +40°C (PID)
|Alarms||Visual, vibrating, audible (95 dB)
Low, High, STEL, TWA, OL (over limit)
|Tests||Sensor integrity, circuitry, battery and audible/visual alarms on activation, battery (continuous)|
|Pump||Optional; Sample from up to 66 ft. / 20 m|
|Ratings||EMI/RFI: Complies with EMC Directive 89/336/EEC IP 65/66|
|Substance||Ionization Energy||Detectable by|
|carbon monoxide||14.01||electrochemical sensor|
|hydrogen cyanide||13.6||electrochemical sensor|
|sulfur dioxide||12.32||electrochemical sensor|
|chlorine dioxide||10.57||electrochemical sensor|
|hydrogen sulfide||10.46||electrochemical sensor|
|nitrogen dioxide||9.75||electrochemical sensor|
There are many gas detection products on the market that might appear to be the same, but a closer inspection of specification, functionality and features reveals major differences in what products can do and the potential value they can offer. Similarly, individual applications are also unique in their respective designs, needs and processes undertaken.
Before beginning to consider gas detection equipment, a risk assessment needs to be conducted. Any company employing staff has the obligation to conduct risk assessments to identify potential hazards and these can include potential gas, vapor or Oxygen deficiency risks. If gas hazards are identified, gas detection is applicable as a risk reduction method.
Depending on the processes being undertaken and the gases being detected, remote or off-site alarm notification plus event data logging/reporting may also be required for Health and Safety management records. Another factor impacting on the need for enhanced reporting functions might be regulatory compliance or a condition of insurance.
Having identified the primary objective, the suitable equipment is selected by asking a number of key questions. These fall into three broad categories:
The gases to be detected should be identified by the risk assessment, however experienced gas detection equipment manufacturers and their approved distributors are often able to help in this process, based on their experience of similar applications. However, it is important to remember that it is the end-user’s responsibility to identify all potential hazards. It is also essential to identify the potential source of a gas release as this helps determine the number and location of detectors required for a fixed gas detection system.
The performance, accuracy and reliability of any gas detection equipment will be affected by the environmental conditions it is subjected to. Temperature, humidity and pressure levels at the location all have a direct bearing on the type of equipment that should be selected. Additional factors such as potential variations resulting from a production process itself, diurnal/nocturnal fluctuations and seasonal changes may also affect the type of device which is suitable.
The next area of consideration relates to additional product functionality. Aspects like wiring configuration are important, especially when retro-fitting into an existing application. If the apparatus is being integrated into a separate safety system, certain communication protocols may also be required such as HART®, Lonworks or Modbus®. Consideration will also need to be given regarding the requirement for local displays on transmitter units and local configuration of the unit and gas displays may also be a useful addition.
Routine maintenance is another important consideration. Some gases and vapors can be detected with a number of different sensing technologies, e.g. Hydrocarbon gases with catalytic beads or Non-dispersive Infrared NDIR. Catalytic beads do not provide fail-to-safety operation and therefore can require a high frequency of routine maintenance, however NDIR based solutions tend to have a higher initial purchase price, but may require less routine maintenance. In-house resource to undertake such routine maintenance needs to be identified and in the absence of such a resource, budgeting for third party maintenance is an important factor in selecting the right equipment.
If you have questions about any of our gas detection products or services, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Whether you need a hand finding a new product or need help with your current system, just ask our team of Factory Trained Experts.
Provides protection from 1-5 different kinds of atmospheric hazards, making it useful in a wide array of applications. It is available either as a standard toxic gas unit, a PID model for detection of VOCs or as an IR model for CO2 detection. It has both alkaline and rechargeable battery pack options, which are field-changeable, providing ease of use. You can also switch from diffusion mode to the optional built-in pump right in the field.
It is pricey, and the huge variety of sensor options, pump and battery options make choosing the right unit configuration a bit confusing for those not familiar with them. I recommend calling us at our toll free number (1.877.766.5412) for assistance in getting the right one.
The GasAlertMicro 5 is highly configurable, which makes it suitable for the widest range of industries and applications. An example of some applications are Wastewater Plants, Pulp and Paper, Airlines, Landfills, Oil and Gas, Food and Beverage, Chemical Plants, Hazmat/Homeland Security and many more! It has many of the same user friendly features as the other units in the BW product line, so it is simple and easy to operate in the field and is a decently small size for its capabilities.
The extensive selection of sensors and user-settable field options in the GasAlertMicro 5 make it one of the most versatile units out there. The new pump design has a visible integrated filter window that allows the user to easily inspect the filter for dirt and debris. This also makes changing the pump filters quick and easy and still provides superior water resistance. AA alkaline batteries or the hot-swappable rechargeable battery pack options allow for fast, safe, and easy battery installation right in the field.
Regular maintenance is required on this model in the form of frequent Calibrations and battery replacement or charging. Bump Tests can also be performed on the unit depending on personal preference or when site safety regulations require it.
Built for rugged environments, the built-in concussion proof boot provides excellent protection against accidental bumps, scratches and damage; and it is water-proof, with an IP rating of 67 it can be submerged in water up to 1 m deep for 30 minutes. The real-time gas concentration is displayed continuously on the LCD so you will always know the current levels, even when the unit is not in alarm. The unit has a built in Datalogging feature, enabling you to retrieve a detailed and accurate history of conditions and unit maintenance if needed.
Calibrating the unit is required every 180 days by factory default but is quick and easy to perform; the procedure can be done in the field and only takes about 2 minutes to perform, and all you will require is a cylinder of calibration gas and a regulator. It is also compatible with the BW MicroDock II calibration and bump test station for those who wish to use a more hands-free, automated, calibration and bump test procedure.
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Click on a category to view a selection of compatible accessories with the BW GasAlertMicro 5 PID Multi-Gas Detector Series.