Fixed or portable gas detectors?
Fixed and portable gas detectors serve the same purpose, just in slightly different formats, so the choice of which to use is often not decided by the gas you want to detect.
Instead, it can be a combination of environmental factors and practical considerations about the conditions under which the gas detector will be used.
Here are just some of the ways you can decide between fixed or portable gas detectors for any given application…
An ever-present threat?
If you’re detecting gas in an environment where the threat will always be present, for example in an industrial setting where you need to safeguard against leaks, then fixed systems are a good way to go.
They can provide ongoing gas monitoring and raise the alarm if the specified gas is detected in unsafe amounts.
Equally, they are a good option for locations where human access would be hazardous or even impossible under normal circumstances.
A mobile source?
Portable gas detectors can be used to measure fixed sources, but they are naturally a good fit for measuring gas from mobile sources too.
In some cases that can even include living beings – and some handheld gas detectors are used to measure volatile organic compounds in human breath for a variety of healthcare purposes.
For such applications, portable gas detectors offer handheld operability that fixed gas detectors cannot, and this makes them much easier to use with patients who might be unfamiliar with or even threatened by using larger fixed devices.
Sounding the alarm
Finally, think about the output you need to achieve from your gas monitoring system. We’ve mentioned some of those output conditions above – raising the alarm in an unsafe environment or measuring VOCs in a breath sample.
There’s a clear and fundamental difference between the two and again it’s related to continually present hazards versus one-off measurements of fixed or mobile sources of gas.
If you need to be able to raise the alarm, a fixed gas monitoring system is the way to go, as it can be connected directly to alarm lights and sounds, as well as a mains supply to ensure it is never left without power at a critical moment.