Air or gas leaks caused by extra horsepower air compressors can not only be dangerous to the environment and the individuals around them but also costly to the plant. Most engineers understand the harm and the cost that goes with the leaks most importantly leaks in carbon dioxide, Freon and nitrogen systems.
Every gas/air system acts as a food chain; any small disconnection in the system affects the whole system. Given that air operated ventilating and heating systems need to efficiently cool or heat a facility, it is important for the facility to perform gas/air leak audits periodically or hire a competent professional to carry out regular audits. The air compressors components need validation on their functional capabilities. Some of the components to validate include flange gaskets, relief valves, solenoid valves, thread connections, welds, regulators/filters/lubricators, and connection devices among others. At any given time, the system may be wasting a lot of energy and the functionality will be affected in the event of a gas/air leak.
Most of the systems get leakages when a drain trap fails. This can be easily detected through the use of ultrasonic tests.
Gas Leaks Costly and More Dangerous than Air Leaks
When comparing gas leaks and air leaks, the gas leaks is in most cases given top priority. This is so because the gas leak, for instance nitrogen leak, is more expensive than air leaks. The cost of nitrogen, for instance, is tenfold the price of air. When the gas is volatile, for instance Argon, the cost will be more. If argon gas happens to leak, other than the harm it would cause the workers in the firm, it could lead to the closure of the plant.
The inert gases used in compressors may not explode or burn but they replace the oxygen in the air causing harm, injury and death to the workers in a plant. The gases are not toxic either. The low oxygen in the air leads to unconsciousness and finally death from asphyxiation. It is thus crucial that gas leaks are found and remedied before they escalate to uncontrollable levels.
Performing Gas/Air Leaks Audits
Leak audits require knowledge, planning and regular follow-up. To be successful in the gas leaks audits, you must understand the gas system, the components and the specific subsystems. You need to know the sizes, the drains and traps, pressure gauges, assigned pressures and much more. To this end, the services of a professional is required. A person who knows the ultrasound system and how it operates. There are lots of courses online and offline that an individual can take in-service to ensure they are well versed with the system.
Planning involves having a map of the compressed gas/air system. The map helps you navigate the air/gas system and find the leak fast. However, some workers get used to the system until they do not need a map.
Follow-up is as important as setting-up the system. With regular follow up, small leaks in the system can be found and corrected avoiding issues that may arise later.