Align Your Gas Distribution Grid with New European Emission Regulations

Faster and more efficient leak survey is the solution

IRwin and hand probe extension

Conducting regular leak survey, pinpointing and repairs on natural gas distribution grids have been used for decades to assure utilities remain safe and efficient. Recently, the significance of this routine work has grown as a method of reducing the effects of greenhouse gas emissions fast and effectively.

The European Commission agreed on a new regulation to reduce methane emissions which requires gas companies to carry out regular surveys in order to detect and repair methane leaks on the EU territory. Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas with 84 times the global warming potential of CO2 over a period of 20 years. The difference is that methane decomposes significantly faster, which means that reduced methane emissions can have a faster positive effect on global warming. Following the new regulations can be very challenging when old methods and outdated instruments are used. The main challenges are:

  • Sensitivity: Older instruments may lack the sensitivity needed to detect low levels of methane emissions accurately. This can result in underreporting or even completely missing potentially harmful leaks.
  • Precision: Outdated instruments may have lower precision, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact source of methane emissions. This can hinder timely and targeted repairs.
  • Response Time: Older devices might have slower response times, leading to delays in identifying and addressing methane leaks promptly. Swift detection is crucial for minimizing environmental impact and ensuring public safety.
  •  Technological Limitations: Old instruments may not leverage the latest technological advancements, such as advanced sensors and data integration capabilities, limiting their overall effectiveness in detecting and monitoring methane emissions.
  •  Maintenance Challenges: Aging instruments may be more prone to malfunctions and require frequent maintenance. This can result in downtime, increased costs, and decreased overall reliability.
  •  Compliance Issues: Meeting regulatory requirements becomes more challenging with outdated instruments, potentially leading to non-compliance issues and legal consequences.
  •  Data Integration: Older instruments may lack compatibility with modern data integration systems, hindering the seamless collection, analysis, and reporting of methane emission data.
  • Cost Inefficiency: While it may seem cost-effective to continue using old instruments, the long-term costs associated with inefficiency, frequent maintenance, and potential environmental consequences can outweigh the initial savings.

INFICON offers an instrument with unique features and accessories that helps you identify methane loss in your grid in line with the new European emission regulations.

IRwin in van
IRwin in van

More work done in less time

The intrinsically safe IRwin® Methane Leak Detector is an intuitive, robust and fast instrument specially developed for demanding applications where methane leaks need to be identified and pinpointed. The instrument uses a proprietary IR technology to measure from the ppm range up to 100 vol% CH4. The technology also offers an instrument that is selective to methane and recovers fast after any major gas exposure. Fast response and recovery time, no cross sensitivity, efficient accessories and digitalized documentation are key features for a faster leak survey routine.

Damp air from sewers, contaminations on the ground or car exhaust from heavy traffic are common causes of false alarms, that significantly reduce the survey speed. The full range IR solution incorporated into IRwin is not significantly affected by these surrounding conditions, which makes it an excellent instrument even in the low ppm range.

Reaction time is the key to an efficient survey. IRwin typically reaches a steady state value within a few seconds, regardless of whether the leak is in the ppm or vol% range. Recovery time is equally important but often overlooked. A fast recovery after an exposure to a higher concentration will dramatically reduce the risk of missed leaks and the time required for pinpointing an area for the potential hotspots where bar holing should be started.

Pinpointing is also an area where significant savings can be made. IRwin features a powerful pump that, used in combination with its innovative bell probe, offers the possibility to pull volume percent concentrations straight through most ground surfaces. This narrows down the area where bar holing should be started. Reducing bar holing saves time and money.

The conditions for carrying out a planned pipeline walking survey, pinpoint leaks or act on emergency callouts are often very different. This diversity of conditions requires the use of different probes to handle a wide range of tasks.

IRwin modular probe system
IRwin modular probe system

IRwin offers a modular probe system that makes it possible to switch from one probe to another in a matter of seconds. The lightweight design also offers the operator the advantage of carrying several probes at the same time, easily clipped to the belt.

The instrument can be equipped with a built-in GC to determine whether the leak comes from the natural gas grid, naturally occurring methane in the ground or a leaking LPG pipeline. The ability to perform the analysis on-site saves a lot of time and money on unnecessary tests at external laboratories or unnecessary excavation.

IRwin features a built-in GPS functionality and a log function to record the daily work with date, time, leak rates etc. Logfiles can be downloaded within seconds at the end of the day and transferred via Bluetooth to either a mobile phone or a PC. All findings can then be easily converted into a report with all leaks clearly marked on a map.

IRwin Check-In App
IRwin Check-In App

As gas grid leak detection and emissions control practices continue to evolve, a responsible and efficient identification of any leaking methane will play a crucial role in maintaining more sustainable gas networks. IRwin methane leak detector is offering a cost-efficient solution to the gas industry to cut gas grid emissions. The easy operation, low cost of ownership and versatility of the device offer a solution for all types of tasks that the operator might face during the daily operation.

inficon_IRwin_12juni_0712 Low Res
inficon_IRwin_12juni_0712 Low Res

Interested in learning how the EU methane strategy aims to reduce methane emissions?

Click here!

Are you interested in IRwin for a more efficient leak survey?

Discover more here!

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