Lightning Fast Gas Sensor Communications Enhances Safety
610 Beatty Rd.
Monroeville, PA, 15146
Press release date: August 28, 2013
Monroeville, PA – Speed is the essence in gas monitoring in facilities as hazardous conditions can appear abruptly and need to be dealt with in seconds. But monitoring systems vary widely in their speed of response, some taking 15 minutes to scan a hundred sensors. Rel-Tek has pioneered in high-speed, communications over long distances, and has honed its technology for higher-speed, longer distance and zero errors. Rel-Tek's "Flash Telemetry" (FT) is a huge breakthrough in atmospheric monitoring system speed.
The speed of data recovery for a Millennia-FT system (extendable to 20 miles over a twisted-pair cable) was clocked at an incredible 117 sensor updates per second. Speed was measured on a fully configured 18-sensor (12-bit resolution) atmospheric monitoring system totaling 6.50 scan cycles per second. Equally significant is that after 72 hours running and 30-million data updates, there were zero errors and no retries. Not one. That's a communication reliability of 99.999967% and counting.
This recent test confirms earlier tests simulating a very large facility fully loaded with 150 sensors. It has a scan cycle of 3.5 seconds with FT, which was ten times faster than previously shown at the actual site without FT. Indeed, the actual time trials prove that high speeds are not only feasible but also reliable.
Communications is the backbone of any monitoring system. Without good speed and reliability, a monitoring system isn't worth much. Rel-Tek unveiled its "Flash Telemetry" monitoring and control package last year and today, there are numerous "FT" systems operating. George Bennett at Manalapan Mining Co in Kentucky has three sites using Rel-Tek's "FT" systems for nearly a year. He lauds the simplicity, reliability and performance as being way beyond his experience with other manufacturers. "There's no comparison."
The extreme speed and reliability of this "FT" technology reflects Rel-Tek's software prowess and the powerful integration of hardware and software. Similar to ZIP files, the data stream is compacted for max density, no gaps. The actual data rate is 19.2KB, in keeping with low cost, easy to maintain, twisted-pair cable, the preferred data highway medium. High-speed repeaters are placed at one-mile intervals, extending a system to 20 miles straight ahead or with lateral branching. LAN, fiber and wireless media are also compatible.
Generic 4-20ma interfaces are always good--allowing easy addition of any manufacturer's sensors without digital protocol issues. Our range of 3rd party approved and classified intrinsically-safe sensors use generic 4-20ma analog signals (most generic), converted at the outstation using 12-bit A-D for just 0.0244% digitizing error. Sensors include CO, O2, CH4, smoke, temp and pressure. Air velocity, barometric pressure, humidity, vibration, H2S, SO2 and CO2 are also available. For power-center monitoring, Rel-Tek manufactures current and voltage transducers including MSHA, classified 10KV isolation, all compatible with FT.
"MagiKal" is a powerful Rel-Tek development for automatically calibrating hard-to-reach sensors – i.e. high overhead, in pits, over conveyors, inside silos, and under roof. Millennia-FT, runs on Windows-7 PC and Linux. Calibrations are automatically conducted monthly or as needed, and calibration data is retained for graphical display, print-out and archiving. Sensor trend charts are useful for preventive maintenance.
At press time, another FT gas monitoring system has completed factory testing, destined for Morton Salt Co, for their Weeks Island salt mine near New Iberia, Louisiana. This system uses XP outstations and a host of intrinsically safe CH4, CO and NO2 sensors for monitoring three working levels in the salt dome. Communications is via two miles of optical fiber cables. The system employs two computers, one on the surface and one in an underground shop, linked via a fiber LAN. A blast-mode timer with screen countdown is included. Communication speed tests showed an even higher 120 sensors-per-second throughput, attributable to the low overhead of the Linux PCs used here.
Other news – Applications of Millennia-FT and intrinsically safe gas sensors in "Refuge Alternatives" (RAs) will include MagiKal to maintain gas sensor accuracy over years on standby, totally unattended. The RA monitoring package contains CH4, O2, CO, CO2 and H2 sensors. MSHA approval for this "awAIR" emergency shelter monitoring systems is pending. Included is networking to a surface computer to aid trapped miners and assist with escape and rescue.
Large and small alternative fuel vehicles garages can benefit from these new technologies. Call toll free 1-800-783-9228 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The web site is www.rek-tek.com. For additional information ask for Frank Yesh, Marketing Manager.