Smoke & Oil Mist Detection Safeguards Against A Dangerous Visitor In Gas Compressor StationsSource: Emerson Process Management, Rosemount Analytical
Lubrication oil is often circulated through natural gas compressors to provide cooling and to prevent engine wear. The lube oil system is pressurized and as a result there is a high risk potential for leakage. When leaks occur the lube oil often sprays into the atmosphere producing an oil mist or atomized cloud. The mist not only creates an expensive, time consuming clean-up project but more importantly can produce highly toxic smoke or burst into explosive flame upon contact with hot surfaces or engine spark ignitions.
It is not uncommon that gas transportation companies can report dozens of oil leaks per year in a single gas compression station facility and some of those leaks break into fire causing significant damage and production loss. Numerous industry studies have verified that both smoke and oil mist often precede flame and either may obscure or blind some optical flame detectors preventing fire warning and potentially leading to disaster.