Offers AMGaDS IV as the Latest Package of Amerex Hardware
And Emphasizes the Vital Need for Vigilance Against Gas Leaks
North Carolina’s USA Pro Shoreline Technology is introducing AMGaDS IV as the latest version of a methane gas detection system using sensors, cables and displays from Alabama fire-safety equipment specialist Amerex.
Beyond the product improvement, says USA Pro’s Dustin Brewer, is the fact that safety is vital to the still-young natural gas vehicles industry – and, he fears, is being taken for granted by some operators.
The requirements for gas detection systems on board vehicles are a mixed bag state to state, Brewer says. In California for example, methane detection is required for liquefied natural gas vehicles but not for compressed natural gas vehicles, he told F&F.
‘Neighborhoods and Kids’
“I have growing concerns that gas detection is being considered for removal by some users where it is not required,” Brewer says, “in particular in the refuse market where natural gas vehicles drive in and out of neighborhoods and around kids.”
“Vehicles receive repeated shock and vibration from roads and highways increasing the likelihood that a leak will occur,” he explains, occurring most often at fittings or joints. These areas are usually inspected, he says, “but a leak could happen anywhere, the tank, a friction point in the line, an area of tube stress, component failure, a mechanical connection.”
“Due to the design of vehicles they have a number of enclosed areas which can trap a leaking gas vapor,” Brewer says. “Potential accumulation areas include engine compartments, the inside of a driver or sleeper cab, or under a cab. The scenarios of how a leak could turn disastrous are limitless. It could be as simple as turning the key to a vehicle with an unknown gas leak or having an unsuspecting operator climb into a vapor filled cab with a cigarette.
An Accident Could Hurt the Market
“If something does happen it will not only hurt people but it could really set the NGV market back,” Brewer says. “Gas detection on a vehicle is a drop in the bucket compared to the overall cost, [and] the risks of not having it are not worth it.”
Compared with the AMGaDS III systems, USA Pro’s AMGaDS IV consumes one-seventh the power (reducing concerns about running down the vehicle’s batteries), and can adapt from one to four zones of gas detection on the vehicle with the same footprint.
“With the redesign we were able to remove cost from the process, while improving the design and technology of the system,” Brewer says. “We have also simplified the cabling input to improve the appearance and cost.”
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Source: USA Pro Shoreline with Fleets & Fuels follow-up