RR1123 - Fixed flammable gas detector systems on offshore installations: optimisation and assessment of effectiveness

Flammable gas detector systems provide a vital real-time monitoring method of hazard warning in the major hazards sector for installations such as offshore modules and petrochemical and chemical plants. It is important to consider the functioning of individual detectors and the effectiveness of the network of detectors within a system.

This report reviews good practice on the use and placement of fixed flammable gas and leak detectors for 'open' release zones on manned offshore installations. Factors for offshore inspectors to consider in assessing the effectiveness of gas detection systems are described: suitability of individual detectors; matching different types of detector; number and location of detectors; voting configuration; functional safety; and maintenance routines.

At present it is difficult to assess the performance and efficiency of the network of detectors in a flammable gas detector system or to identify appropriate measures to optimise system performance in the most cost-effective manner. This could potentially be improved by developing tools coupling Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models and mathematical optimisation techniques.

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Updated 2021-04-15