01 Aug Laser Focused: SENSIT GAS•TRAC LZ-30
Black Hills Energy has been testing SENSIT Technologies’ GAS•TRAC LZ-30 methane gas detector for the past year. They’re now ready to expand the program, finding the LZ-30 lives up to the utility’s safety, precision, and reliability standards. SENSIT Technologies is a strategic part of GROEBNER’s broad supplier network. Learn more about the Black Hills Energy program, then contact us so we can help you get started with SENSIT’s GAS•TRAC LZ-30 as well. (https://shop.groebner.com/)
Article by the American Gas Association in the August/September 2019 American Gas Magazine
LINCOLN – Over the last year, Black Hills Energy has been testing a new technology to improve the utility’s ability to check for gas leaks and respond to emergencies.
“The technology commonly used for testing for gas leaks is a combustible gas indicator, or CGI,” Jeff Sylvester, vice president of Nebraska operations for Black Hills Energy, told American Gas. “It’s a handheld device that detects methane gas using a probe, requiring the user to come into close contact with suspected gas leaks. The technology Black Hills Energy has bene testing – and is now utilizing – is a laser methane gas detector. This technology, called the LZ-30, can detect methane gas at a distance of up to 100 feet.”
Manufactured by SENSIT Technologies, the device has been available for approximately two years. However, the unity in use by Black Hills Energy are more portable than those previously deployed on vehicles to survey for system leaks.
According to the manufacturer, the LZ-30 offers a number of advantages for natural gas utilities when used for emergency situations as well as routine leak detection.
“[During emergencies], once a suspected leak is reported, our technicians need to quickly and safely determine if an actual leak is present, “Sylvester told us. “The laser technology allows technicians to do that from a farther distance, which helps ensure their safety. Also, this technology allows technicians to test hard-to-reach areas, like fenced-in property and locked homes,” since the device even works through a closed window, according to the manufacturer.
When it comes to routine leak detection, “this device allows us to save time,” Sylvester said. “Technicians can work more quickly with the laser when we are checking gas pipes for leaks during our regular surveys. In some cases, it’s allowed us to survey the same amount of pipe in half the time.
“This technology is part of our goal to focus on always improving how we serve our customers and to more quickly determine if a natural gas leak is present, saving time and ensuring the safety of our team and our community.”
Currently, the LZ-30 is being put through its paces in Lincoln, where all of the Black Hills technicians have been issued the detectors. The utility plans to implement the technology across the state over the next two years.