Hydrogen is not just a potential renewable energy source—it can also be stored in gas or liquid form for use at a later time, reducing dependence on fossil fuels. In this way, hydrogen can serve as the energy store of the future, providing a long-term solution for power generation. However, this new technology brings with it safety concerns, including the potential for leaking hydrogen gas. Hydrogen detectors monitor for hydrogen levels in battery charging rooms and other locations where motive or stationary batteries are charged, and can alert workers to a potential leak with visual and audible alarms. Find out
The most common hydrogen gas detector uses a chemochromic sensor, which incorporates an irreversible pigment into a base polymer. When exposed to hydrogen, the pigment changes color from light beige to a dark gray. The resulting change in conductivity is detected and converted into a signal output that corresponds to the concentration of hydrogen gas in the atmosphere. Other sensors utilize more advanced methods, such as gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, catalytic combustion, and thermal conductivity. Recent technological breakthroughs have included the development of palladium-based sensors that don’t require oxygen for operation.
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In addition to monitoring for hydrogen, a good hydrogen detector should be capable of detecting other hazardous gases in the environment. Typically, this means that a hydrogen detection system should include a H2S (hydrogen sulfide) detector to protect against the effects of dangerous H2S, which can cause a variety of serious symptoms if exposed. In a typical system, the H2S sensor is located in close proximity to the hydrogen detector and communicates with each other via a Wheatstone bridge circuit.