Geotech's first GA5000 analyser, manufactured three years ago, was recently spotted in the company's calibration rig. This portable landfill gas monitor was the first production unit of the newly launched GA5000 gas analyser range and has prompted Geotech to look into the analyser's life since then.
The analyser was on its sixth service since manufacture, under Geotech's Service Plus scheme, which SITA UK has chosen for all its analysers. As the analyser is used regularly, the six monthly service ensures that gas channels are calibrated to the full UKAS accredited, temperature and pressure-compensated standard. Oxygen (O2) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S) sensors have also been replaced on a preventative basis and as part of the service charge, to ensure that the analyser gives accurate and uninterrupted service until it is next returned.
Since SITA took ownership of this analyser in January 2012, this GA5000 analyser has had three hardware upgrades, including an increased battery capacity to match the demanding work schedule of SITA's monitoring team. Feedback from a number of UK landfill operators was that the GA5000, as well as having many new features possible with a Windows CE platform, full colour screen and GPS, needed to achieve over eight hours of continuous operation in the field. Geotech responded by increasing the battery capacity.
The same unit has also had firmware upgrades at service, providing over 600 individual improvements, mostly as a response to customer requests. These include:
Three user levels: full on-screen guidance for new users, fast 'expert' mode for regular users and 'pump and store' for easy access to the most basic functionality:
- Speeding up entry of data, such as answers to site questions
- Increasing the maximum number of gases from five to six
- Adding data logging functionality for low gas flow readings
- New CIRIA data logging mode for UK contaminated land consultants
- Chinese language option
- Development of Bluetooth communications
- Improvements in CO measurement in high-H2 environments
The analyser was bought by SITA UK and has been used for daily monitoring of CH4, CO2, O2, gas flow and relative pressure on 14 sites managed by the company's North Monitoring team. 'We may be taking up to 200 samples a day, downloading readings at the end of each session', commented Environment Assistant Jackie Book. 'Data is used either for notification of any breaches of methane levels or for routine reporting to the Environment Agency. We compare CH4 and CO2 levels with gas flow. This information is given to the energy generation team to adjust pressures using well valve settings to optimise the gas field.' This application is typical of the GA5000 and this analyser, used at least four days a week for three years, in all conditions, carries the scars. However, Geotech designed the GA5000 for tough working conditions, so the analyser has not suffered anything more than superficial damage and can expect to be working just as hard for the next three years.
The GA5000 is one of 11 analysers originally purchased by Tommy Johnson, at the time Regional Environment Manager for SITA in the North East. Previously part of the UK's Environment Agency SITA UK Monitoring team, as well as developing SITA's landfill gas monitoring, Tommy was also a key figure in introducing the TDL-500 ppm methane detector to improve SITA's landfill surface emission modelling. After working with Geotech for many years, Tommy retires this year, just as SITA UK moves into a new era as SUEZ environnement.
SITA's French parent company is creating a single identity for all the companies that make up the group across the world. SITA is one of the 40 different names under which SUEZ environnement has been operating in 70 countries. In the group's home country, Geotech has been providing landfill gas analysers and local support via its French distributor, Equipments Scientifiques since 2007.
Since this first GA5000 was manufactured Geotech has sold 3,000 of these portable analysers to 60 countries. The GA platform includes the GA5000 landfill industry standard analyser but also the GEM5000, widely used for landfill gas extraction, particularly in the USA, and the increasingly popular BIOGAS 5000, designed specifically for the wide range of anaerobic digestion monitoring applications, from UK waste food processing to palm oil methane extraction (POME) in Southeast Asia.
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