Monitoring the oxygen content in bio-methane-to-grid supply
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Orbital have utilised the EC91 for a number of years within the UK natural gas network prior to the emergence of the bio-methane-to-grid market.

Since 1984, Orbital has provided advanced technology solutions for the natural gas industry. Orbital’s customers, including the National Grid and the UK's gas distribution networks, rely on its crucial engineering support and specialised knowledge. Its value-added services and innovative products reduce the time it takes to identify, design and begin cost-effective delivery of new technology to the natural gas and other industries.

In September 2010, Orbital installed the gas monitoring and treatment plant on the UK’s very first large-scale bio-methane-to-grid production facility. This site was designed specifically to provide a renewable energy supply by generating bio-methane for injection into the existing gas network. The facility at Didcot, Oxfordshire, generates bio-methane by the anaerobic digestion of waste from the on-site sewage plant. Since this first installation, Orbital has supplied bio-methane-to-grid systems for various producers all over the UK.

Since 2015, the bio-methane-to-grid sector has seen a significant expansion in the UK. Approximately 60-70 bio-methane projects have been completed, providing enough gas to meet the heating and cooking requirements of around 340,000 homes.

Orbital utilises the EC91 ATEX oxygen analyser from Systech Illinois to accurately monitor the oxygen content in the purified bio-methane gas prior to it being injected into the national grid gas network. This weather-proof, intrinsically safe oxygen analyser is ideal for use in biogas and other renewable energy sources such as syngas produced by gasification or pyrolysis processes. It is ATEX certified for installation in Zone 0, 1 and 2 hazardous areas with a robust IP65 weatherproof enclosure and stainless steel remote sensor. The instruments long-life oxygen sensor is suitable for continuous use and is compatible with methane, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and mild acidic gas type samples.

Peter Read, Business Area Manager – Unconventional Gas, Orbital, says,

Orbital has worked with Systech Instruments for many years, particularly in regard to utilising Systech’s oxygen measurement instruments within Orbital’s analysis systems. The instruments have proven to be robust and accurate in service, with excellent aftersales support provided by the team at Systech.

The accurate measurement of oxygen is an important component when considering gas quality. With bio-methane-to-grid applications, the bio-methane gas has to comply with legislative requirements to allow entry into the gas network. In this context, the EC91 ATEX instrument allows us to integrate a cost-effective, reliable and accurate instrument for oxygen measurement. We have utilised the EC91 for a number of years within the UK natural gas network prior to the emergence of the bio-methane-to-grid market. With our experience of the EC91, it was a natural fit with our bio-methane-to-grid solutions.

Orbital has 19 installed bio-methane-to-grid network entry units in the UK and we have a 100% record of achieving successful gas on date. This is due to the quality of our solution, our people and the products we incorporate with our systems, including the EC91 ATEX.”

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