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User’s Manual
Heath Consultants Incorporated
Houston, TX
Phone: 713-844-1300
Fax: 713-844-1309
1-800-HEATH-US
www.heathus.com
101515-0 RMLD MANUAL REV E
Heath....Safety, Leadership, Innovation, Performance
Then, Now and Tomorrow
Page 1 of 36
Notice
The contents of this user’s manual are proprietary to Heath Consultants Incorporated
(HEATH). Reproduction in whole or in part of this manual is prohibited without the
express written consent of HEATH. HEATH operates under a continual product
improvement program and reserves the right to make improvements and or changes
without prior notification. This manual supersedes all previous manuals for this
instrument.
RMLD™ is a HEATH registered trademark.
© COPYRIGHT 2005 Heath Consultants Incorporated. All rights reserved.
101515-0 RMLD MANUAL REV E
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Warnings
It is essential that users of this instrument read, understand, and follow the
instructions for operation and maintenance, and the precautions contained in
this manual to insure that the instrument is used in a proper and safe manner.
**Danger**
The visible green Spotter laser is a Class IIIa laser product. Do not stare
into beam or view directly with optical instruments.
Spotter laser
Fig. 1-1
**Caution**
No attempt should be made to repair the instrument. Should the
instrument not work properly, or indicate a fault or warning, refer to the
troubleshooting section of this manual.
**Warning**
Do not turn on the RMLD or use the instrument indoors if there is a
potential, indication, or suspicion that an explosive level of gas is
present.
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Table Of Contents
Notice................................................................………..
Warnings..........................................................................
Overview................................................................……..
2
3
6
Chapter I
RMLD System Specifications.........................................
RMLD System Components……………………………
Controller.........................................................................
Transceiver ......................................................................
Carrying Strap with Pad ...................................................
Battery Charger ...............................................................
Instruction CD ........................................................…….
Carrying Case......................................................…….…
Headphone.......................................................………….
Optional Accessories……………………………………
8
9
9
10
10
10
10
10
10
11
Chapter II
Battery Charging
Rechargeable Battery .................................................…..
Battery Charger ..........................................................….
Charging Procedure ....................................................….
12
13
13
Chapter III
Operating the RMLD...................................................….
Turning the RMLD On………………………………….
Turning on the Spotter Laser……………………………
Turning the RMLD Off…………………………………
Using the Menu…………………………………………
Using the DMD Mode…………………………………..
Using the Pure Tone Mode……………………………..
Self-Test and Calibration……………………………….
Calibration Override…………………………………….
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15
16
16
16
18
19
20
21
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Chapter IV
Surveying with the RMLD………………………………
Long Range Scanning……………………………………
Dealing with False Detections……………………………
How Does the RMLD Measure Gas?…………………….
23
24
26
26
Chapter V
Maintenance and Troubleshooting Information
Troubleshooting the Instrument .................................….
Maintenance.....................................................................
29
31
Chapter VI
Service Information
Warranties and Warranty Repair .................................…
Obtaining Service……………………………………….
Glossary…………………………………………………
RMLD Parts List………………………………………...
RMLD Parts List (Continued)…………………………..
Daily Log ……………………………………………….
Declaration of Conformity………………………………
Heath Consultants Contact Information…………………
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32
33
34
35
36
37
38
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Overview
The HEATH Remote Methane Leak Detector (RMLD™) is a highly advanced
technology, capable of detecting methane leaks from a remote distance. The RMLD is
the first of a new generation of leak survey instruments that will greatly improve the
productivity and safety of a walking survey.
With the RMLD it is now possible to survey areas that are hard to reach or not easily
accessible. The RMLD does not have to be within the gas plume because it uses laser
technology known as Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy. As the laser passes
through a gas plume, the methane absorbs a portion of the light, which the RMLD then
detects. This technology makes it possible to detect leaks along the sight line without
always having to walk the full length of the service line.
Fig. 1-2
Using laser technology, remote detection allows you to safely survey areas that may be
difficult to reach such as busy roadways, yards with large dogs, fenced off areas, and
other hard to access places.
It is designed to be selective to detecting methane only, and will not false alarm on other
hydrocarbon gases. Gas concentration is calculated by the amount of Infrared light
absorbed by the gas. Since gas is detected along the line of sight of the laser, the
concentration is reported as Parts-per-Million-Meter (ppm-m). Thus, the RMLD
measures the gas cloud concentration times the width of the gas cloud. Based on the
local meteorological conditions, a given amount of gas escaping from the ground will
produce a plume that varies in size and uniformity of concentration levels. The plume,
by nature, is variable and dependent on the soil conditions, temperature, wind, and leak
rate.
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The RMLD consists of two main interactive components:
• Transceiver
• Control Module
Fig 1-3: The RMLD system consists of a Laser Emitter/Receiver and a Control
Module
The Transceiver has two lasers. The Infrared laser is non visible and is continuously on
while the unit is turned on. The operator turns on the visible green Spotter laser by
depressing the trigger button.
The RMLD operates under a variety of environmental conditions including cold or hot
weather and light rain. Its rugged design will stand up to normal field use and operating
conditions. Its sensitivity or range is not affected by reasonable amounts of dust on the
optics window.
The RMLD has built-in Self-test and Calibration functions that will assure that the
instrument is operating properly. Using the calibration cell built into the carrying case,
the operator can perform the self-test and calibration as part of a daily start up routine.
While in operation, the RMLD continuously monitors several parameters to ensure that
the instrument is functioning properly. Should any of these parameters go outside of the
operational limits, an audible alarm will sound and a Fault/Warning error message will be
displayed on the display.
A training video is provided with the instrument. It is highly recommended that the user
view the video to learn basic techniques on surveying with the RMLD.
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Chapter I
RMLD System Specifications
Detection Method:
Measurement Range:
Sensitivity:
Detection Distance:
Beam Size:
Detection Alarms Modes
System Fault Warning
Self Test & Calibration
Compliance:
Laser Eye Safety:
(CDRH, ANSI and IEC)
Display:
Operating Temperature
Humidity
Enclosure:
Instrument Weight:
Carry Case:
Power Supply
Battery Operating Life
Battery Charger
Shoulder Strap
101515-0 RMLD MANUAL REV E
Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy (TDLAS)
0 to 99,999 ppm-m
5 ppm-m at distance from 0 to 50 ft (15 m)
10 ppm-m or better from 50 to 100 ft (15 to 30 m)
100 ft (30 m) nominal. Actual distance may vary due to
background type and conditions
Conical in shape with a 22” width at 100 ft. (56 cm at 30 m)
Digital Methane Detection (DMD):
Audible tone relative to concentration when
detection threshold exceeded.
Adjustable Alarm Detection Threshold from 0 to
255 ppm-m
Pure Tone:
Continuous audio tone relative to concentration
Audible tone and indication on the display
Built-in Self-Test and Calibration function verifies
operation and adjusts laser wavelength for maximum
sensitivity. Test gas cell integrated with carrying case.
EMC (EN61000-6-2, EN6100-6-4) Pending
IR Detector Laser:
Class I
Green Spotter Laser:
Class IIIa; Do not stare into beam or view directly
with optical instruments.
Large easy to read backlit LCD (.75” Numeric)
0° to 122° F (-17° to 50° C)
5 to 95 % RH, non-condensing
IP54 (Water splash and Dust resistant)
9 lbs (Transceiver 3 lbs, Controller 6 lbs) (4 kg; 1.3 kg,
2.7 kg)
14 lbs; 34” x 9 ½” x 14” (6.4 kg; 86 cm x 24 cm x 36 cm)
Internal rechargeable Li-ion battery
External Backup Battery pack with 5 C cells (Optional)
8 hours at 32° F without backlight on (Internal battery)
External, in-line, 110 – 240 VAC, 50 / 60 hertz universal
type with charge indicator (8 hours maximum to full charge)
Single over the shoulder padded strap
Ergonomic dual strap and belt system (Optional)
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RMLD System Components
This Chapter describes the features of the RMLD. Please refer to Figure 1-4 for
illustrations of individual parts.
Calibration
Cell
Manual &
Training Video
Carrying
Case
External
Power Supply
(optional)
Shoulder
Strap
Earphone
RMLD
Battery
Charger
Charger
Adaptors
Fig. 1-4: System Components.
Controller
The controller provides the user interface display, menu selection buttons, and external
connections such as RS-232, battery charger port, external power supply port, headphone
port, and on/off button.
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Transceiver
The transceiver provides the laser launch for the infrared detection beam, visible green
spotter laser, and spotter laser button. Harness hooks are provided to allow the unit to be
suspended from the harness.
Carrying Strap
The RMLD is provided with a single carrying strap with shoulder pad. An optional dual
strap harness is also available.
Battery Charger
The battery charger is provided to recharge the instrument after use. The charger is a
universal 110 - 240 VAC, 50 / 60 hertz with charger indicator. Adaptors are provided to
convert the style plug for different types of receptacles.
Instruction CD
The Instruction CD contains the following items:
1. Instruction Manual that provides instructions on the uses and operation of the
instrument.
2. Training Video that illustrates proper use and techniques to fully utilize the
instrument.
3. Additional HEATH product information.
4. HEATH contact information.
Carrying Case
The carrying case provides protection for the instrument during storage or transportation.
The instrument should be kept in the case while not in use. Integrated into the carrying
case is a calibration gas cell.
Headphone
Allows the operator to listen to the audible tones through a headphone instead of the
external speaker.
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Optional Accessories
Dual Shoulder Strap Harness
The dual shoulder strap harness provides extra comfort and support for carrying the
instrument for an extended time. The built-in lanyard is used to carry the weight of the
transceiver and provide additional stability and control of the unit while surveying.
HEATH strongly suggests that this harness be used by personnel who use the instrument
on a continuous basis to limit fatigue when holding the transceiver and to improve
surveying technique.
Fig 1-5
External Power Supply
The external power supply is a back-up battery provided to extend the operating time of
the instrument if the internal battery is not charged enough to run the instrument. This
power supply contains 5 “C” batteries.
Fig 1-6
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Chapter II
Battery Charging
Rechargeable Battery
The RMLD has an internal, rechargeable Li-ion battery that provides the main power to
the instrument. This battery is designed to provide 8 hours of operating time when fully
charged. The battery must be recharged between use to assure no interruption in use.
The display features a battery life remaining indicator. Accuracy of this indicator is
within 20% of the actual capacity. This indicator should be used only as a reference.
Always start the day with a full charge to ensure a full day’s use.
To maintain the best accuracy of the battery indicator, periodically deep discharge the
battery and then fully charge the battery without any interruption. To deep discharge the
battery, allow the instrument to run until it shuts itself off. This should also be needed if
the indicator does not follow the actual charge, e.g., if the instrument stops operating
while the battery indicator is reading that a charge remains or if the indicator is flashing
Fig. 2-1
Battery charge
indicator
**Note**
To obtain full battery capacity, charge the battery when the ambient temperature is above
50º F (10º C).
**Caution**
To prevent damage to the battery or electrical circuits, always plug the charger into a
surge-protected outlet.
**Note**
The prolonged un-use of battery inside or outside the instrument can lead to battery chemistry
being irreversibly damaged leading to permanent failure of the battery. It is recommended to have
the battery go through at least one (1) charge-discharge cycle once every month if the battery is
not being used for long periods of time.
When storing the instrument or the battery for more than a week, leave the battery charged up to
about 40% and store at room temperature of about 60-70º F.
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Battery Charger
The RMLD is provided with a universal AC battery charger. The plug of the charger can
be changed to fit the type of receptacle used in your location.
Charging Procedure
To recharge the internal battery, perform the following procedure:
1. Turn the instrument off.
2. Plug the AC plug into a surge-protected outlet.
3. Plug the charger plug into the RMLD charger port.
4. A blinking green light indicates that the charger is charging.
5. Allow the unit to charge until the green indicator is on solid.
6. Unplug the charger.
Fig. 2-2
**Warning**
Only use the HEATH supplied RMLD battery charger to recharge the
unit. Use of any other charger may cause severe damage to the battery
or electrical circuits.
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Chapter III
Operating the RMLD
This chapter provides information on the use of the RMLD. It provides an explanation of
working with the menu, setting operational parameters, or enabling functions of the
instrument.
Battery
Indicator
DMD icon
Gas
Concentration
Volume
Warning
DMD button
Error
Backlight icon
Up
Down button
Select button
Re-Try Self-Test OK
Spotter icon
Fig. 3-1
Figure 1: RMLD front panel and display. (Note: for illustration, all the display icons are shown.
During actual operation, only the icons associated with an active function will be displayed)
DMD button: press to turn on/off the DMD mode.
Up adjust button: press to increase a value or to acknowledge a user prompt.
Down adjust button: press to decrease a value.
Select button: press to scroll through the menu options.
Display:
Battery Indicator: displays the amount of battery charge.
Gas Concentration: displays the amount of gas in ppm-m. Over range is
indicated by a 1-------.
Volume: displays the volume level of the speaker and headphone
Warning: icon indicating that the instrument is outside of an operation limit.
Error: icon indicating that a fault condition has occurred; the instrument is no
longer functioning properly.
DMD: icon indicating that the DMD detection mode is on.
Spotter: icon indicating that the spotter laser is enabled.
Backlight: icon indicating that the backlight is on.
Re-try: icon indicating that the self-test failed and should be performed again.
Self-Test: icon indicating that the self-test mode is enabled.
OK: icon indicating that the self-test successfully completed.
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Headphone
port
RS-232 port
Charger port
External
Power port
Power Switch
Fig. 3-2: RMLD rear panel
Headphone port: receptacle for the headphone plug.
Charger port: receptacle for the battery charger plug.
Power Switch: depress the switch to turn the instrument on/off.
Ext. Power: receptacle for the external backup battery plug.
RS-232 port: receptacle for a DB-9 connector for interfacing to a PC (Used for
factory calibration purposes only).
Turning the RMLD On
Depress the Power Switch located on the rear panel. When the unit first turns on, the
green Spotter laser will briefly flash, and the display will shortly show all of the icons.
The display will then return to its run display mode showing the ppm-m reading. The
Warning icon will also shortly display as the laser starts up. This warning should turn off
after a few seconds. The instrument will turn on with the same settings (e.g., Alarm
Detection Threshold, Spotter On, etc.) as when it was turned off.
**Note**
The Infrared detection laser is continuously on and the instrument is measuring the
methane concentration while the instrument is on.
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Turning On the Spotter Laser
**Caution**
The green spotter laser in under the control of the operator and is on only when the
spotter trigger switch is depressed. While using the green spotter laser, be courteous to
others by not shining it towards their eyes or causing vehicle drivers to be distracted.
This type of laser is commonly sold in retail stores and used for business presentations. It
is safe as long as the operator properly uses it.
**Danger**
The visible green spotter laser is a Class IIIa laser product. Do not stare
into beam or view directly with optical instruments.
Spotter laser
IR Detector
laser
Spotter trigger
switch
Fig. 3-3
Turning the RMLD Off
Depress the power switch located on the rear panel. The instrument will power off. The
settings (e.g., Alarm Detection Threshold, Spotter On, etc.) will be automatically saved.
Using the Menu
The RMLD menu allows the operator to adjust certain operational values or to turn on/off
other functions. The operator can change the following operational values:
1. Volume.
2. Alarm Detection Threshold.
The following functions can be turned on/off or enabled:
1. Self-Test.
2. Spotter.
3. Backlight.
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By pressing the Select button, the Menu options are scrolled through in the following
order:
• Self-Test
i. Press Up button to initiate the Self-Test and Calibration
1. Press the Up button to acknowledge user prompts (OK or
Retry).
Ready to start
Self-Test
•
VOL
i. Press Up button to increase the volume level.
ii. Press Down button to decrease the volume level.
•
SPO
i. Press Up button to enable or disable the Spotter laser.
•
AL
i. Press Up button to increase the Alarm Detection Threshold.
ii. Press Down button to decrease the Alarm Detection Threshold.
Fig. 3-4
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•
BACLI
i. Press Up button to turn on or to turn off the display backlight.
Fig. 3-5
Although the ppm-m readout will not be updating, the instrument will still operate
properly while in a menu option other than the run display.
Using the DMD Mode
The Digital Methane Detection (DMD) mode is a highly sophisticated detection algorithm
that greatly enhances the use of the RMLD. In most situations, the operator should survey
with the DMD mode turned on. To turn on the DMD mode, press the DMD button (the
DMD icon will appear on the display). This mode can only be activated while in the main
survey screen.
DMD icon is on
Fig. 3-6: DMD icon is displayed when in DMD mode.
While using the DMD, no sound will be heard until a detection of methane occurs. The
pitch of the sound will be relative to the methane concentration. The higher the pitch, the
stronger the methane concentration is.
A low-pulsating or continuous sound will indicate a warning due to an infrared laser low
light level condition or instrument fault. The warning icon will also be displayed
indicating that the light level is too low (See Long Range Scanning Pg. 23). The operator
needs to move in closer to get in range.
Should the warning persist, it could be due to a fault in the instrument. Check the error
code being displayed and follow the instructions in the troubleshooting guideline.
The DMD will indicate detection when the ppm-m exceeds the average background plus
Alarm Detection Threshold level, or when the reading is excessive. While the low light
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warning is sounding, the RMLD may still be able to detect very large gas concentrations,
indicated by a high pitch tone.
The Alarm Detection Threshold controls the sensitivity of the DMD. The operator can
adjust the Alarm Detection Threshold. Your company’s survey procedure may require
the use of a specific value or procedure to set it. Set the Alarm Detection Threshold such
that the false detection rate is low, while not too high that leaks are missed.
To change the Alarm Detection Threshold, scroll through the Menu options until the
“AL” option is displayed. Press the Up or Down button to increase or decrease the
threshold. The higher the threshold setting is, the less sensitive the instrument becomes.
Using the Pure Tone Mode
The Pure Tone mode of the RMLD plays a continuous tone that is relative to the
instantaneous concentration level. The higher the pitch of the tone, the higher the
methane concentration level. No sound at all will indicate a low light level condition or
instrument fault. Note that the pitch level increases as you scan at a further distance.
This is due to the ambient amount of methane in the air.
Tone level is
proportional to
ppm-m reading
Fig. 3-7
DMD icon is off
The pure tone mode is most effective when used up close to help verify low level
detections or to help isolate the highest gas concentration.
To verify a low level leak the following procedure should be used:
1. Stand back about 10 ft. from the leak with the wind to your back if possible.
2. Sweep the laser back and forth across the leak while maintaining a constant
distance.
3. Listen for a consistent increase in tone level as the beam sweeps through the leak.
Very small leaks will have just a slight increase in tone.
To isolate the spot with the highest concentration, the following procedure should be
used:
1. Stand back about 10 ft. from the leak with the wind to your back if possible.
2. Sweep the laser starting from the up-wind side, in and around the leak area.
3. Listen for the highest tone level.
4. Change your angle slightly and re-scan the leak zone.
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5. If the location with the highest pitch is consistent then the location of the leak is at
that spot.
6. If the pitches are not consistent then keep working the area. The gas plume may
be drifting around causing inconsistent readings. In some cases, the gas plume
may be large enough that localization is not very accurate.
Self-Test and Calibration
The RMLD has a built-in function to perform a Self-Test and Calibration of the laser
wavelength. The self-test feature should be used on a daily basis to ensure that the
instrument is in proper working order. HEATH recommends that the self-test function
be performed prior to the beginning of your survey day. Each Self-Test & Calibration
should be recorded into a daily log. An example daily log has been included at the end of
this manual for your convenience.
To perform the Self-Test and Calibration, the following procedure should be performed:
1. Remove the controller from the carrying case.
2. Turn on the instrument and allow it to warm up for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Place the transceiver in its position in the carrying case; making sure it is all the
way in place and flat.
4. Press the SELECT button until the SELF-TEST icon is shown on the display
(Note: the Retry and OK icon are also displayed).
Fig. 3-7
5.
6.
Press the UP button to initiate the self-test. The number 255 will then be
displayed.
When the OK icon is displayed, the instrument passed the self-test.
a. If the RETRY icon is displayed then the instrument failed the self-test.
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Press the UP button to return to the beginning of the SELF-TEST and
refer to the next section: Calibration Override.
7. Press the UP button. This will initiate the calibration sweep of the laser
wavelength. This takes about 45 seconds to complete and you will notice that
the gas concentration readings will go up and down.
8. When the OK icon is once again displayed, the instrument has passed the laser
calibration.
a. If the RETRY icon is displayed the instrument failed the calibration.
Press the UP button to return to the beginning of the self-test.
9. Press the UP button to acknowledge.
10. Press the SELECT button to scroll back to the run display.
What if the instrument failed the Self-Test and Calibration? Most often, the cause is due
to the transceiver not being properly positioned in the case or the laser wavelength has
drifted. Make sure the unit is in its proper position, all the way down, and flat. Note the
gas concentration. It is typically about 1100 ppm-m, but must be between 500 and 2000
ppm-m. After rechecking the above, repeat the Self-Test and Calibration procedure
above.
Calibration Override
Should the unit fail at step 6 due to initial low readings perform the following actions:
1. Ensure the instrument is still in the Self-Test menu from step 6 above.
2. Override the normal Self-Test function by pressing the DMD button. This will
force the laser calibration sweep.
3. At the end of the first sweep, OK will be displayed. Press the UP arrow key again
to restart the sweep.
4. At the end of this sweep, Self-Test OK will be displayed. Press the UP arrow and
then SELECT to exit the Self-Test menu.
a. If it fails, it will show RETRY, and the unit is not functioning properly.
Contact HEATH for assistance.
**Note**
Laser wavelength drift is a normal characteristic of the RMLD. Normally the rate of drift
is low and will not affect the Self-Test if performed on a regular basis. If the initial
reading is low when placed in the case, and requires the use of the calibration override to
force it through calibration, then the laser calibration was previously off. Survey work
conducted with a unit out of calibration may need to be redone. If initial concentration
readings are low on a regular basis such that the override must be always used, contact
HEATH for assistance.
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When the Self-Test fails. The following table may help to isolate the problem:
Cause
Low signal strength or noisy
Initial ppm-m too low or too
high
Laser adjustment failed
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Corrective Action
Make sure battery is fully charged
Make sure that the unit is in its proper position, and
all the way down and flat
Make sure battery is fully charged
Make sure the unit is in its proper position, all the
way down, and flat
Verify calibration cell is not broken
Use the Calibration Override
Make sure battery is fully charged
Make sure that the unit is in its proper position, and
all the way down and flat
Verify calibration cell is not broken
**Caution**
Should the instrument not pass after several attempts, do not use the instrument for
survey work until the problem is corrected. Contact HEATH for further assistance.
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Chapter IV
Surveying with the RMLD
A training video is provided with the RMLD, which demonstrates the best overview of
techniques used. It is important to learn these techniques in order to properly survey and
locate methane leaks. The purpose of the video is to familiarize a leak surveyor on the
use of the RMLD. It does not provide basic leak survey training. Refer to your
company’s specific training and procedures for being qualified for leak surveying.
In order for the RMLD to detect a gas leak, three conditions must be met:
1. The gas plume concentration and size must be greater than the minimum
sensitivity of the instrument.
2. The IR beam must pass through the plume.
3. The background target (i.e., ground, building, etc.) has to reflect the IR beam
back.
Several factors influence the gas plume size and concentration. First, very low flowing
leaks may produce small to non-measurable plumes. Also, surface types such as concrete
will spread the leak and create spot leaks through surface cracks and holes. Weather
conditions like high winds and higher temperatures will cause the plume to dissipate
faster. The operator must consider these factors and their effects throughout the survey.
The most important aspect to using the RMLD is the proper control and aiming of the IR
beam.
The first thing you will need to learn when surveying with the RMLD is to control the
aiming of the laser and rate of sweeping. Radical or abrupt motion may cause the RMLD
to give false detections due to rapidly changing distance or background that the laser
detects. Radical or abrupt motion may cause the IR beam to not thoroughly scan the area.
Here are a few tips for walking along the main:
• Use a smooth sweeping motion.
• Keep the beam pointed out 15 to 20 ft. This allows for the beam footprint on the
ground to be large enough to provide good coverage, and control over the path of
the beam.
• Scan service tap and valve areas as you approach them.
• Target probable vent locations such as cracks, vegetation damage, etc.
While scanning the service line/meter where the location is known, keep these tips in
mind:
• Use the advantage of the beam by sweeping wider around the line location.
• Work the beam up the line in an “S” pattern.
• Scan the meter area.
• Rescan down the line using the “S” pattern.
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•
Move in closer if the range is too far or ground elevation causes the beam to not
come into contact with the ground (dark zones).
While scanning a service where the location is not known:
• Use an “X” pattern or similar pattern to thoroughly scan the area.
• Target typical vent areas i.e., along the street or sidewalk edges.
• Target locations where valves may be placed.
• Scan along the foundation of the structure.
• Move in closer if the range is too far or ground elevation causes the beam to not
come into contact with the ground creating dark zones (shadow).
When scanning the meter, keep the following considerations in mind:
• Maintain at least 10 ft. from the meter so the beam width is not too small.
• Thoroughly scan the ground around the meter.
• Use the best angle to the meter that provides a good background behind the meter.
• If the meter is out in the open, or the angle is limited such that there is no
background right behind the meter; scan the meter in a horizontal “Z” pattern
maintaining a constant distance as you sweep across.
If a leak is located near or on the meter, these tips help to determine if the leak is
underground or on the meter:
• Try to keep the wind to your back.
• Stand about 5 to 10 ft. from the meter.
• Use the Pure Tone to help pick out the strongest return.
• Start out aiming low on the ground.
• Work the beam up and around the piping (Note: The spotter laser is about 2.75”
above the IR laser beam).
• If in doubt and if the leak is underground, bar hole the area.
Long Range Scanning:
The RMLD can detect leaks from up to 100 ft. away. Actual distance may vary due to
target surface and environmental conditions. As the scanning distance is increased, the
laser light level returned will become lower. As the maximum distance is approached, a
“low laser light level” tone is heard. You will need to move in closer.
For best results when scanning at distances greater than 50 ft., it is important to slow
down the scanning rate and take care in pointing the laser. When taking aim, use the
spotter laser or the sighting marks on the side of the Transceiver to ensure proper
scanning of the target area.
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Be aware of the ground elevation. Scanning across the top of a knoll or past the edge of a
structure can result in beam skips (a sudden change in distance) which may give you a
false detection.
Fig. 4-1: Sudden change in distance may cause a false detection.
Obstructions or variations in the landscape can cause dark zones where the laser doesn’t
scan. Look for the best angle to thoroughly scan these areas. Scanning up a hillside may
cause beam skipping or dark zones around the foundation of a structure.
Fig. 4-2: Ground elevation change or obstructions in the line of sight will cause “dark zones”
(shadows).
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Dealing with False Detections
While using the DMD mode, several conditions may occur that will cause the algorithm
to give a detection indication. The most common situations are:
• Abrupt or jerky motions causing the scanning distance to rapidly change.
• Overly strong returns due to strong reflectors.
The most common point that a false detection occurs is in the 50 ft (15 m) range. This is
due to the beam footprint becoming very large. Abrupt motion, change in terrain, or
distance to an object may cause the DMD to give a short low detection. To verify if the
detection is due to a leak, pause at this distance, aim off to the side and re-sweep across
the area to determine if gas is present.
Scanning from a long range to a short range will also minimize false detections.
Strong reflections off certain types of surfaces (e.g., black garbage bags, water droplets,
glass, polished surfaces, stones, license plates, reflectors, etc.) may give a false detection.
Rescan the area from a slightly different angle.
How Does the RMLD Measure Gas?
With the RMLD it is now possible to survey areas that are hard to reach or not easily
accessible. The RMLD does not have to be within the gas plume because it uses laser
technology known as Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy. As the laser passes
through a gas plume, the methane absorbs a portion of the light, which the RMLD then
detects. This technology makes it possible to detect leaks along the sight line without
always having to walk the full length of the service line.
Infrared
Detector
Laser
Fig. 4-3
The invisible Infrared (IR) detector laser beam is transmitted from the launch port. With
a normal background, such as brick, concrete, and grass, it has a maximum distance of up
to 100 ft. away (actual distance may vary due to surface condition).
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D ir e c t S u n a n d
A m b ie n t
L ig h t A d d s D e t e c t e d
T o p o g r a p h ic B a c k s c a t te r o f
B a c k g ro u n d P h o to n s
L a s e r L ig h t a n d B a c k g r o u n d
L ig h t C o lle c te d b y R e c e iv e r
D e te c to r
L a s e r
L i g h t B e c o m e s E le c tric it y
Fig. 4-4
To detect leaks, as the above illustration depicts, when the IR laser beam passes through a
gas plume, and is reflected back, the reflected light is collected and converted to an
electrical signal that carries the information needed to deduce the methane concentration.
The laser light is selective to methane, and will not false alarm on other hydrocarbons.
This signal is processed so that methane concentrations can be reported in parts-permillion-meter or ppm-m.
Ppm-m is the product of the methane concentration times the width of the plume. For
example, if the leak is creating a gas cloud of 1000 PPM and is about ½ meter in width
(the distance the IR beam passes through the plume). The RMLD will measure 500 ppmm.
For another example, if the average concentration of the gas cloud is 20 PPM and is
about 2 meter in width, the RMLD will measure 40 ppm-m, plus a background level of
15 ppm-m in this case, displaying a total value of 55 ppm-m.
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Fig. 4-5: The ppm-m reading is the product of the plume concentration times the distance the IR
beam passes through the plume (plume width) in addition to any background gas. As the scan
distance increases, the size of the IR beam “footprint” increases.
The IR beam width is about 22” at 100 ft. It is important to note that the laser beam
“footprint” width and distance increases as the distance increases (see Figure 4-5). This
is why it is much easier to detect leaks from a distance of 10 to 15 ft. and beyond.
**Note**
There is always a small amount of methane in the air. This natural methane background
is also measured by the RMLD. The ppm-m reading will then increase as the scanning
distance increases.
**Note**
The nature of a gas plume is highly variable. The above illustrations are intended to
convey the basic theory. Some leaks may have a high surface concentration with little to
no measurable plume above the surface.
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Chapter V
Maintenance and Troubleshooting Information
Troubleshooting the Instrument
The advanced design of the RMLD makes it one of the most reliable leak survey
instruments available. However, should you experience problems with the instrument or
suspect that the instrument is not operating properly, do not use the instrument for leak
survey work until the problem is resolved.
Only a qualified RMLD repair technician should attempt to repair or adjust the
instrument. There are no user serviceable components in the RMLD that can be repaired
or replaced.
Most often, a problem has a simple cause. The following table provides a list of common
problems, cause and solution. Should you have a problem not listed or the solution
doesn’t work, please contact HEATH for further assistance.
Symptom
Readings are higher than
normal at short range and
lower than normal for long
range.
Concentration reading low
and will not pass the SelfTest
Have to use Self-Test
override each time the SelfTest is performed
Unit will not turn on
Keep getting a warning
sound or icon when
scanning
•
•
Solution
Run Self-Test
•
Laser calibration has
drifted
•
Run Self-Test and use
the override function
•
Laser calibration has
drifted
•
Perform the Self-Test
on a daily basis
•
Laser calibration drift
rate is too high
Low battery
•
Contact HEATH.
•
Recharge internal
battery, or
•
Use the External Power
Supply
Move closer to the
target, or
•
•
•
101515-0 RMLD MANUAL REV E
Probable Cause(s)
Laser calibration has
drifted
Scanning at a distance
beyond the RMLD
range
•
•
Change angle to the
target to get a better
reflecting background
•
Check battery level and
Background surface is
absorbing or reflection
the light level
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Excessive false detections
while scanning at longer
distances
Excessive false detections
while scanning at closer
distances
Excessive false detections
or loss of sensitivity
Error icon or Warning icon
on continuously
•
•
Low battery
Scanning too fast
•
Alarm detection
threshold set too low
•
Scanning at the range
limit of the instrument
•
Scanning too fast
•
Alarm detection
threshold set too low
101515-0 RMLD MANUAL REV E
Increase the Alarm
detection threshold
• Move in closer
• Avoid making abrupt
motions while scanning
•
Increase the Alarm
Detection Threshold
Perform Self-Test
procedure
Laser output not
optimized
•
•
Alarm Detection
Threshold set too high
or low for conditions
Low battery
•
Check the Alarm
Detection Threshold
•
Check battery level and
recharge if necessary
•
Allow for the
temperature of the
instrument to stabilize
•
Note error code and
contact HEATH
Charge unit until solid
green light on charger is
on
Run unit until it shuts
off, then fully recharge
with out interruption
•
•
Battery indicator bars are
flashing on and off
•
•
•
Battery indicator does not
show full charge after
charging
•
recharge if necessary
Slow down the scanning
rate. Pause at the long
range and sweep
towards you
Moisture condensation
on mirror due to rapid
change in temperature
Internal component
failure
•
Battery not fully
charged
•
•
Battery level calibration
error
•
•
Battery level calibration
error
•
Run unit until it shuts
off, then fully recharge
with out interruption
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Maintenance
In order to maintain the RMLD in good working condition, the following maintenance
should be performed as indicated:
Maintenance Item
Clean outer surfaces with damp rag
Clean Transceiver window with damp
KemWipe™ or equivalent none abrasive
lens tissue
Self-Test and Calibration
Internal battery recharge
101515-0 RMLD MANUAL REV E
Frequency
As needed
As needed to prevent dust or water stain
build up
Daily to insure that the instrument is
functioning properly
Recharge to full capacity after each use
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Chapter VI
Service Information
Warranties and Warranty Repair
The RMLD is warranted to be free from defects in material and workmanship for one (1)
year from date of shipment.
The warranty on authorized repairs in the Houston Factory Service Center (FSC) is
ninety (90) days materials and labor. This repair warranty does not extend any other
applicable warranties.
Our warranty covers only failures due to defects in materials or workmanship. It does not
cover failure due to damage which occurs in shipment, unless due to improper packing.
It does not cover failures, which result from accident, misuse, abuse, neglect,
mishandling, misapplication, alteration, modification, or service other than the Houston
FSC or other authorized repair center.
HEATH’s responsibility is expressly limited to repair or replacement of any defective
part, provided the product is returned to HEATH FSC or an authorized FSC, shipped
pre-paid, and adequately insured. Return shipping and insurance will be at no charge to
the purchaser.
HEATH does not assume liability for indirect or consequential damage or loss of any
nature in connection with the use of any HEATH product.
There are no other warranties expressed, implied, or written except as listed above.
Obtaining Service
To expedite the repair of your instrument, please follow the following procedure:
1. Contact HEATH Customer Service at 1-800-HEATH-US to obtain a Return
Authorization tracking number. Repairs can be significantly delayed until
authorization is obtained.
a. Specify your complete shipping and billing address.
b. Specify the person and contact information to be contacted for repair and
shipping authorization.
c. Specify the instrument product name and serial number.
d. Include a brief description of the problem you are experiencing.
e. Specify the person and contact information to be contacted for additional
information regarding the symptoms of the failure.
2. Package and ship the RMLD in its original carrying case.
Please specify the tracking number, product name, and serial number on all
correspondence.
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Glossary
Beam Skip: Occurs when the IR beam jumps between a near object and a far away
object. This may cause a false detection.
Control Module: The portion of the RMLD with the keypad and display that clips onto
a harness.
Dark Zone: An area not being scanned due to an obstruction. This may be an elevation
change, the side of a building, behind a curb, etc.
DMD (Digital Methane Detection): An advanced detection mode which, when
activated, will only alert the operator when there is a probable detection of methane.
Footprint: The surface area covered by the IR beam, increasing with distance. At 100
ft., this area is 22” in diameter when shined against a vertical wall.
Infrared (IR): A wavelength of light just outside the range of the visible spectrum.
Laser Calibration Drift: A normal characteristic of tunable diode lasers is that the
wavelength calibration can drift slowly overtime. The RMLD has a built in SeltTest/Calibration feature to automatically maintain proper calibration.
ppm-m (Parts Per Million Meter): The product of the methane concentration times the
width of the plume.
Pure Tones: A mode that will emit a continuous tone relative to the concentration of gas
detected.
Spotter Laser: The green, blinking laser attached to the top of the transceiver which
guides the operator as to the location of the IR beam. This laser can be activated through
the trigger located on the transceiver grip.
Transceiver: The hand-held portion of the RMLD, which contains the invisible IR laser
transmitter/receiver and green spotter laser.
Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy: A method of gas detection that utilizes
a laser that, when shined through a cloud of methane, will be partially absorbed by the
gas which can be measured for gas concentration.
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101515-0 RMLD MANUAL REV E
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101515-0 RMLD MANUAL REV E
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RMLD Daily Self-Test and Calibration Log
RMLD S/N
Date
Operator
101515-0 RMLD MANUAL REV E
Passed
Self-Test?
Self-Test ppm-m
Reading
Alarm
Level
Notes
Page 34 of 36
Declaration of Conformity
Manufacture’s Name:
Manufacture’s Address:
Heath Consultants
9030 Monroe Road
Houston, TX 77061
Model:
Remote Methane Leak Detector
Has been demonstrated to be in compliance with the European EMC directive
(89/336/EEC), FCC 47 CFR, Part 15, Subpart B, Class A, and ANSI C63.4, and is
in accordance with the following standards:
EN 61326-1
Conducted Emissions
Radiated Emissions
FCC 47 CFR Part 15
ANSI C63.4
EN 61000-4-2
EN 61000-4-3
Class A
Class A
Class A
Class A
4/8kV
10V/m
Date of Issue:
May 16, 2005
Signed by:
101515-0 RMLD MANUAL REV E
April 21, 2005
April 21, 2005
April 21, 2005
April 21, 2005
April 20, 2005
April 20, 2005
(On File)
Graham Midgley
Heath Consultants CEO
Page 35 of 36
Technical Support 1-800-HEATH-US
(1-800-432-8487)
HOUSTON FACTORY SERVICE CENTER
Heath Consultants Manufacturing Division
9030 Monroe Road
Houston, Texas 77061
Phone - (713) 844-1300
Fax - (713) 844-1309
www.heathus.com
101515-0 RMLD MANUAL REV E
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