I'm trying to increase the Helium detection capabilities of a sniffer unit. Could a cyclonic separator, like that used in the oil/gas industry, with enough fluid velocity move the heavier gas molecules in air (O2, N2, Ar, CO2) to the sides of it while keeping the lighter elements (He, H2) in the center to be detected by a sniffer?
We're trying to detect leaks of helium from refrigeration systems on an assembly line. we're designing a positive air box to prevent any outside contamination from the filling and recovery stations. The box will have a blower attached to it to pull the volume of the box in 10 seconds. because most of the gases in the box are not our trace gas we have a very low mbar l/s level (allowable is 9e-7) that is on the borderline of the minimum of our sniffer unit we are looking to use. The sniffer unit has the precision of 1e-7 mbar l/s at 300 SCCM and 1e-6 mbar at 3000 SCCM. We are going to have an array of sniffer heads in the center of this conic that will sample the air at the center (with the thought that the lighter elements would be there) leading to a more accurate reading because it is sampling less of the non-trace gas. This process of sampling and detection along with the lifting/closing of doors and shifting of the equipment is done on a conveyor belt within a 40 second time period.
The current system is a person at the assembly line with a hand held sniffer going around the connections, but are getting readings that there are leaks even though there might not be, probably due to the helium charging station only 3 feet away from the leak testing area. we are looking to automate the process for less false readings and quicker turn over time in the process.