A flame detector is a type of device that uses optical sensors in order to detect flames. Flame detectors are used mostly at hydrogen stations in order to prevent any fires from happening. Essentially, there are seven different types of flame detectors available. These types include ultraviolet, infrared, UV/IR, IR/IR, IR/IR/IR, visible sensors and video cameras.
Ultraviolet detectors have the ability to detect fires and explosions in three to four milliseconds. From the moment that a small flame has been ignited, an ultraviolet detector can distinguish the type of flame. While incredibly accurate, ultraviolet detectors can be fooled by sunlight, radiation, arc welding, and lightning.
An infrared flame detector works by using an infrared band. When hot gasses are released near an infrared detector, a small thermal imaging camera immediately picks up on the presence of these gasses. On occasion, other sources of hot gas that happen to be near an infrared flame detector can cause this type of detector to set off a false alarm.
UV/IR detectors use a combination of both ultraviolet and infrared technology to detect heat. These detectors gather information from an ultraviolet perspective and an infrared perspective. When these two technologies work together, false alarms are often minimized. Similarly, an IR/IR flame detector detects flames within two infrared frequencies. Thus, IR/IR detectors are also able to eliminate most false alarms.
Even more accurate than IR/IR or UV/IR detectors are IR/IR/IR detectors that use three different infrared frequencies in order to detect a flame. Since an IR/IR/IR detector works by comparing three wavelength bands, it is nearly impossible for this type of flame detector to detect anything other than a dangerous flame or fire. Frequently, visible sensors are added to a flame detector in order to detect any flames that may be visible. When combined with a highly accurate detector, a visible sensor tends to eliminate any type of false alarm.
Lastly, a closed circuit video camera may be able to detect any flame or fire. However, as is the case with any other kind of camera, these cameras can be triggered by any kind of smoke or fog, which makes this type of flame detector the least reliable. While all kinds of flame detectors are used in industrial settings, such as hydrogen stations, residential fire alarms are also considered flame detectors. Without these devices, fires would not be detected, which could lead to a massive explosion, fire, or other incident.