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INCA - Series and Applications

The modular concept results in a range of INCA units all designed for special applications


Compact device configured for a pre-defined application


In planning stage for future release


Use with dry gases and indoor locations with or without sample stream switching


Use with saturated gases and indoor locations with or without sample stream switching


Use with dry gases and outdoor locations with or without sample stream switching (formerly named OUTDOOR INCA)


Use with saturated gases and outdoor locations with or without sample stream switching (formerly named OUTDOOR INCA)


In planning stage for future release


Like INCA3000, but for use in hazardous areas

Schematic drawing of INCA models (INCA1000 not shown)


INCA Detectors & Sensors

NDIR sensors
The NDIR (non-dispersive infrared) technology uses the absorption properties of gases for light radiation in the infrared wavelength. Suitable filters select a specific wavelength from a broad spectrum light source that shows typical absorption behavior for the gas in question. This radiation passes a measurement cell filled with sample gas. The IR attenuation occurring during this process is proportional to the gas concentration. Thermal detectors (thermopiles) are used for signal measurement.

Electro-chemical sensors
Many gases react to other substances under specific conditions. If the reaction causes the release of electrons and thus a measurable current, the corresponding arrangement is called an electro-chemical cell. It consists of at least two catalytically acting electrodes connecting in an electrically conductive medium (electrolyte) and a circuit. At the junction of the electrode, gas and electrolyte, a current generating reaction occurs where the amperage shows the degree of the gas concentration. Note: Due to process conditions, electro-chemical sensors have a limited service life.

Paramagnetic sensors
Unlike most gases, oxygen is paramagnetic and thus attracted by a magnetic field. The resulting force from placing oxygen in a magnetic field serves to analyse the oxygen concentration in gases. This force is measured and registered, by e.g. generation of a rotary movement and converted into a signal proportional to the oxygen concentration.

Acoustic sensors (for density measurement)
The acoustic density measurement uses the impact of the sample gas on the oscillation amplitude of an induced sound wave. The sound amplitude detected by the pressure transducer depends directly on the density of the sample gas. A reference chamber filled with ambient air also increases measurement accuracy under all conditions.

Detection procedure

Determinable gas components or gas properties 


CH4, CO2, CO, C2+ 

Electrochemical cell

O2, H2S, H2 




specific gravity (Density)

 INCA - Applications

Versatile applications
Devices and systems for gas analysis are required in many parts of the process and gas industry. A special application is the determination of the composition of combustible gases as required in the fields of natural gas, biogas, biomethane, liquid gas, blast furnace gas, lean gas, landfill gas and others. For such applications, INCA is particularly suitable. This does not mean that INCA cannot be used for other applications as well, provided that the task matches the gas components that INCA can detect (CH4, C2+, CO, CO2, O2, H2S, H2) and the measuring range required.

INCA in a biogas plant
The main application for INCA is to monitor the generation and processing of biogas. INCA provides a solution to the many different measurement tasks in a biogas plant (figure 9 to 11), thanks to its flexible design, usually with just one or two devices. Today, UNION Instruments is one of the most successful suppliers of analysis technology in the biogas industry with many units in use in the worldwide market.


Measuring point

Position and Application

Special suitability if INCA


At the fermenters, the composition of the saturated raw biogas is determined in different spots. This provides important information about how the process flows.

Robust stainless steel valves controlled by compressed air and a sample gas cooler with vacuum drainage allow direct sampling of the gases from the fermenters. This drainage keeps the lines clean and free from condensate.


At the inlet to the flare, the frequently fluctuating gas composition is determined at different locations. This provides important information about how the process runs.

The upstream sample gas cooler ensures reliable analysis of the condensate laden (saturated) gas.


Upstream and downstream of the gas cleaning (removal of H2S), the gas composition is determined and thus function and/or saturation of the activated carbon filter are monitored.

The patented μPulse function allows for precise determination of H2S upstream and downstream the gas cleaning (with measuring point changeover) despite the high difference in concentration.


A gas engine needs the monitoring of the gas quality to ensure the suitability of the gases before combustion.

The CH4 determination ensures reliable start and operation of the gas engine. The H2S determination ensures optimal protection for gas engine and its exhaust system.


Upstream and downstream the biogas processing, the gas composition is determined. This monitors the biogas optimisation during a critical phase.

The flexible IR measuring ranges allow adjustment of the device optimally to the different gas source (raw biogas, biomethane, offgas) as well as to the requirements of the different processing procedures (diaphragm technology, water scrubber, amine scrubber or others).


In the conditioning unit the biogas is monitored for dryness, pressure and heating value to ensure that it meets the specifications required for feeding it into a natural gas network.

The selectivity of the IR measurement technology allows for continuous measurement of both methane and propane in conditioned bio natural gas.


At the supply point into the natural gas network the biogas properties can be checked for quality one last time.

The ATEX-approved version for use in in potentially explosive atmospheres can measure all relevant parameters in the gas supply system. 


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