Application of a Wireless Remote Monitoring System on a Landfill Flare Station


The Seminole Road Landfill flare station in DeKalb County, Georgia was previously equipped with an automatic telephone dialer system that contacted the operators of the flare via telephone when the flare station shut down and there were frequent flare station shut downs. During flare station shut downs all repairs required labor intensive response to physically visit the facility to diagnose the cause of the failure and restart the system. As a result, the County authorized a Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) to be installed to provide real time remote monitoring, data capture and alarm notification of 23 separate critical operational parameters measured at the flare station. The flare station is controlled by a programmable logic controller (PLC) for all critical operational parameters and the RTU is interfaced through the PLC to a variety of existing on-site equipment. The RTU collects data from the PLC as input signals and stores the data that is then output using a wireless network.

The wireless remote system identifies conditions that cause the flare to shut down and instantly notifies the operators of the flare via email and text messaging of the cause of the shut down when the flare station is down. The wireless remote system also records when values for critical parameters are being reached and instantly notifies the operators of the flare so the operator can attempt to prevent the flare from shutting down. Access to all monitored flare station data is instantly available through a secure web page on the Internet. The wireless system provides volumes of historical data for all the parameters and it can all be reviewed via the Internet for diagnostics of wellfield and flare performance. Unlike traditional monitoring stations that are hardwired to power and connected to telephone systems, the wireless system with a battery backup remains online when the power is interrupted or when telephone lines are malfunctioning.

The Wireless Remote Monitoring of the flare station is more reliable, enhances the ability to maintain compliance, greatly improves the consistency of the operation of the Gas Collection and Control System and reduces the number of malfunctions that resulted in shut down of the flare station prior to this enhancement.

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