Advanced Energy

Flare Monitoring Quasar 2 – a new generation of Infrared pilot flame monitors from LumaSense

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Courtesy of Advanced Energy

LUMASENSE Technologies, a provider of temperature and gas sensing devices, has introduced its next generation F2T Quasar 2 Continuous Flare Stack Monitoring System for pilot flames and flared gases. Ihe scalability of the new flare monitoring systems and Iheir ability to inlegrale multiple monitoring technologies through software allow for a flare monitoring solution for all the market, including: elevated flares (either steam-air or gas-assisted), ground flares (burn pit-flares, ground flare arrays), off-shore flares and staged flares.

Meeting site requirements The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires continuous monitoring of a Hare slack to ensure thai a pilot flame or flare flame is present. If the flame is extinguished, this can result in hazardous gases being released into the environment Flare stack operations require pilot monitoring to ensure there is a pilot flame presence 100% of the time for safe operation, environmental assurance and governmental compliance.

The pilot light is the small natural gas flame that is an ignition source for the flare stack when waste gases are present Without pilot flames, the waste gases may not ignite. Most pilot flames arc monitored by a thermocouple, a sensor mounted near the flame. However, these thermocouples are exposed to thermal shock, making failures common. 'Ihermocouple replacements are costly because the flare stack, and therefore a large part of production, must be shut down while the thermocouples are being replaced.

Secondary monitoring methods are often installed in new applications, or as aftermarket installations, to address a failing thermocouple issue. Alternative flare monitoring technologies can be provided by infrared pyrometers and imaging pilot monitoring systems. These can range from basic solutions that provide the pilot status, to more advanced solutions that detect the different flame sizes and can differentiate between pilot (lames, flaring flames and multiple flare tips in close proximity.

For example, pyrometry could be used in single flare tip applications to detect if the pilot flame is on or off. Likewise, pyrometry or thermal imaging can be used to provide stage level indication in staged flare applications or for monitoring gas-assist flaring applications to maintain accurate flaring levels.

When monitoring multiple flare tips that are in close proximity, advanced solutions can be used that integrate both pyrometer systems and thermal imaging systems to differentiate between each flare and pilot flame for more accurate flare monitoring.

Seeing infrared
Site requirements also demand thai flare monitoring technologies be sensitive to small flames at large distances, and that they are enclosed in a compatible housing for harsh environmental conditions and hazardous areas. To achieve this, a range of infrared technologies are available in the market.

Infrared monitors are non-contact devices that monitor infrared energy in order to detect the presence of a pilot flame. By monitoring infrared energy, they are sensitive enough to be mounted far away from the flare stacks and can be installed without the need to interrupt the flaring process.

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