Automation and the internet of things is quickly moving from a magical sci-fi concept to an everyday reality. We are living in a unique time where a wide range of sensors and actuators are available ranging from low cost to robust industrial grade components. The components are just waiting for some careful planning and programmed logic to be transformed into efficient and reliable solutions. The video below provides a Dr. Dave style general introduction to automated systems. Steps for designing a custom automated system are also provided below with examples. Project Definition Identify “big picture” project goals. Determine functional requirements and restrictions. E.g., Client needs a system to monitor temperature of coolers and notify operator if the temperature is outside of an acceptable range. System Design Prepare a solution that meets project goals. E.g., Connect temperature sensor to wireless network and develop program that texts operator when temperature is outside 0-32 F. Control System Design Select sensors/actuators and create input/output map. Identify controller hardware speed and storage requirements. Identify if internet access is required. E.g., Use a type K thermocouple with wireless access and design online web portal that includes logic and texting ability. System Construction Order and assemble physical components. E.g., Wire thermocouple and install in cooler. Control Program Development Design software with scalable architecture. Provide any necessary safety precautions or permissions in software. E.g., Program that allows easy addition of wireless thermocouples or operator phone numbers where select coolers notify select operator. User Interface Development Provide easy to use and functionally sound interface. E.g., Password protected panel with federated identities to view cooler temperatures that walks user through steps to update alarm settings.
One of the cool projects we are working on involves remote sensing of stack gas velocity using infrared imaging and digital image correlation. Using this technique, we can determine stack gas flow without even climbing the stack… stack-free stack testing. Another way we do stack-free stack testing is by using drones to measure stack emissions. Preliminary tests show results that agree with US EPA Method 2 or 2F to within a few percent. This would be great for a quick check of stack flow or on sources that are hazardous or hard to access. Check out the video below for a playful general overview of this method to remotely measure gas velocity using a camera. One of the cameras we used to do this is FLIR SC8313 High Speed Infrared Camera. These cameras have applications beyond measuring stack emissions. They can be used for: Measuring Flame speed in a flare Measuring Mobile Emissions from a ship, aircraft, etc Many Other applications
I know, I know.... You are asking yourself "Where has this video on flare velocity limits been all my life?" Well, the wait is over. In this first (of potentially several) videos on miscellaneous flare topics, I discuss those pesky flare velocity limits found at 40 CFR 60.18 and 63.11. Where did they come from? Are they necessary? What happens if the limits are exceeded? All this and more await you in the video below. Enjoy.