Aircraft equipped with a methane sensor (with or without an additional carbon dioxide sensor) flown downwind of oil and gas processing sites can be used to measure flare efficiency.
Research-grade methane sensorsSensors are devices that measure physical properties such as methane concentration, temperature, or radiance. For measuring flare efficiency the sensor must be capable of measuring methane and in some cases… Learn more… are now routinely available that can be mounted on fixed wing aircraft.
The aircraft are flown downwind of oil and gas operating sites, adopting either a raster formation or perimeter flights.
Total methane emitted from the study area is calculated as the difference between signal intensity upwind and downwind of the study area or through the use of dispersion models that require additional data on wind speed.
A number of sensor technologies are available. For determining flare efficiency the primary choice is between a single methane sensor – which requires additional accurate information on flare flow rates from the operator and a plume inversion model to define the flux of methane originating from the flare , or dual sensor in which the carbon dioxide to methane ratio is used to determine efficiency.
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Sensors are devices that measure physical properties such as methane concentration, temperature, or radiance. For measuring flare efficiency the sensor must be capable of measuring methane and in some cases other combustion products. The sensor has to be manouvered in to a location where it intersects with the flare plume - either through the use of drone technology or aircraft. Where only methane is being measured, additional data on flare volumes is required to derive combusiton effificiency estimates.