Regular inspection of flare tips (or burners) is recommended to ensure their safe and efficient operation and can be a regulatory requirement in some locations.
Inspection can be used to check the mechanical integrity of the flare tip and its associated ancillaries like flare pilots and ignition system. Flare inspection can also be used to check the functionality of the flare tip, pilots and ignition system. Flares can be inspected when they are in operation and also when they are shutdown. Inspections can be performed manually or remotely with the use of drones, helicopters or cameras.
How it Works – Remote Inspection
Remote inspections can be completed with the flare in or out of operation. Visual inspections can be carried out from a safe distance using a telescope or cameras with zoom. Visual inspections can also be carried out using drones with cameras or from helicopters equipped with cameras. Thermal imaging cameras can be used to detect hot spots and leaks.
Some suggested areas for inspection are;
Drone Inspection of Offshore Flare Tip
An inspection of a combined high pressure and low pressure flare tip and associated ancillaries was performed for an An oil or gas production or processing facility that is designed to operate in water. The size, function and designs vary and includes, but is not limited to, jacketed structures… which processes oil and gas from subsea wells. The inspection was carried out with the flares in operation using a drone mounted camera system.
The inspection was able to show that the main tip was in relatively good condition with no deformation of the tips or damaged welds. The wind shield was showing a small amount of distortion.
The wind shield mounting brackets were in good condition.
The main flare tip flanges were in reasonable condition with all bolts present. There was also some evidence of contamination of the flare caused by liquid carry over.
These flares have no pilots and are ignited by a ballistic ignition system. The components of the system were checked and found to be in good condition.
Regular inspection of the flare is essential to maintaining safe and reliable operations. A range of techniues are now available to allow inspection to be carried out whilst the flare remains operational which reduces the risk of poor combustion efficiency