Proposed Appendix K: Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) Survey Equipment and Pre-Survey Operating Requirements

Infrared Cameras Catch Remote Fugitive Emissions

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Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) Survey Equipment and Pre-Survey Operating Requirements

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a proposed rule, titled Appendix K, which sets out the protocol for using OGI to Detect Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) and Greenhouse Gas Leaks.

When planning an Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) survey to detect fugitive emissions, which equipment and pre-survey operating requirements are necessary?

A handheld, field-portable infrared (IR) camera is required to survey equipment and locate leaking gas emissions, such as Opgal’s EyeCGas 2.0, which is capable of imaging over 400 VOCs. The EyeCGas 2.0 conforms to specified operating requirements, but what are these requirements, and how should you measure them?

An OGI camera restricts incoming thermal radiation to within a small bandwidth, corresponding to a region of interaction for a specific gas; this will ensure that the OGI camera operator can visualize the particular gas of interest.

Optical Gas Imaging Camera Requirements

  • The infrared spectral bandwidth measured by the OGI camera must overlap the absorption peak for the hydrocarbon of interest. 
  • The OGI camera should be capable of producing a detectable image of methane emission of 17 grams/hour and butane emissions of 18.5 grams/hour at a viewing distance of 2 meters and a delta-T of 5°C in an environment of calm winds of around 1 meter per second or less.
  • The camera must be sensitive with a response factor of at least 0.25 when compared with the response factor of propane for most constituents (>75%) of the expected gaseous emissions composition.

How does the Opgal EyeCGas 2.0 conform with EPA requirements?

An independent report in 2015 by the Eastern Research Group (ERG) determined that the EyeCGas 2.0 was equivalent or better than the alternative solutions available in the market.

The EPA requested the report, and its findings formed a basis for the EPA’s 40 CRF Part 60 Appendix K draft.

The EyeCGas 2.0 is an Intrinsically Safe camera designed explicitly for the Oil and Gas industry’s harsh environments. It is certified to meet IEC standards for temperature, humidity, vibration, dust, and IP65 water & dust protection and approved for use in Class I Div 2 ATEX II hazardous environments.

With a Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference (NETD) of less than 10mK, the EyeCGas 2.0 is the most sensitive OGI camera. It can detect leaks as small as 0.35 g/hr (methane) and is fully certified to meet EPA (NSPS) 40 CFR part 60, subpart OOOOa requirements.

The EyeCGas 2.0 is the only OGI camera that offers three operator replaceable filters; for VOC gases 3.2μm to 3.4μm, for heavier alkanes (better for long-range detection) 3.3μm to 3.5μm and for CO2 4.2μm to 4.4μm.

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