How to Use Edge Computing to Automate Flare and Smoke Monitoring for New EPA Method 22 Regulations

Updated: Mar 22


Cover Image for Fugitive Emissions and smoke monitoring for new EPA method 22 requirments


OVERVIEW

The United States oil and gas industry has 6,292 flares that burn off 10.65 billion cubic meters of natural gas every year. To operate these flares, they must comply with specific regulations set in place by government entities such as the EPA. One of the recent regulations is Method 22, which states that the operator of the flare must monitor their flares 24 hours a day and report on potentially harmful flare behaviors and black smoke production.


This is a significant change from the oil and gas industries current standard of manually checking each flare for a couple of minutes a day. Twin Eagle and it's partners, Bosch, Emerson, Clovity, and Azena have created a solution that allows oil and gas companies to autonomously monitor flares 24/7 and alert on Fugitive emissions, black smoke, and any other anomalies that are potentially harmful.


Twin Eagle has over 21 years of field area networking and industrial IoT experience, and have built a strong reputation as reliable and quality integrators within all operational technology environments.


Bosch has been working with Twin Eagle to develop intelligent cameras that are geared toward operational use rather than security. In this solution, Bosch has been a strong partners for Twin Eagle for all of it's VisionAery Edge Video Solutions.


Emerson has a long reputation as a quality product for control and automation in the industrial world. Twin Eagle did extensive testing on edge computers and found that Emerson consistently had the best product for industrial edge needs.


Clovity and Twin Eagle partnered to bring artificial intelligence and smart dashboarding to oil and gas environments. In this solution, we Twin Eagle uses Clovity to use AI capabilities to add additional control functionality for the customer.


Azena has been a great partner for this solution in the way that they host the Twin Eagle application needed for download onto the edge computer. Because of this, Twin Eagle customers are able to easily download the software and start using it.


THE CHALLENGE

Today’s industry standard for flare monitoring is manual at best, and expensive and experimental at it's worst. Most oil and gas companies will send employees on site to monitor flares once a day for a few minutes at a time, all the way up to an hour, but because of the new EPA regulations outlined in Method 22, the oil and gas industry must now comply with 24-hour monitoring of flares and accurate reporting of fugitive emissions and black smoke detection. The challenge for these companies lies in the fact that it is expensive to hire someone to watch flares manually 24 hours a day, and it is expensive and not reliable to use current sensors available to the market.


THE SOLUTION


The Solution that Twin Eagle and it's partners have come up with is an automated flare monitoring and black smoke detection system that is powered by advanced edge computing and intelligent cameras that are capable of machine learning. This system is called "Flare and Smoke Vision". As detailed out below, Twin Eagle has integrated advanced technologies to provide the industry with a pre-built flare monitoring system and application that easily ties into the customers pre-existing communication/information gathering systems. This solution allows the customer to autonomously monitor all of their flares 24 hours a day, remotely view a live feed of their flares using our operational sensor management platform and receive alerts when our system uses its machine learning capability to recognize fugitive emissions, black smoke, and any other abnormal flare behaviors. The system also utilizes edge computing, so the customer will not strain their pre-existing field area network to get access to this data.


Solution Specifications
Portable VisionAery Skid with Solar
Portable VisionAery Skid with Solar

- Solar powered skid to mount and power cameras and enclosures.


- Solar power provides 3 days of autonomy on a full charge.


- Bosch Cameras use machine learning to monitor flares and detect black smoke.


- The solution uses Emerson edge computing so data can be processed on site rather than transported through the network.

- This is important because transporting the data to the cloud requires a connection to WIFI, which is very hard to accomplish when you in the middle of nowhere, and transporting the video data through their existing networks would max out the bandwidth of their network and make it very hard for them to use the network for anything else. In other words, it would bring their network to it’s knees.



VisionAery Optical Sensor Management Interface
VisionAery Optical Sensor Management Interface

- The Twin Eagle VisionAery Optical Sensor Management Interface lives locally on the edge computer which allows you to remotely view the cameras from your computer or phone.


- The VisionAery OSM also allows you to set up automations for your camera network such as automated site tours, automated alerting, and more.



Flare and Smoke Vision Application Interface
Flare and Smoke Vision Application Interface

- The Twin Eagle VisionAery Flare and Smoke Vision Application lives locally on the Emerson edge computer and is easily viewed through the VisionAery OSM.

- This is important because the software is what hold the analytics for the flare and smoke monitoring. They interface with this application to set the parameters that they want to look for on the flares.


- It comes with a managed switch that is powering all the devices which allows you to remotely power cycle the equipment, push updates, monitor power systems and heath, and integrate future technologies or communications.


- The system comes with cellular connectivity and a WAN port so that you can easily connect the system into existing communications infrastructure.


- The system can be easily integrated into SCADA systems, your MQTT Broker, and Databases.


- The system also makes it easy to integrate new and existing sensors such as chemical sniffers, LoRaWAN, Audio Sensors, and more.


THE BENEFITS

The benefit to the customer when they use a Twin Eagle's Flare and Smoke Vision solution is the following

- 24-hour automated monitoring of flares.

- 24-hour automated detection of black smoke.

- Live remote view of flares using operational sensor management platform.

- On site machine learning.

- Edge computing to reduce strain on network.

- Open ended system that can tie into existing customer communications.

- Inexpensive and simple to deploy.

- Support team with 20 years of experience in oil and gas industry.

- Ability to add additional functionality and grow the system to automate other operational inefficiencies.


SET UP YOUR DEMO

Twin Eagle has a mobile applications unit that is available to you for demo


The mobile applications unit that is available for demo
The mobile applications unit that is available for demo

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