Supporting the effective detection and measurement of fugitive emissions
Leak detection and repair (LDAR) plays a key part in the reduction of fugitive emissions from industrial sites, in particular those in the oil and gas sector. It requires a combination of equipment capable of detecting and quantify leaks and the skill of operators to effectively survey sites and identify leaks for repair.
To support effective LDAR, NPL has created a leak simulation facility that provides realistic gas leaks of from a wide range of common industrial components. This can be used to support:
- Testing the ability of leak detection equipment (such as optical gas imaging and gas samplers) to detect and quantify leaks.
- Proficiency testing and training of operators to identify and quantify leaks.
Combined with access to NPL’s scientists and engineers who have wide experience in emission monitoring techniques, we can support companies develop effective LDAR practices and comply with regulations and guidelines such as the EPA Method 21 and EN 15446.
The leak simulation facility is designed with a number of specially created leak points to facilitate the creation of realistic leak rates from components but without visual clues to their location. Leaks are controlled using a system of mass flow controllers (MFCs) which cover flow rates between 25 ml/min up to 50 l/min. Typically these are used with methane but can be used with additional gases or gas blends to simulate a range of leak types.
Operators of leak detection equipment can identify and measure the leaks as they are generated. They can report results and compare with the actual leak sources and rates.
Other test facilities supporting LDAR
In addition to the leak simulation facility, NPL can also provide other controlled sources of emissions for testing, training and calibration of optical gas imaging (OGI) cameras. This includes the larger CRF facility for fugitive emissions system validation and the mini-CRF for validating OGI cameras compliance with the EPA’s NSPS 40 CFR part 60, subpart OOOOa sensitivity standard.
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