Using an OGI Camera for Environmental Compliance Inspections vs Traditional Methods
Posted on April 22, 2022
Historically, Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) programs have relied on equipment that utilizes “probes” or “sniffers” such as a Toxic Vapor Analyzer (TVA) to identify the presence of certain volatile organic compounds in the air. A TVA is effective by quickly determining the VOC concentration of a leak; however, there are several issues with using this tool to identify the presence of leaks: it is costly, time and resource intensive, and can put technicians in potentially dangerous environments. It often requires a team of technicians with boots on the ground and close proximity to areas and components in need of testing.
An alternative to traditional TVAs is Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) cameras. Rather than manually monitoring each individual component for leaks as required with a TVA, OGI uses infrared cameras to scan components up to 20 times faster, including unsafe or inaccessible components that technicians may not be able to access when using a TVA. Accuracy increases and mis-identified leaks are eliminated because the technician is able to see exactly where a leak is occurring. This efficiency saves time and money and speeds up the LDAR process.
While using OGI is superior to a TVA in many ways, it is not without its cons. A technician should go through many hours of training, especially field training. The technician is at the mercy of the weather. Atmospheric conditions such as rain and wind can prevent proper leak identification and can cause delays with testing.
Cutting down on leaks is not just good for the environment, it is also good for business. The U.S. oil & gas industry loses an estimated $2 billion/year of natural gas from leaks according to a study by the Environmental Defense Fund. That is enough to fuel about 10 million homes for one year. The EPA has stated that OGI is the “best system of emission reduction,” and the ability of using OGI cameras to clearly visualize leaks and pinpoint the exact location of the leak is what sets it apart from a TVA.
At the end of the day, using OGI improves the safety for technicians and increases the ability to properly identify leaks. It is a win/win for the environment, the oil & gas industry, and consumers.
Insights from the field: How ogi cameras improve gas leak detection and environmental health. Teledyne FLIR. (2020, October 20). Retrieved from https://www.flir.com/discover/instruments/gas-detection/insights-from-the-field-how-ogi-cameras-improve-gas-leak-detection-and-environmental-health/
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