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The Model FM Flare Monitor senses the conditions precursory to soot formation not soot particulates

Infrared Sensor Keeps Flares Smokeless

April 28, 2013
Monitors carbon-to-oxygen ratio Through-the-lens sighting Adjustable swivel bracket

WILLIAMSON CORPORATION’s new Model FM flare monitor for smokeless flares, as part of a closed-loop control system, efficiently prevents smoke before it is produced (rather than reacting to smoke as most sensors do.)  It is also the only optical product of its type that is unaffected by the introduction of steam.

The Model FM Flare Monitor senses the conditions precursory to soot formation, not soot particulates.  It monitors the ratio of carbon to oxygen within the flame, and its continuous output signal is proportional to that ratio and therefore proportional to the tendency of the flame to smoke.  When the signal indicates that oxygen is becoming relatively scarce, a successful control scheme adds oxygen to the flame before the signal reaches the critical setpoint at which soot would form.

Thanks to its special narrow-band infrared filters, the Model FM’s output is reliable even through dirty optics, fog, rain, and snow, within limits.  The output signal typically goes to a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control system that activates a control valve to modulate the amount of added air or steam as needed, ensuring that there is always ample oxygen for the combustion to be complete, all without the need for operator intervention. 

The Model FM comes standard with through-the-lens sighting and an adjustable swivel bracket that facilitates installation and alignment.  The sensor’s dual-wavelength technology ensures a large target area, further facilitating alignment.  The unit — available with a standard (NEMA4/IP65) or rugged (NEMA7/ATEX/IECEx IIB+H2) housing — can be mounted at ground level, optimal working distance within 1200 feet (365 meters) with a maximum distance of 1800 feet (550 meters).  The strength of the measured signal decreases with the square of the distance.  Optical resolution is D/17 (60 feet at 1,000 feet).