Blog · 9 MIN READ
Workflows at Work: OGI for Fugitive Emissons
Posted on February 06
HUVR is proud to offer a wide range of inspection solutions that expedite and simplify your processes – each Workflows at Work piece in this series highlights one of the near-infinite workflows that HUVR optimizes. Curious about the simplicity and savings as you read? Reach out to an expert to ask about replicating this success with your business today.
Fugitive emissions: the dreaded subject that all energy organizations have to reckon with at some point in their longstanding tenure. These unplanned releases of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere are a key source of greenhouse gas emissions, making them a major source of regulatory focus for governing bodies – and a major thorn in the side for many organizations. As regulatory agencies crack down on these emissions, they increasingly roll out requirements for the identification and elimination of these gasses. The swift, effective remediation of issues that cause them has become paramount for organizations looking to stay compliant and avoid hefty regulatory fines.
Managing fugitive emissions is no easy feat – odorless, colorless gasses are impossible to detect with human senses alone. Thankfully, technology has evolved rapidly to meet the challenges that arise with cameras and satellites designed to detect greenhouse gasses. Chief among these technological advancements is the Optical Gas Imaging or OGI camera: an infrared gas detection system that can be used by inspectors in the field or can be integrated with drone technology for safer, simplified, efficient inspections.
HUVR is dedicated to making inspections simple, safe, and efficient while leveraging the latest technologies. HUVR integrates with OGI cameras and OGI-enabled drone systems seamlessly to process, store, and analyze the data that comes back from the field with ease.
As with any workflow in HUVR’s Reliability Automation Platform, it starts with project set-up. Fugitive emissions inspections can be applied across a variety of use cases, from tankers and storage tanks to flare stacks to long stretches of pipeline. Anywhere a gas can leak, OGI cameras – and HUVR – are there. Thus, project set-up needs to be as configurable as possible to meet the needs of the asset owners. That’s where our world-class support team and highly configurable project and checklist set-up process come to the rescue.
Checklists are then built in a standardized format. By using set choices and language defined by the asset owner, technicians are able to perform inspections in HUVR consistently, ensuring there is no guesswork when trying to interpret results across different vendors and allowing for clean, standardized data to be fed into the system.
Each checklist can also be tailored to meet all the latest regulatory standards, including the EPA’s latest release of emissions regulations, EPA OOOO b/c and Appendix K, South Coast AQMD’s proposed Rule 1148.2 and Rule 1178, and more to ensure compliance and safety are never a question mark while out in the field.
With the asset owner’s specifications in mind, projects are created for each piece of equipment as designated by the client. The level of granularity with which projects are created and applied to each asset is entirely up to the asset owner – anything that needs inspecting can be added to the system.
Security is always a top priority for HUVR, so access to each project or data set is granted on an as-needed basis, and can be configured at the individual or group level so that each member of the team has only the access they need to be successful. Asset owners who need to be able to view each project in the system can be provided access to all projects in question, while third-party contractors who only need access to the projects they are assigned can access each job accordingly while sensitive customer data privacy remains intact.
Once projects are set up and crews have been assigned, it’s time for the inspection.
In years past, these inspections were only done manually in the field, carrying cameras around and completing surveys on paper by hand. Documentation took roughly as long as the initial collection as technicians spent hours downloading imagery, transcribing notes from the field, and more. Today, as drones have become more capable, sensors have become lighter, and digitization has taken off, fugitive emissions inspections in hard-to-reach or dangerous locations can be completed by drones, while simpler inspections can be done manually with HUVR in your pocket – no paper, USBs, or lengthy downloads needed.
This combination of inspection methods means asset owners and technicians can reduce their risk in hazardous locations and efficiently inspect assets at scale while directly integrating footage and checklist data with one easy-to-use platform.
When conducting these inspections manually, technicians carry OGI cameras as they survey the site, capturing asset integrity data in real-time directly in HUVR. For larger inspections or inspections in hard to reach areas, drones fly over the assets in question, following the checklist configured according to the asset owner’s regulatory and organizational needs. Using the OGI camera integration, the devices take extensive video footage of the area, surveying for leaks.
Since these gasses are invisible and odorless, these infrared cameras take footage outside the visible spectrum and display in black and white, sometimes highlighting detected gasses in color on the feed. Pursuant to the EPA’s latest emissions ruling, cameras must be no further than 400 meters from the emissions source to obtain legible footage, and the required length of these videos varies according to different regulatory standards.
HUVR’s cloud-enabled all-in-one platform allows for easy upload, storage, and streaming of mass quantities of video in an instant, eliminating the need for clunky USBs or hours of download time. The data can then be integrated with existing digital ecosystems as needed, and historical data can easily be accessed when it’s time to re-assess the condition of your assets again in the future. For organizations who take hundreds of hours of video footage monthly or even weekly, these capabilities can expedite the process tenfold and make all the difference for informed inspections later down the line, giving a holistic and comprehensive view of historical asset integrity.
Once video footage has been uploaded to the cloud, trained drone sensor operators at the third party drone service company or asset owner SMEs themselves will then review the footage for detected leaks. Volume calculations are taken along the way to ensure compliance with legal requirements, and stills are pulled from the footage as well for reporting purposes. Leak information is then translated into a finding in HUVR based on the severity of the leak, and HUVR generates reports automatically with embedded full-resolution footage, stills, and calculations for review.
The automatically generated reports then provide actionable insights for inspectors to make quick, effective decisions about remediation of the issue. Formatting of reports can be configured according to the asset owner’s needs, making it easy to glean the insights you need in real-time. If no leak is detected, findings are uploaded and the asset is monitored routinely again for fugitive emissions. As such, historical data is immediately available in HUVR to inform future inspections.
If a leak has been detected, depending on the severity, a repair project may be created to remedy the issue, and an inspector is sent out to complete the repairs. New footage is then taken accordingly to demonstrate that the work has been completed and the leak is now in compliance with relevant regulatory standards. The resolution is well documented in HUVR, providing a chain of history for future inspectors.
Using HUVR’s integration with OGI cameras and OGI camera-enabled drones, inspections in large quantities can be completed with ease remotely or in the field, making processes safer and more efficient all around. HUVR’s all-in-one platform, long term storage solutions, and easy, high-resolution upload and streaming capabilities make inspections less clunky and disjointed by eliminating the need for USBs, speeding up the process so that waiting long hours for video footage to process is a thing of the past, and enabling inspectors to make informed assessments and critical decisions about the integrity of their assets efficiently. Documentation all in one place that can easily be referenced during inspection, configurable checklists and site maps, and automatic calculations and reporting mean that your teams can be compliant, stay compliant, and get the insights they need faster than ever before. Stay compliant and remedy fugitive emissions quicker with HUVR.
Want to learn more about our other cost-reducing workflows or speak with an expert to learn more? Check out our latest installment of the Workflows at Work series or schedule time with a HUVR expert here.