While flame ionization is the appropriate sensor technology for measuring total hydrocarbon levels in the parts-per- million (PPM) range, not all FIDs are the same.

Here are the top ten characteristics to look for in your FID:

  1. Select an Industrial-Design Sensor - Many FIDs offered to process industries are actually modified versions of fragile, rack-mounted, laboratory instruments, these features can not withstand the rigors of industrial applications. 
  2. Mount the Sensor at the Process - Most FIDs are rack mounted in control rooms but mounting at the sample point eliminates long and expensive heated sample lines and results in the fastest response time possible.
  3. Avoid Sample Pumps - Pumps that must handle hydrocarbon sample streams are prone to failure and should be avoided, best to use a sampling system that has no moving parts.
  4. Fully Heat the Sensor Assembly - Many FIDs only heat the flame cell, but when the entire sensor is fully heated it prevents condensation which means less maintenance and downtime caused by clogging. 
  5. The Sensor Must have a Linear Response to Total Hydrocarbons - Reliable, accurate response to total hydrocarbon levels is an essential requirement.
  6. Readings must Accurately Convert to Weight Statements - If the FID sensor’s response is accurate and predicable, then readings can be reliably converted into weight statements and used to calculate emissions in pounds per hour. 
  7. The system must meet all Federal and State Requirements 
  8. The System must Include Alarms as well as Integrated Relays - The monitoring system should include alarm level and fault relays, used to drive warning devices and to actuate dampers or other process operation settings. 
  9. The system must be Accessible from a Remote Location - Industrial emission monitoring calls for accurate reading-keeping to prove compliance to the law. Any FID system used in environmental monitoring should include a digital output: this streamlines the collection and integration of readings for reporting to the government.
  10. The system’s Calibration and Maintenance Requirements must be Low to Meet Down-time Regulations - Regulations state how much system down-time will be allowed for routine calibration and maintenance, exceeding the down-time limits can result in penalties.

By making sure the FID you have installed has these features, you will be providing your industrial application with a truly functional and successful system.

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