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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Sensor Must have a Linear Response to Total Hydrocarbons - Reliable, accurate response to total hydrocarbon levels is an essential requirement.
- 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.
- The system must meet all Federal and State Requirements
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.