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Combining a NIR-B-2K-Glass, a Cyclops L and a Lancom 4 to Improve Your Carbon Footprint and Reduce NOx Emissions in Glass Furnace Applications

In this blog, I will discuss combining three of our products; the handheld Cyclops L Pyrometer, the NIR-B-2K-Glass Thermal Imager and the Lancom 4 Gas Analyser.

I will also explain how the Lancom 4 Gas Analyser and the NIR-B-2K-Glass Thermal Imager could reinforce an energy-saving approach and reduce NOx and CO2 emissions. 

Since 2016, we have published several papers and case studies demonstrating the real value and key benefits of using a NIR-B thermal imager. Here is an extensive list of previous papers that we introduced at DGG/HVG conferences:

Previous DGG/HVG Conference Papers:

  • 2016 – Infrared Temperature Measurement in Glass Melt Tanks
  • 2017 – Controlling a Glass Furnace Using a Thermal Imager
  • 2018 – Infrared Temperature Measurement in Glass Melt Tanks to Optimize Furnace Operation & NOx
  • 2019 – Criticality of Accuracy and Traceability of Temperature Calibration
  • 2022 - Specific Energy Reduction Through Infrared Furnace Monitoring and Optimisation 

The Equipment Used:

NIR-B-2K-Glass

  • 3,000,000 pixels each measuring temperature ≡ 3M Cyclops  
  • (Output of 100 x continuous measurement points via TCP/IP)
  • Max, min, and average temperatures with user-defined emissivity.
  • Patent Pending

Cyclops L

  • Portable Infrared Thermometer
  • Industry Standard
  • Verify spot temperatures
  • 550 to 3000°C
  • 1022 to 5432°F

Lancom 4 – Portable Gas Analyser

  • 9 Gas Analyser for NOx
  • CO low • CO high • O2
  • NO • NO2 • NOx
  • CO2 • H2S • SO2 • CxHy

First, we are going to focus on gas analysis, showing the real value of combining the NIR-B-2K-Glass borescope, the Lancom 4 Gas Analyser and the Cyclops L Pyrometer to build up a solution to reduce energy and subsequently reduce emissions.

Cyclops LOptimizing combustion is essential in glass operations to minimize energy costs and ensure compliance with local air pollution emissions regulations.

The Lancom 4 portable flue gas analyzer measures the key parameters needed to understand and adjust the burner controls. The system is specifically designed to operate for 8 hours, which is an exceptional battery life for any transportable emissions measurement device.

The Lancom comes with a water catch pot, external filter, external dehydrator, and an internal flying saucer micro-filter which provide a good degree of instrument protection when working on a glass furnace. In some cases, an additional filter system and gas preparation system may be used to provide additional protection, extend the lifetime of the analyser and increase its reliability.

The first requirement for combustion optimization is to set the correct fuel to air ratio. In general, the requirement is to minimize the amount of excess air whilst still allowing complete combustion of the fuel. This requires a knowledge of the oxygen (O2) and carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations in the flue gases. 

A high oxygen concentration is an indication that heat is being wasted by venting hot air through the stack, whereas excess carbon monoxide is an indication of incomplete combustion. In most cases, the CO concentration is below 100 ppm but, on furnaces with failing regenerators, CO values more than 70,000 ppm are possible, so a wide measurement range is essential. 

Lancom 4The Lancom 4 can accommodate both a low and a high-range CO sensor. Where the CO concentration exceeds the maximum range of the low CO sensor, the sensor is automatically purged with ambient air and the instrument switches to the high-range sensor. 

The next requirement is to minimize emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx). There is a direct correlation between peak flame intensity and the formation of NOx. Any parts of a flame that are above 1600 °C will form thermal NOx.

Generally, the higher the temperature the greater the risk of dissociating oxygen and forming thermal NOx, which is dominant in glass melt furnaces. While a flue gas analyser such as AMETEK Land’s Lancom 4 can show which exhaust ports have the highest NOx, it may not indicate which of the burners is generating the most NOx. 

Fortunately, the AMETEK Land NIR-B-2K-Glass infrared borescope is the ideal tool for this. When the burners are firing, the indicated temperatures are not real, since we do not know the emissivity of the flames, but the application of relative isotherms within the image offers the ability to see which flames are typically hotter and give an indication of the flame length.

Combining the NIR-B-2K-Glass with the Cyclops L and Lancom 4 is the perfect match to monitor the flames, the temperature, and the emissions.

Why should you combine NIR-B-2K-Glass optical temperature measurements?

The NIR-B-2K-Glass Borescope is used for continuous temperature monitoring and recording of the refractory inside a glass tank offering repeatable, reliable, and calibrated, traceable temperature measurements. 

The thermal imaging camera provides over 3 million continuous measurement points for asset protection, air ingress and capturing optical profiles with a crystal-clear picture, because the system uses the same wavelength and filters as the industry standard Cyclops L, the data is directly comparable. 

NIR-B-2K-GlassOne of the features of the Lancom 4 is the ability to use a quick-release hose barb on the measured inlet and exhaust. It is worth keeping a spare hose barb available to let the instrument purge with air between samples. You can also place a finger over the inlet to prove suction on the analyser. 

In most cases, the instrument exhaust can simply vent to the ambient air. If the Lancom 4 is used in a confined location, it may be necessary to connect a hose to the exhaust and vent to a remote area. 

On an end-fired furnace, the port neck is the best location from an emissions perspective but is often more difficult from a health and safety perspective. The target wall is often used since there are almost always access platforms. 

This point is close to the potential location of a Lambda or Oxygen probe sensor. It is important to remember that an insitu oxygen sensor measures on a wet basis, because the sample conditioning the Oxygen in a Lancom is a % dry basis. 

Cross-fired furnaces typically have 3 to 9 ports to measure with 20 to 30 minutes per reversal. This creates a chronological dilemma; the reversal period is typically 20 minutes and there are typically transient variations as the fuel flow and air ratio stabilises and then reduce in air preheat temperature. Depending on the furnace and control system you may wish to wait 5 minutes before recording data or disregard it during the analysis. 

Lancom 4 is a portable flue gas analyser that is integrated into a compact battery-powered unit and can measure up to eight gases simultaneously with nine separate sensors (high and low CO). 

Simple to set up and easy to operate, Lancom 4 enables highly accurate spot and semi-continuous gas testing, adaptable to a wide variety of applications and ensures a plant maintains full compliance with safety and emissions requirements. 

Customisable to specific gas measurements and process stream conditions, a resilient stainless-steel probe extracts the gas sample, while advanced real-time processing techniques produce the highly accurate combustion and emissions calculations needed. A ceramic probe is available for high-temperature applications such as those in the glass industry.

In conclusion, the potential benefits of using the NIR-B-2K-Glass Combined with the Cyclops L and Lancom 4 include: 

  • Identify sources of parasitic air which when repaired
  • Lower NOx emissions
  • Lower/optimise energy
  • Potentially extend furnace life
  • Identify thermal profile and/or furnace in-balance
  • Improve pull/quality
  • Lower NOx emissions
  • Potentially extend furnace life
  • Identify potential locations for static NIR B in future
  • Validate CFD models
  • Combustion Analysis
  • Optimise flame coverage
  • Improve pull/quality
  • Reduce refractory wear and extend furnace life
  • NOx reduction
  • Identify which burners have the highest intensity and generate thermal NOx
  • Regenerator and Port Neck Analysis
  • Confirm any in-balance
  • Identify blockages/damage
  • Potentially recover pull and extend furnace life

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