Measurement of emissions from ships, biogas plants and landfills with drones
Drones equipped with measurement systems are ideal and cost-effective solutions when it comes to measurement of methane gas emissions from biogas plants and landfills as well as Sulphur and NOx emissions from ships.
Drone technology for emission measurements has a great potential, as it is a cost-conscious and effective way to measure diffuse emissions in the proximity of biogas plants and landfills as well as from ship exhaust at open sea. The use of drones offers benefits such as:
- quick deployment
- large examination area
- exact emission measurement
- extensive data output
- high level of operator safety.
Measurement of methane gas
Owners and operators of biogas plants and landfills have a strong interest in knowing exactly where on their site the emission of methane gas in the greatest. This knowledge will aid them in making the plant/landfill more efficient and reduce their emission of harmful gasses to the environment.
Therefore, the owners and operators are interested in effective and mobile solutions for mapping of locations with the highest emission of methane gasses, giving them data on where to establish preventive measures – for the sake of the plant efficiency and the environment.
Measurement of Sulphur, NOx and particle emissions from ship exhaust
The regulation of ship emissions was initiated in 2015 when the International Maritime Organization (IMO) decided on lowering the limit of Sulphur allowed in fuel oil from 3.5 % to 0.5 %. The NOx emission limit was regulated simultaneously and a regulation of particle emission is expected within a couple of years. However, it is very difficult for government agencies to enforce these regulations as they do not have the proper equipment at their disposal.
Now, it is only possible to measure the exhaust emission when the ships are in port. Therefore, there is a need for the developing of a cost-effective method for measurement of ship exhaust at sea. We have contributed to the development of a drone solution for measurement of Sulphur and NOx
emission from ship exhaust. A solution that can be modified to measure particles as well.
- Where can drone inspection be applied?
Drone inspection can be applied anywhere outdoor, indoor and offshore. A drone inspection improves operator safety, as they are situated at a safe distance from the inspection.
The method improves safety, as everyone are situated at a safe distance from the inspection area.
- How high can the drone fly?
Normally, drones are restricted to flying at an altitude of 100 meters. However, FORCE Technology is authorised to carry out inspections higher than 100 meters.
- What kind of non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques can be used during drone inspection?
Currently, it is only possible to perform visual inspection (VT). However, visual inspection is more than still images and video recordings.
When inspecting wind turbines, we use an advanced thermographic camera which can detect delaminations as well as internal composite layers separating beneath the blade surface.
The drone can also be equipped with an advanced data collecting equipment, making it capable of measuring flue gas emissions from ships and methane gasses from landfills.
- Are the FORCE Technology drone pilots certified?
Yes. Our drone pilots are certified. Combining autonomous drones with skilled and certified NDT personnel and pilots, ensures a rapid yet thorough visual or thermal inspection.
Furthermore, our drone fleet consists of multiple drones equipped with sensors for inddoor and outdoore inspection and 3D modeling tools for the mapping of production sites.
- What about national or local regulation and safety procedures?
Any requirements from national or local regulation as well as the safety procedures of the facility owner are complied with when we perform the drone inspection.
A drone pilot is always present during the inspection job due to safety procedures and local regulations. However, in principle, the drone can inspect all relevant installations without continuous instructions from a pilot. This is due to the drone’s navigation systems.
As a drone inspection can be influenced by numerous parameters, we always recommend a meeting between the client and the pilot/inspector before the inspection to ensure that all relevant national or local details are addressed.
- Who analyses the inspection data?
We believe that only experts ought to analyse the collected data. Under normal circumstances, the drone inspection itself is quickly finished. The heavy workload lies in the analysis of the collected data, and the pictures taken from the drones. It is essential here to enlist relevant experts in analysis to obtain the full value from a drone inspection.
Someone lacking the necessary qualified experience may overlook a critical defect or fault, possibly with fatal consequences. For instance, an inspection concerning a steel construction requires an expert metallurgist to analyse and interpret the data.
An inspection report is produced, based on the analysis of this data, and is usually divided into categories of red, yellow and green priority according to the seriousness of the damage. This report can if needed include a service plan, with recommendations to cost-effective improvements.