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Flare Monitoring

Continuous Flare Monitoring with Mantis


It has been a long-standing technological challenge to monitor the combustion efficiency of industrial flares. Because a flare combusts waste gases in open air, conventional emission monitoring instruments cannot be utilized. The current practice is to monitor flow and composition of gases sent to the flare and assume combustion efficiency based on these indirect measurements (surrogate parameters). Recent studies have shown that these indirect methods have significant uncertainties, resulting in under- or over-regulating affected facilities.


Providence Photonics has met this technological challenge by developing an innovative flare monitoring device we call Mantis™. This patented technology utilizes Video Imaging Spectro-Radiometry (VISR) to provide unprecedented capabilities for direct, remote, and continuous flare monitoring. The Mantis™ VISR flare monitor can be installed anywhere from 100 to 1000 feet from the flare and will continuously and autonomously monitor flare performance metrics, including:


  • Combustion Efficiency (CE)

  • Smoke Index (SI)

  • Flame Stability (FS)

  • Flame Footprint (FF)

  • Heat release (HR)


Mantis™ can obtain measurements 20 to 30 times per second and will average the results into a 1-second, 1-minute, or user-specified data interval. In addition to demonstrating environmental compliance, Mantis™ data can be tied directly to the facility distributed control system to enable real-time adjustments of flare operations. The immediate feedback of a Mantis™ flare monitor will allow the operator to optimize flare efficiency, minimize unnecessary fuel or steam usage, and reduce operating expenses. With the real-time availability of both CE and SI metrics, Mantis™ offers the first and only practical mechanism for flare operators to achieve the operation mode known as the “incipient smoke point”, which typically has the highest combustion efficiency without causing visible emissions.


Check out these helpful resources.

Peer-reviewed article

With indirect flare monitoring methods

2018 4C Conference: Overcoming Challenges Meeting RSR Flare Monitoring Requirements. Presented by Yousheng Zeng, PhD, PE     GO >

Flare Testing Services featuring Mantis™

Check out our latest events related to flare monitoring and Mantis™.


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In current indirect flare monitoring methods, multiple instruments must be installed on the flare header to derive the required parameters to calculate the combustion net heating value (NHV). These instruments include an online gas chromatograph (GC) or calorimeter, and multiple sets of flow meters, temperature sensors, and pressure sensors on the vent gas line, steam line/air line, and supplemental fuel line. The corrosive process streams can make the maintenance and calibration of these instruments quite expensive.  The Mantis™ flare monitor is a single remote sensing device having no direct contact with process streams.  As a result, the maintenance of the Mantis™ flare monitor is extremely simple. The operating cost is virtually negligible compared to the indirect flare monitoring methods. Because Mantis™ is a non-invasive device, installation and maintenance can be completely decoupled from plant operations, eliminating the need to wait for a turnaround or to have a costly shutdown of production processes for installation, troubleshooting or maintenance of the flare monitoring instruments. 


As a significant cost savings measure, as appropriate, Mantis™ can be installed on a pre-programmed pan-and-tilt platform to monitor more than one flare.  The high temporal resolution of the Mantis™ allows for time sharing between flares, significantly reducing the cost of compliance monitoring. If two flares are in the Mantis™ field of view, the two flares can be monitored without a pre-programmed pan-and-tilt platform with data being separated by Mantis™ and reported independently.


The development effort of this breakthrough technology was partially funded by the U.S. EPA through its Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase I (Proof of Concept) and Phase II (Commercialization) program.

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