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Teaser, summary, work performed and final results

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GaSeS (The first low cost optical gas imager for fugitive emissions mitigation, increasing energy efficiency in industry)


Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) is a cutting-edge technology for fugitive gas emissions detection. OGI allows the user to carry out a simple survey for observing leaks in joints, valves, and any kind of devices with risk of leak. Basically, an OGI image the gas using infrared...


Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) is a cutting-edge technology for fugitive gas emissions detection. OGI allows the user to carry out a simple survey for observing leaks in joints, valves, and any kind of devices with risk of leak. Basically, an OGI image the gas using infrared spectrum, so it is very intuitive. Nevertheless, their penetration into regular activities of the operators is not a reality yet because the existing instruments are very expensive (>80.000 €) and are very complex and heavy (> 4kg).
In the framework of GaSeS project SENSIA has developed the first cost effective (<20.000 €) OGI for a large-scale penetration into daily activities of the operators. SENSIA OGI portfolio covers detection of Oil&Gas gases such as methane, propane, etc. as well as other sector such as utilities, detecting SF6 leaks, refrigerant, etc.
Also, SENSIA has developed quantification methods based on both quantitative OGI (QOGI) and sniffer (NDIR based) that embedded concentration metadata into the OGI video streaming.
In summary, SENSIA has developed a complete solution for fugitive emission detection based on infrared technology. The application cases go from handheld units, fix system for 24/7 monitoring and drone boarded.
Achieving a secure, clean and efficient industrial production chain capable of providing households and businesses with sustainable, competitive and affordable energy is one of the main EU challenges. Achieving this in a way that is consistent with environmental protection requires a fundamental transformation of the European energy system.
SENSIA\'s GaSeS project shares this philosophy and works to introduce a new paradigm on fugitive emissions mitigation on Oil & Gas, chemical industry, utilities, etc.
It has been established that fugitive emissions in Oil & Gas industry mean between 30 and 60% of the total carbon emissions in industrial plants. And although Natural Gas has been flagged as an environmentally friendly substitute to coal and oil production, it demands a higher control over the fugitive emissions and leaks, especially when compressed or liquified natural gas is being used. In the case of SO2 sulphur related industries, fugitive gas emissions present further environmental issues related with the acidification of the environment (acid rain and other effect). Finally, other sectors and gases associated such as SF6 in case of utilities market and refrigerant gases are much more aggressive (up to 600 time) for the global warming than CO2 or even CH4. In that cases, control the fugitive emissions is also very important to mitigate this effect.
Leak, Detection and Repair (LDAR) campaigns as proposed by the European and International environmental bodies are a big step forward to reduce potential industry gas leaks. One of the key instruments at LDAR campaigns is Optical Gas Imaging (OGI); essentially an infrared (IR) sensor capable of operating within the thermal spectrum. It generates an image of a gas leak that can be seen with the human eye, invisible otherwise.

Work performed

The work developed during the first 12 months of the project has been of a cross-cutting nature and with deep significance for SENSIA: GaSeS project is the most important challenge since its foundation and it has meant a change of perspective towards a much more ambitious positioning of the company.
At the internal level of company organization, a Quality Management System (SENSIA\'s QS) has been implemented in accordance with the UNE-EN ISO 9001 standard, through which products, services and internal documents are managed in a coherent manner. In addition, the renewed coordination of the Technical and Administrative-Financial areas has ensured complying with the quality requirements of the European Commission.
Within the framework of the project, the most important objective set for the first half was the presentation of three different fully operational Optical Gas Imaging prototypes to meet Leak, Detection and Repair (LDAR) needs of Oil&Gas, chemical (SO2) and other industries such as utilities and refrigerants.
Each prototype responds to a specific use case. Both use approach and technical features have been carefully studied and detailed during the period covered by this document. This has been a key task and it will stand out our products. This work of defining the designs and technical specifications has been achieved thanks to continuous contact with some of the most important European companies in Oil&Gas and chemical industries (also, to a lesser extent, refrigerant and electric power market). This process of industry real needs awareness has included field testing of initial prototypes, meetings with technical committees to address the problem and numerous turnarounds to achieve promising, fully functional final designs for our end customers.
The manufacturing process of the prototypes has been characterized by the correct selection of components, an exhaustive work in electronics, the implementation at hardware level of algorithm for gas-background contrast enhancing and for automatic gas detection. In short, the search of the most optimal and easily industrialize solution to achieve a common core for the three prototypes.
At the same time, a Strategic Communication Plan has been implemented to transmit the ambitious plan that SENSIA intends to carry out through the GaSeS project: SENSIA plans to disrupt Leak, Detection and Repair (LDAR) practices through the introduction of an integral solution for fugitive emission mitigation. SENSIA\'s challenge is to re-educate the market towards the adaptation of OGI as a regularly used tool.
Last but not least, SENSIA is convinced that its near future depends on the massive introduction of its equipment in the relevant markets. For this reason, an effort has also been made to achieve adequate marketing channels to start selling the equipment on Q1 of 2019.

Final results

Within the global international context, SENSIA OGI product based on uncooled IR technology is the best positioned in terms of performance. SENSIA is the only company that has already shown evidences of uncooled OGI performance in relevant environments at key players facilities (TOTAL, REPSOL, ENAGAS, SUEZ, etc.).
The first step is already done but is still ongoing, because the market is demanding re-education in terms of protocols, quality control, operation for leaks verification, etc., in order to make reality what the regulators are promoting in terms of continuous monitoring of fugitive emissions.
SENSIA is demonstrating that with the right use of SENSIA OGI technology, the reduction of the carbon footprint as well as the toxic vapours is dramatic at scale of facility. This fact will impact directly the environment and the air quality.
GaSeS project is enabling a deep level of developments at all levels: optical, electronics and mechanical. This fact makes SENSIA controlling the 70% whole manufacturing and integrating process of the OGI, just the detector manufacturing is carried out by third party (SCD). Thanks to GaSeS, SENSIA technology is nowadays positioned as one of the top-level companies. Commercial positioning must be carried out to make possible the cost effective OGI technology penetration into the regular activities of the high carbon footprint industry.

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