Clay Bell received BS and MS degrees in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University, and a PhD in mechanical engineering from Colorado State University (CSU). He is currently a Research Scientist at the CSU Powerhouse Energy Institute. Clay has participated in methane emissions related research projects since 2015 including field measurement campaigns and the design, construction and operations of the Methane Emission Technology Evaluation Center (METEC).
Controlled release studies are used to develop and qualify measurement methods, however these studies are often performed in an open environment using a single, steady emission source operated across a limited span of flowrates. The Colorado State University (CSU) Methane Emission Technology Evaluation Center (METEC) and the Total Transverse Anomaly Detection Infrastructure (TADI) are industrial measurement platforms which expand the capabilities of controlled release studies.
METEC was designed to simulate emissions from both routine processes and fugitive leaks, and can control multiple emission sources simultaneously. With over 200 controlled emission locations hidden throughout the facility, METEC provides an ideal location for method development and evaluation of Next Generation Emission Measurement (NGEM) methods including new technologies for leak detection and repair (LDAR) programs and continuous emission monitoring systems (CEMS) in a blind testing format. Design and construction of the facility was funded under an award from the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Project Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) Methane Observation Networks with Innovative Technology to Obtain Reductions (MONITOR) program. In addition to blind testing for technologies developed under the ARPA-E MONITOR program, METEC has also hosted testing for the EDF/Stanford Mobile Methane Challenge and testing of optical gas imaging cameras to set a performance baseline for method equivalency in the U.S.
TADI was designed to study gas detection systems for use in major accident prevention. The system supports controlled releases up to 300 g/s of methane from a single emission location, or can also perform releases up to 10 g/s at 28 selected locations on mock process equipment. TADI provides an ideal location to evaluate systems which perform real-time detection, emission rate quantification, and plume concentration mapping in tests with high emission rates. To date, Total has completed 4 measurement campaigns at TADI characterizing optical and acoustic monitoring systems, performing 3D reconstruction of the gas plumes, and working with external companies to support development of other sensors and methods.
The design and capabilities of METEC and TADI will be introduced in this presentation, and results of some work performed there will be discussed. Results from one case study demonstrate that increasing test complexity by introducing multiple sources and/or intermittent emissions decreased detection effectiveness for a group of 10 handheld, mobile, and continuous monitoring systems under test. This highlights the need to include sufficiently complex test scenarios to gauge performance of new and existing methods.