O&G ( Oil and Gas) companies release hydro-carbon or unwanted gases, could be byproduct of some processes too into the atmosphere. But regulations require these gases to be burnt before it reaches the atmosphere to prevent it from polluting the atmosphere as well as prevent accidental explosion of unburnt hydro-carbon.
Any O&G companies would install at least one Flare where they would have pilot flame which will ignite any unburnt/unwanted/byproduct gases before it is released into the atmosphere. It is very important to monitor the pilot flame as well as any gases are burnt properly before it reaches air.
There are various methods to monitor temperature, like thermocouples, CCTV , but both have drawbacks which are obvious. CCTV can not see temperature as well as ransperent gases. Thermocouple has small contact area or measurement area.
Thermal Camera is the most suitable solution for continous flare stack monitoring system for any O&G company. Thermal camera can display and record thermal video of the flare which can be displayed at CCR (Centralised Control Room). Modern Thermal Imaging Camera sotware allow users to draw ROI( Region of Interest) on the video and store and plot temperature of a selected area for temperature at a configurable interval. This data can be stored in a databse and a trend chart can be produced to further analysis.
I have observed that, most thermal cameras or flare stack monitoring systems are are installed at a height lower than the flare chimeny which makes the thermal camera “look up” and prepare images with sky as a background. I always think that the installation of the thermal camera should be such that, it looks down at the flame with earth surface as the background.