Tracking Emissions with Accuracy

• General

Tracking Emissions with Accuracy

Accurately source methane leaks using local meteorological data.

  • Problem: Accurate methane location, measurement.
  • Solution: Factor local conditions.
  • Benefit: Reduce financial, safety risks.

We’re not spilling all our secrets about our recipe for measuring methane plumes, but there are a few key ingredients we need our customers to bring to the table to ensure the results are as accurate as possible. Local meteorological data is needed to accurately determine the source location of methane leaks and calculate their flow rates.

Of utmost importance to the accuracy of our calculations is the incorporation of data on local meteorological conditions. These meteorological conditions need to be highly specific to the leak area because they have a direct impact on the dispersion of leaked methane.

Allan Adams, Satelytics' Chief Science Officer

Wind direction clearly dictates where the methane is heading, but reporting the wind speed is equally important. Strong winds will cause plumes to be less concentrated and more dispersed. Light winds create the opposite effect. It is important to note that very local wind conditions can vary greatly from those found even a mile away. According to Allan, “Without wind data specific to that site, calculating flow rates is impossible.”

Very local winds affect plume behaviors.

Very local winds affect plume behaviors.

Similarly, local temperatures and humidity levels affect properties of methane plumes. Heat causes plumes to spread more, while cold air conditions cause them to be more concentrated.

Lastly, atmospheric inversions play a key role in characterizing and measuring methane plumes. Inversions can either limit or exaggerate plume vertical movement, depending upon the specific stratification present in the atmosphere.

With collected satellite imagery, Satelytics’ software, and local meteorological conditions — wind direction and speed, temperature, humidity, and a profile of local atmospheric inversions — we can pinpoint the source of the leak and accurately calculate the flow rate of the leak, measuring concentrations in parts per million (ppm).

Methane Measurement

Satelytics alerts our customers to incidents in their infancy — a feat achieved through expansive satellite coverage and more frequent revisit times. As a result, numerous consequences such as service disruptions, safety risks, and regulatory fines can be minimized. With inexpensive local weather data, Satelytics ensures your company has accurate and timely emission data to act on, directing field crews to exact locations.

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