Guide to Identifying a Leak in Your Dust Collector

Posted by Earl Parker on Oct 15, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Triboelectric tools are the perfect solution for dust collector leak detection.Triboelectric dust collection monitoring systems are the definitive tools for finding baghouse leaks and failures early on, and further allow engineers to take preventative action against future bag leak risks.

This capability stems from the great reporting strengths of modern dust collection monitoring systems; using dynamic range particulate monitoring processes, these systems can detect failing baghouse units early on, and allow users to replace their dust collector bags on an as-needed, non-scheduled basis. In contrast, typical scheduled, or seasonal, bag replacements are often premature, leading to overall increased baghouse maintenance costs at the end of the day.

Once installed, broken bag detection equipment can pinpoint exact bag units affected by a tear or leak, and gauge the severity of that leak (as in, how it affects nearby, neighboring bags). In this blog, we’ll definitively outline how to identify a leak in your dust collector, and introduce you to some of the most accurate, reliable monitoring tools available today.

The Right Software

Monitoring your dust collector is an impossible task without the right software to support your probes and sensors. Fortunately, today’s unified AC/DC triboelectric monitoring systems can capture 100% of the triboelectric spectrum, while previous monitoring tools could only perform scans of 80% (DC signals) or 20% (AC signals) of the available signal range.

Triboelectric monitoring software collects the signal from probes and searches for particulate abnormalities, such as gradually growing concentrations of particulates, which are indicative of a dust collector bag failure. By detecting minute changes in emission above a baseline level, these monitoring software tools alert engineers of slight changes and trends before they can snowball into a complete baghouse system failure – and reportable events

Some triboelectric emissions monitoring technologies can detect changes in particulate concentrations via signals as low as 0.005 mg/m3. This high sensitivity allows for more prompt (and thus, effective) corrective measures to be taken against bag leaks and breaks, and minimize a bag leak’s effect on neighboring bags. 

Preventing Future Events and Keeping With Compliance

With the right equipment and dust collection monitoring software installed, engineers can not only detect and correct bag breaks with immediacy, but also limit the risk for future break events. This ties back to one of the main reasons engineers update their dust collection equipment with new technologies: newer solutions provide not only compliance with environmental and safety standards, such as those set by the EPA and MACT regulation but also now operational benefits and cost reduction opportunities.

In most cases where a triboelectric monitoring system is installed, identifying a leak in your dust collector becomes a simple, “set and forget” process. Once set up and installed, dust collector monitoring systems require minimal maintenance and upkeep to deliver consistent, immediate readings.

Further, today’s monitoring equipment features united reporting capabilities, centralizing the entire leak detection process and compliance reporting requirements under one system. These systems inform engineers of at-risk baghouse units before full failure can even occur, making dust collector maintenance an as-needed task. This can greatly save engineers in annual bag replacement costs; not only are leak and failure events immediately reported (and resolved), but also bag lifespans are used to their full potential.

Today’s triboelectric dust collector monitors can pick up on at-risk baghouse units by using data reporting tools, signal filtering and tiered alarm systems. These components work with bag monitoring hardware to detect changes in collector performance; these slight, but revealing changes are then logged and reported, enabling users to take immediate action based on lower level alarm notifications (below reportable levels) and avoid full system collapses.

As large-scale collector failures can result in costly replacements, significant system downtime and regulatory penalties, having a powerful emissions monitoring system installed with your dust collector can wind up saving you thousands.

Choosing the Right Monitoring Equipment

The most important step you can take when trying to more effectively monitor dust collection system effectiveness is to install the right equipment. Pairing the right monitoring system with the capable and customizable software for your application is the best thing you can do to optimize your collector maintenance.

You’ll want to limit unnecessary, arbitrarily scheduled bag replacement, but also meet the regulatory standards in place. To best achieve this balance, choosing the perfect monitoring system for your application is key.

When browsing through monitoring systems and choosing a system for your unique needs, it can be helpful to take the following advice into consideration:

  • First, draft a list of all detection capabilities you want in a monitoring system; make a bare minimum list, as well as a desired capability list.
  • Only seek out systems that can return on their investments by extending bag life.
  • Treat the buying decision as you would any other professional investment; go beyond treating it as a compliance check-box.
  • Make sure your systems can detect across the entire triboelectric (DC/AC) spectrum.
  • Calculate anticipated costs and choose a system that meet your exact needs and can bring in substantial savings over time. Make the investment worth it.

Identifying a bag leak in your dust collection systems is made simple with the right triboelectric monitoring equipment. These technologies make getting the financial, maintenance and regulatory benefits of an efficient baghouse system easy. To learn more about how a dust collection monitoring system can bring you significant savings in the short- and long-term, contact us today.

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