How to locate Bag Leaks in your Baghouse and Reduce Downtime

Posted by Nicholas Connell on Apr 17, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Multi-compartment Baghouse Monitoring - By Compartment or Common Outlet?

In the early days of Triboelectric monitoring, one probe installed in the common outlet of your dust collector was all you needed to meet your monitoring requirements. Today that still holds true for many applications and industries, but does that really help you determine where the leak is? It’s very useful to know you have a leak, but if you have a large multi-compartment fabric filter dust collector what are the chances you know exactly which compartment is having an issue? There are better ways of finding a leak than trying to isolate compartments and shutting down the manufacturing process for hours and searching through every compartment till you find a filter with a hole in it.

What if you could just isolate one compartment and lift out the bags so you only have to check one row of filters rather than going through every compartment? Wouldn’t that reduce downtime or eliminate it all together? Compartment monitoring can provide this level of resolution for your bag leak detection system with the ability to know which row in which compartment is producing high emissions.

Monitor the outlet of each compartment

Now compartment monitoring is a change from just monitoring the common outlet, as it means more sensors and equipment than just one sensor in the outlet duct or final stack. Depending on the configuration and style of the baghouse, to begin compartment monitoring a sensor is installed in each clean air plenum outlet, or in the dedicated outlet duct from the compartments. This allows for dust monitoring of each compartment, and at this level of segregation, you will know which compartment is causing the issue.

Besides knowing the compartment where the leak is located, this also acts as a type of check on your common outlet or stack sensor alarms. If your outlet monitor is alarming, it could because of debris down the stack, or maybe moisture is getting into the stack from other test ports or wear on the stack itself and causing an alarm, or maybe it really is a dust leak. How do you know at first glance? If you have a compartment alarm that is active and an active outlet alarm at the same time however, that seems pretty likely that you really do have an issue you need to check on because you have two alarms rather than just one.

Detect a leak down to which row in the compartment

baghouse monitoring

Knowing which compartment is having a leak is a great benefit, and saves you time and money.  But again depending on the style of dust collector there may be additional diagnostic benefits.  It may be possible to track which row is leaking within the compartment.

True leak location requires the use of detectors or dust monitors and a way to interface with the cleaning system of the compartment.  In a pulse jet style baghouse, by using Auburn's TriboTrac you can monitor which row or rows are being cleaned. The TriboTrac interfaces with a timing board to provide knowledge of which row is currently cleaning, and when you pair that with the output from a dust monitor installed in a compartment outlet, you know not just that you have a leak in a compartment but which row caused the alarm to go active. Now you have the information you need to know exactly which row you have to look at to respond to the leak.

Rather than just conducting time intensive black light tests, or visibly inspecting each and every compartment for dust, you can pinpoint in seconds where your leak is located, reducing the time to locate a leak to the instant a compartment sensor detects an alarm.  Armed with this knowledge, a compartment can be taken off-line scheduling maintenance for a scheduled shutdown rather than causing immediate downtime issues to find a leak.  The cost benefits are obvious not to mention better overall baghouse maintenance.

Regardless if you have compartment monitoring or are just monitoring your final stack for compliance, at the end of the day you have to locate your leaks. This is something we all have to do, from the smallest single compartment, to large 20 compartment systems, leaks must be found. Don’t you wish it would take as little time as possible? Monitoring the individual compartment outlet drastically reduces the time to find a leak, and row pulse monitoring reduces that time even further. 

We know downtime is real issue for manufacturing plants, so why not monitor as effectively as possible with compartment and row monitoring?  

Check out our free eBook below – our “Guide to Intelligent Baghouse Monitoring.”




Topics: Baghouse Maintenance, Bag Leak Detection, Dust Collection