Should I Calibrate My Triboelectric Bag Leak Detection System?

Posted by Nicholas Connell on Feb 2, 2017 2:00:00 PM

Who needs one more PM task....

Many wonder if their triboelectric bag leak detection system needs any kind of calibration to function properly. That's entirely understandable since many are accustomed to working with opacity meters or other older generations of equipment. Opacity meters require an initial calibration along with periodic calibration and rebuilds at specified intervals in order to stay accurate. 

While many OEMs can quickly state that “triboelectric systems do not need calibration” it can be confusing when some incorrectly refer to certain actions as “calibrating” their triboelectric unit.

So what is the truth, do you need to calibrate your triboelectric detector? 

Current generation Triboelectric Bag Leak Detection Systems Do Not Require Periodic or Initial Calibration how do you calibrate a triboelectric dust detection system

Let’s set this one straight right now: a Triboelectric bag leak detection system DOES NOT need calibration to work properly. But of course, we need to explain this a little further to help clear up all the confusion. 

IT is true, that on some older, single band units (DC-only or AC-only still manufactured by some OEMs) may require an initial adjustment to focus on the strongest and clearest portion of the signal generated by their application. However, newer Unified (DC/AC) units such as those made by Auburn Systems, do not require this step.  In addition, they do not require periodic zero or span checks to make sure they are still operating properly.  Once installed they are ready to go.

Unlike opacity units, triboelectric monitoring devices do not require any kind of period calibration in order to maintain their accuracy nor do they require rebuilds of their principle components over time. In many cases, tribo units made by Auburn Systems have remained essentially untouched for  years and remained fully functional as the day they were installed. The only periodic maintenance that may be required is in certain applications where dust may buildup on the probes and require occasional cleaning. 

There are a few things that can/will/should be adjusted on your triboelectric system to give you the best performance for your application:

  • Alarm Levels and Alarm Delay Settings can be set after installation to provide sufficient warning of increased emissions or to indicate a leaking filter. 
  • Range adjustments for better resolution for your signal
  • Matching to a Known Sample or Correlating may be required in some jurisdictions to equate the readings in pico amps coming from the detector directly to established emissions testing. In these cases, an isokinetic test or stack test is conducted and the data from the triboelectric system received during the test is then matched with the result. This then has the added benefit of allowing personal to make direct emissions measurements using only their triboelectric system. 


Current Triboelectric monitoring systems using unified DC/AC technology require no initial or periodic calibration to function properly. While these can be correlated to a known test sample, in most applications facilities chose to use only a relative signal as called out for by monitoring requirements ( i.e. MACT, Air Permit). In some cases a bit of periodic cleaning keeps them functioning at peak efficiency but otherwise they require no costly rebuilds or other calibration to keep working for decades. 

Would you like more information on how Tribo.dsp units can help your facility achieve more? Contact Auburn Systems today for a free consultation!

Want to transform your triboelectric dust detection system from a compliance cost into an operational cost reduction tool? Check out our guide to intelligent monitoring.

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Topics: Triboelectric Detection, Dust Detection