Triboelectric Detectors - Beyond the Baghouse Part 1

Posted by Justin Dechene on Sep 1, 2015 1:30:00 PM

The most well-known use of triboelectric detectors is to monitor emissions levels from a dust collector. The primary use of this data is to detect leaks in the baghouse filters at the first sign of leaking so they can be replaced before emissions levels rise to a significant, reportable level.

However, their usefulness extends beyond just bag leak detection. With its ability to accurately and reliably detect particle flow with extreme accuracy and in real-time, Auburn Systems has developed several additional applications for their triboelectric detection systems that can provide significant benefits to their users.

Let's consider the first two applications in part 1 of this article: Flow/No Flow Indicators, and Ambient Dust Monitoring. In part 2 of this article, we will also consider the very practical application of Particle Velocity Monitoring.

Flow/No Flow Indicator


Triboelectric detectors can be used to monitor flow in bulk conveying systems such as feeders, screw conveyors, pneumatic conveying systems, airslides, chutes, and others. This is commonly termed Flow/No Flow monitoring. In many applications maintaining a consistent flow of material is crucial. Loss of flow can spoil entire batches of manufactured products (e.g. food industries, cement mixes, etc.). In another common application, a loss of flow on solid fuel feeders for furnaces (e.g smelters or boilers) could result in system shutdowns, production losses, and other costly complications.

While alternatives do exist, they are less reliable and require more attention from maintenance personnel than triboelectric detection systems. Mechanical measuring devices that use wheels, levers and other moving parts in physical contact with bulk products can wear out quickly and require constant maintenance (creating more work for your team). Microwave scanners, while useful in some applications, require calibration and are unreliable over long-term in many instances. In contrast, triboelectric systems are easily installed, have no moving parts, require little ongoing maintenance and have established a extensive history of reliability in many installations across many industries.

Ambient_Fugitive_SensorAmbient Dust Monitoring

Ambient dust levels are of prime concern in many facilities. Even so, plants normally track dust levels only at the source such as shredders, mills, and transfer points on conveyors or the exhausts of dust collection systems. In these situations, plants can use Auburn Systems unique ambient dust monitoring products to keep close watch on ambient dust levels throughout their facilities. With this data plant management can take corrective measures whenever a rise in dust levels is detected, thus avoiding numerous problems.

Fugitive dust can easily damage equipment throughout the facility, particularly sensitive electronics. Product cross contamination can pose a problem in many applications, such as food or pharmaceutical manufacturing among others. Additionally, high ambient dust levels can create an unsafe work environment for workers, especially in applications with hazardous compounds. Additionally, combustible dust accumulations pose an enormous risk of fires or explosions with devastating consequences. Therefore, monitoring dust levels closely is vital to mitigating or preventing these issues.

Benefit By Employing Triboelectric Systems Beyond Your Baghouse

Based on what was presented above, it would be in your facility’s best interest to consider how it too could benefit from employing triboelectric systems in other areas beyond baghouse monitoring. If you would like to see how you can make the best use of triboelectric systems in your plant feel free to contact Auburn Systems for more information or visit our information center to view our case studies or see our papers and reports today!

Learn more about another valuable use for triboelectric detectors that can improve your facility in part two of this article. 

Topics: Air Quality, Flow Control, Environmental Monitoring