After considerable debate and negotiation, the ASTM D-22.03 committee has approved a test method that utilizes digital cameras and associated software to make stack opacity determinations. The method is presently restricted to stacks less than 7 feet in diameter. The method was developed to mimic EPA Method 9, and does not take full advantage of the technology offered by the digital cameras available today; rather, it uses the same acceptance criteria applied to human observers qualified via “smoke school.” We believe that the method should be able to stand alone technically as well as be a Method 9 equivalent.
EPRI is currently looking for funders to support a project that will focus on developing data suitable for the precision and bias calculations mandated by ASTM. The project will use the commercial software with multiple digital cameras compared to a certified transmissometer at a “smoke generator” used for Method 9 training. The smoke generator testing will be modified from standard Method 9 training. The data generated will cover the full range required by Method 9 but will concentrate on the low 0-20% and 20-40% opacity ranges more typical of steam generating boilers. Multiple opacity readings will be made at the lower opacity levels to generate a robust statistical data set. The smoke generator test program will be followed by field testing on tall large-diameter stacks with certified opacity monitors. Field studies will cover both wet and dry stack applications.
The project will be conducted with advice and consultation with the ASTM D-22.03 committee working group on data and procedure needs to support future modification of the current ASTM Digital Opacity Method. The Defense Department is still very interested in developing the ASTM method further to include fugitive opacity measurements. To provide maximum project efficiency, we will also be consulting with the Defense contractor on its efforts to expand the method to include area/fugitive opacity measurements.
For the full write up on this project, please click this link: Digital Camera Opacity Project.
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