Ambient plume opacity measurements using a video camera recorder and digital optical method

Wangki Yuen, Yalin Mao, Yichao Gu, Mark J. Rood, Sotiria Koloutsou-Vakakis, Kevin Mattison, Bill Franek

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The applicability of Digital Optical Method (DOM) to measure plume opacity with a digital video camera recorder (camcorder) in a smokestack was tested. Camcorders have the advantage of obtaining real-time digital images, thus allowing continuous measurement of plume opacity and its temporal variation. They also allow keeping an archival record of plume opacity events. A Canon camcorder was first calibrated using two methods: by either varying the exposure value compensation of the camcorder, or varying the radiance of a surface. The camcorder was then used in the field in July 9, 2013 to measure plume opacity. A smoke generator was used that provided plumes of controlled opacity values. Opacity was measured with a transmissometer inside the smoke generator stack. These opacity measurements were used as the standard for testing the applicability of DOM for the camcorder to determine plume opacity. Measurements were made during daytime and nighttime. Still images were extracted once every two minutes for the entire videos and every second for selected one minute periods to test this system at different time resolutions. Each image was analyzed using DOM analysis software. Daytime results from images obtained every two minutes show that camcorder derived opacity values have an average absolute bias of 3.4% for black plumes and 5.1% for white plumes. Camcorder opacity measurements at one-second time resolution have an average absolute bias < 6% for black plumes and < 4% for white plumes. Nighttime results show that camcorder opacity values for black plumes have average absolute bias of 3.2% at low opacity (< 45%), but are consistently lower than transmissometer values by an average absolute bias of 16.5% at high opacity (> 65%). These results demonstrate the potential of a camcorder for measuring plume opacity continuously during daytime, while nighttime measurements need further investigation on the effect of surrounding lighting conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication108th Air and Waste Management Association Annual Conference and Exhibition, ACE 2015 - Connecting the Dots
Subtitle of host publicationEnvironmental Quality to Climate
PublisherAir and Waste Management Association
Pages2627-2641
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781510815582
StatePublished - 2015
Event108th Air and Waste Management Association Annual Conference and Exhibition - Connecting the Dots: Environmental Quality to Climate, ACE 2015 - Raleigh, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2015Jun 25 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Air and Waste Management Association's Annual Conference and Exhibition, AWMA
Volume4
ISSN (Print)1052-6102

Other

Other108th Air and Waste Management Association Annual Conference and Exhibition - Connecting the Dots: Environmental Quality to Climate, ACE 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityRaleigh
Period6/22/156/25/15

Keywords

  • Alternative method 082
  • Method 9
  • Particulate matter
  • Plume opacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Energy

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