Product and services
Ground-based solar spectroscopy is arguably the most accurate and sensitive method for monitoring total atmospheric concentration, from ground to top of atmosphere, of targeted gases. The PIGC™Sentinel product is a new low-cost (< $5 k/unit) solar sensor that enables the creation of autonomous networks implemented on any scale, from single well head to whole fracking field, even to an entire continent. Self inter-calibrating sensor grids, in combination with state of the art gas plume dynamical modeling, provide a precise and accurate method for monitoring gas concentration and finding leaks. GPI will offer an air quality monitoring service, installing “drop & forget” sensors that are remotely monitored, tuned and operated by a central analysis site. The customer is given near real-time secure web-based access to estimates of gas concentration level and flux, plume direction, via smartphone alerts and diagnostics, allowing review of current and past condition of the area of interest, while incurring no disruption or burden to his operations.
The PIGC™ Alpha Prototype has been demonstrated in the lab (July 2014). Using uncooled low-power detector technology, solar observations show a sensitivity and stability equivalent to the detection of 0.5% of ambient atmospheric methane content, more than adequate for our monitoring service, with a factor of five improvement expected.
Product development risks
The remaining technical risk is cost of design for required durability and stability in harsh environments. No barriers are foreseen, but instruments with all subsystems are still to be produced. The next development risks will include unknowns in production scale-up and product certification. The PIGC™ Beta Prototype instrument should retire these risks.
The GPI advantage is large area monitoring. No other system is available or on the foreseeable horizon. PIGC™Sentinel is low-cost, yet matches or exceeds the precision and accuracy of spectrometers 10 to 100 times more expensive. It is scalable, accommodating large areas as easily as small ones. There is no disruption to customer operations. PIGC™Sentinel can be implemented in a variety of other scenarios, such as placement along pipelines, or vehicle mounted sensors that produce effective grids of data by moving around and through targeted areas.
Non-IP barriers to market entry
Global large area monitoring is new. The primary barrier is acceptance. The grids will enable industries to be fully prepared for coming regulations to monitor fugitive emissions in order to better measure, control, and ultimately reduce emissions of GHGs and air quality gases. But, grid value may take time to appreciate.