How & Where it Works
Can the Loci algorithm be changed for different LFG applications, such as energy production, high-BTU gas, LFG to liquid fuel?
The Loci system is primarily designed for high-BTU applications where operators need to maintain tight gas quality thresholds and where additional gas flow delivered through automation reaches a high-value market. Loci does also operate on electricity site with excess capacity.
Can I use the Loci Controls system to help improve gas quality at the plant?
Yes, Loci Controls systems have been used at some of the largest high-BTU sites in the US to control gas quality, without a nitrogen rejection unit. The operator provides Loci with gas quality thresholds, and the automated system will tune the field to meet the requirements. Automated control decreases variability in gas quality and provides higher quality gas up front, decreasing the requirements for costly gas clean-up. We have documented an 85% decrease in gas quality related downtime at the Hamm Landfill in Lawrence KS with Enerdyne.
How will Loci Controls affect my landfill?
Our well-head mounted hardware with an on-board sensor package that remotely monitors pressure, temperature, O₂, CO₂, CH₄, system vacuum, flow, and balance gas helps you continuously monitor and optimize the landfill operations 24/7/365. They system delivers predictable, consistent gas quality and flows to the plant which leads to more stable operations and increased uptime.
How will it affect my compliance requirements?
Loci Controls is a process control company that optimizes landfill gas collection and does not currently offer compliance services. Landfill operators are responsible for continuing the current protocol of compliance testing and reporting methods. With high resolution data on wellfield operations, operators immediately identify and rapidly correct any potential issues, reducing compliance risks.
Does landfill gas automation provide a benefit on odor control?
Absolutely, because fugitive emissions of any type negatively impact a landfill, Loci’s algorithms can be set to maximize methane production, minimize odors, both or a combination of other goals.
What happens if there is a major update or improvement to the technology?
Loci is sold on a subscription agreement. Loci owns and operates all equipment, and customers pay a flat fee per month for the service. When Loci makes an update or improvement in either the hardware or software, all existing customers equipment and software will be updated to reflect the improved technology.
Return on Investment
How much can I expect landfill gas flow to increase at my site?
Loci’s automated landfill gas collection system would be expected to increase gas collection by 10–20% or more. We have documented a 25% increase in Oklahoma City at an Aria Energy Site over a one year period.
How much will it cost to automate my landfill gas collection system?
Loci’s technology pays for itself by increasing methane production 10–20% or more. Loci’s product and service offering is provided through a service fee which covers service and maintenance on the units as well as remote analyst oversight of site operations. With this model, the Loci service fees are more than offset by increased gas collection and uptime, yielding net increases in revenue and earnings. Additionally, there is no up-front cash requirement, so cash-flows are always positive to the owners.
Does Loci take a percentage on power or sales gas revenue?
Absolutely not. Loci is offered as a service with a monthly service fee. Loci owns and operates all equipment, and customers pay a flat fee per month for the service. While we expect additional gas revenue to more than cover the monthly fee to Loci, any additional revenue is upside for our customers.
Product & Technology
What is the difference between a Guardian and Controller?
The Controller and the Guardian are both vacuum riser mounted hardware for landfill gas collection wells. They share similar features and functionality but differ in their accuracy and intended use. The Controller is designed for the more productive wells (>15 scfm) at LFG to high BTU projects, where the accuracy and precision to tenths of a percent is paramount to optimization of landfill gas flow and quality. The Guardian is recommended for LFG to high BTU projects on lower flow, less valuable collectors (less than 15 scfm), or for electricity sites or applications where odor control is the operating objective. For more information, please see the Tech Note on this.
Can I monitor a sectional header line?
Yes, the Loci Sentry unit is designed to measure gas composition and temperature at the header line. Flow can also be measured with a pitot tube if this is already installed on the header line.
What is the measurement accuracy of the Loci equipment?
The Loci Controller and Sentry units measure with gas composition accuracy down to tenths of a percent. The Loci Guardian measure gas composition down to percentage points. The accuracy of the gas composition is defined by percent value for each gas type. For full accuracy specifications on gas composition, gas flow, pressure, and temperature, please see the technical note for the Controller, Sentry, or Guardian.
Does Loci measure for nitrogen?
Loci delivers consistent gas quality for customers with very tight gas specification. The Loci sensor suite measures CH₄, CO₂, O₂ and calculates balance gas from these readings as an estimate of N₂ and trace gases. Loci also connects to the plant gas chromatograph (GC) for aggregate readings of N₂ across the whole field. The plant’s GC provides top level control for the Loci Fine Tuning and Threshold Gas Composition Algorithms, ensuring that across the whole wellfield the gas composition thresholds are met. Because of the ability to use aggregate information in addition to data from individual wells, direct measurement of N₂ at the well level is not needed to deliver consistent gas quality to the plant. Here are process limits for the four LFG to high BTU projects where Loci automated gas collection is increasing revenue while controlling 80%-100% of the total LFG collection system.
How is the equipment calibrated?
All units are equipped with a canister of NIST traceable calibration gas with remote and automatic calibration capabilities. The Loci Controller and Sentry units are calibrated automatically every week, and the Loci Guardian is calibrated once a month. Units can also be remotely calibrated at any time if the data from the unit suggests possible sensor drift or calibration error. The calibration protocol ensures the highest possible quality data at all times.
What is your battery operating life? Can you operate in cloudy climates?
Under normal operating conditions, the Loci system is designed to operate with battery power for up to two to three weeks, without re-charging from the solar panel. The Loci Controls system uses a 30 W solar panel—which is deemed to be sufficient in most installations, but custom solutions can be provided which might include supplemental batteries, and/or larger solar panels, where climate conditions warrant extended run time between battery re-charging.
What is the communication system being used by the Loci process? Can Loci support installations with limited or no cellular connectivity?
All Loci units convey data to the cloud via cellular telemetry. Loci can use any cellular provider and will select the provider with the highest coverage it the target geographic area. When needed, antennas can be added to boost performance. Although many landfills are located in remote areas, Loci has had very high reliability with data communication using cellular telemetry by leveraging multiple cellular networks and additional hardware as needed to boost signals.
What about the security of data and control system?
Loci WellWatcher is secured using TLS encryption and certificate-based host authentication. Account credentials are encrypted in transit and on our servers. Controllers, Guardians and Sentries communicate with our servers via an on-demand cellular private IP data service. Loci servers are hosted at Amazon Web Services, an ISO-27001 certified cloud provider.
Installation & Field Support
How do I operate the system—will I need as many wellfield technicians?
The system operates automatically and can be viewed and monitored through a web browser. Wellfield technicians still play important roles in compliance and manual operations, but Loci Controls free up their time for more value-added activities.
Who is responsible for repairs and routine maintenance?
Loci Controls owns and operates its hardware and software, and under our subscription arrangement, Loci provides all field level and remote support to keep the Loci Controls systems operating at maximum efficiency. Loci also provides hardware and software updates as we continually improve the product offering.
What is the installation procedure? Do I have to shut down my operations?
Installation of Loci units takes 15-30 mins per unit and does not require the plant to shut down. Loci technicians perform the installation of all Loci units and block the vacuum during install to prevent air intrusion. For a 100 well wellfield, installation will typically take 1-2 weeks. Loci is responsible for all maintenance of the Loci systems and will dispatch technicians as needed to service units in the field.
What is the response time of your Service and Sales Representatives?
For full wellfield installations at high-BTU sites, Loci will typically locate a field technician on site for even faster response times.