An oil and gas company was using a camera to watch a drilling rig. During the operation, water and mud could be slung toward the camera lens, and create spots. An operator would have to leave their position to clean the lens. Since they were looking for a way to force the water and mud away from the lens, but it had to be clear. Since air is transparent, they contacted EXAIR for our expertise.
As an air barrier, customers have used the Super Air Knives to separate material/heat/gases from different areas in similar applications. But, for this customer, they were interested in the Super Air Wipe; and at EXAIR, we state that there is more than one way to solve a riddle. With the speed of the water and mud, I was not keen on the ability of how well the Super Air Wipe could work. So, I decided to test it.
At EXAIR, we offer customers the option for us to test our products in different applications. This could also include testing your items with our products. EXAIR offers an Application Assistance form to help get this started. If we have the capabilities, we can setup a “mock” system to test and verify, and we can shoot a short video to present the information to you. This can include conveyance testing, product comparisons, cleaning, cooling; and, for the customer above, air barrier testing.
Their current operation was using a wiper to clean the glass. Like with any wiper, material can get wedged under the wiper and cause streaks, and it could scratch the glass lens. To stop replacing the wiper blade or in some instances, the glass lens; they were looking for a non-contact way to keep the water, sand, mud from the camera lens. Since it was difficult for them to determine the velocity of the material that would be heading toward the camera, they requested that I use water for my test. With a 1/4” (6 mm) O.D. tubing, they believed that it could represent a good velocity with a pressure of 20 PSIG (1.4 Bar) and a flow of 30 GPH (113.6 LPH). This would create a velocity of 9.3 mph (15 kph). Since the lens had a diameter of 2” (51mm), I recommended the model 2403SS, 3” Stainless Steel Super Air Wipe. Here is a video of the results with the inlet air pressure at 80 PSIG (5.5 Bar).
To expand a bit more on the Super Air Wipe, it is designed to blow compressed air in a 360-degree flow pattern. This air pattern is directed at a 30-degree angle toward the center to blow the debris back away from the camera lens, just like a cone. The Coanda effect maximizes the entrainment of ambient air into the compressed air. This makes the unit very efficient and very powerful. The model 2403SS Super Air Wipe has an I.D. of 3” (76 mm) which gives it enough clearance away from the view of the camera. It is constructed of 303 stainless steel construction for corrosion resistance with a stainless-steel braided hose that connects the two halves together. The design is very rugged for outdoor use.
At EXAIR, we offer a 30-day unconditional guarantee on our stock products for US and Canadian customers to try things out. But sometimes this may not be enough. For the customer above, we were able to try something different to verify the effectiveness in keeping the camera lens clean. And at EXAIR, we will take that extra step to help our customers. If you have a pneumatic application that requires some additional service, you can fill out the Application Assistance form or contact an Application Engineer. We will be happy to help you, and perhaps we can put some “focus” on a solution.