Monthly Archives: February 2015

What is an Enclosed Ground Flare?

An Enclosed Ground Flare, also known as a thermal oxidizer or vapor combustor, is a combustion system that takes exhaust gases which are potentially toxic or flammable and converts them into less harmful vapors without using a stack.

There are two main types of ground flares, enclosed ground flares and open ground flares. The advantage of having an enclosed ground flare is that it does not require supports or a stack, like an elevated flare would. The removal of the stack portion of the system allows pilots and other weather sensitive equipment, which has a tendency to corrode, to be easily replaced and cleaned.

An enclosed ground flare is much more common than an open ground flare. This combustion system utilizes a refractory shell to enclose the incineration process. This essential shell shields radiation, the internal blaze and noise. The internal processes of the enclosed ground flare are the same as that of the elevated flare.

While an enclosed ground flare has a higher price tag, they are less expensive to operate and are easier to maintain. The handling capacity of an enclosed flare is between 50,000 and 250,000 lb/h and most units are smokeless.
An open ground flare can come in several different configurations. Most systems have multiple burners working together ignite large amounts of gas. Open ground flares are able to burn larger quantities at a time. These units are almost completely smokeless and have a very high gaseous conversion rate.
The open ground flare units contain a limited amount of space for the burners. This means that the units must be kept at a distance for safety reasons. These systems also require a gas pressure of 3-5 psi, which is much higher than any other type of flare system. While open ground flare units are effective, their bright light, noise and heat emissions require that the unit be used in a more secluded area.

Enclosed Ground Flares emit less noise, light and heat.

System Comparisons

Type Enclosed Open Elevated
Height Ground Level Ground Level Elevated
Price Higher Median Median
Operating Costs Lower Lower Highest
Disturbance Rating Lower High Low
Capacity Limited High High
Special Operating Issues No Yes Yes
Safety Rating Higher Lower High
Ease of Maintenance Easy Easy Harder

For questions about Enclosed Ground Flares, contact the professionals at Baker Furnace at 714-223-7262 or click HERE.