Pilots and Ignitors

Pilots and Ignitors

NAO manufactures Flare Pilots for all types of Flares: Enclosed, Elevated, Ground, Open-Pit, etc. Our original Flare Pilot design came from NAO inspiriting gas burner technology which was tested in the oil fields, refineries & petrochemical plants of Texas before WWII (World War 2).

NAO continues to improve our pilot design. In the late 1970’s with a few simple advancements to our pilot windshield, we tested and proved our pilots raining and windproof for wind speeds of 250 MPH (400Km/Hr).

Later work in steel plants (blast furnaces) and especially the coke ovens with their extremely dusty, dirty, sticky tar environment lead to further features to prevent “fallout” from fouling or plugging the pilot piping and venturi. These new features added for the steel mills proved such an improvement that they were added to all flare pilots.

One example of NAO flare pilot performance was at a major refinery in Mexico, the plant had replaced their old flare tip, which was manufactured by one of our competitors, with a new NAO high performance smokeless flare tip with dual ignition pilots. When they started the ignition control panel for the first time, all three (3) pilots light up and were proven by thermocouples green lights in about 10 seconds.

The operators could not believe this speed, since the old “Brand X” flame-front ignitor took them several hours of adjusting the gas/air and 3 ways valves to light the three pilots.  Since the plant was still shutdown for plant maintenance, one operator climbed to the top of the 225′ tall derrick and confirmed that all the pilots were burning. The plant has now added the dual ignition requirement to their flare specifications as a standard.

NAO flare pilots are available in standard sizes and lengths of 1 1/4″ diameter Conservation Pilot, 2″ diameter Heavy Duty Pilot and 3″ High Capacity or Extended Length Pilot with the venture at distances of 400′.

High Energy Ignitor

NAO was the first to introduce the Direct Pilot Ignition (HEI), the Dual Ignited Pilot Burners, to provide a Rainshield over the Pilot Air Inspirator, to provide Internal Well Thermocouples inside the pilot windshield, to provide Retractable Thermocouples down to grade, and to provide Retractable Pilots down to grade.

Flame Front Generator

Flame Front Generator (F.F.G.) Pilot Ignition is available and reliable as long as the installation is done correctly, and maintenance is done on a regular basis; three different types are available

Direct Ignited Pilots

NAO was the first to introduce the Direct Pilot Ignition (HEI). These Pilot Burners are as reliable as the Flame Front Type Pilot Burners, and have been utilized in extreme climates such as Alaska, Canada, Siberia, and several other locations.

Dual Ignited Pilot Burners

The ignitor/exciter assembly can be located near grade level for smaller Flare Systems. For larger/taller Flare Systems the High Intensity Ignitor cannot be located near grade level. To provide for ignition back-up, the pilot can be provided with a Dual Ignition System.

Air Eductor Pilot Burners

Air Eductor Pilots are utilized when the flare burner relief and/or purge at higher than the recommended value is inert. This might deprive the pilot flame from the necessary air/oxygen and cause pilot flame stability issues. To avoid the pilot flame stability issue, the pilot is equipped with an Air Eductor.

Additional Pilot Information

NAO’s Pilot Burners have no problem meeting or exceeding the requirements of API-521. Our pilots have been tested in the shop and in the field for over 100 years. Improvements have been made and will continue to be made, as required, to further maximize stability and reliability.

With over 100 years of experience NAO has earned a worldwide reputation for reliability and trouble-free performance.