IMPROVE Aerosol Sampler Operations Manual

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IMPROVE
     Aerosol Sampler

   Operations Manual



          February 10, 1997




         Air Quality Group
     Crocker Nuclear Laboratory
    University Of California, Davis
        Davis, CA 95616-8569


    Laboratory Telephone (916) 752-1123

      Laboratory FAX (916) 752-4107




    Standard Operating Procedures
Technical Information Document TI 201A
TI 201A IMPROVE Aerosol Sampler Operations Manual

                                                          TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................................................................. 3
1.0 Weekly Maintenance Procedures ..................................................................................................................... 5
        1.1 Cassette Labeling and Installation Protocols. ...................................................................................... 5
        1.2 Initial Procedures and Sampler Status Checks..................................................................................... 6
        1.3 Recording of Final Data and Removal of Exposed Cassettes. .............................................................. 7
        1.3 Installation of Clean Cassettes and Recording of Initial Data. ............................................................. 9
        1.4 Monthly Equipment Checks.............................................................................................................. 12
                  1.4.1 Emptying the Water Bottle on the Sierra PM10 Inlet. ....................................................... 12
                  1.4.2 Verify the Integrity of the Stand. ..................................................................................... 12
                  1.4.3 Verify the Integrity of the Filter Mounting Ports.............................................................. 12
        1.5 Field Blank Procedures. .................................................................................................................... 13
2.0 Operator Assisted Determination and Repair of Malfunctioning Samplers..................................................... 14
        2.1 Determination of IMPROVE Aerosol Sampler Malfunction. ............................................................. 14
        2.2 Troubleshooting and Repair Procedures. ........................................................................................... 14
        2.3 Programming the Clock Controller. ................................................................................................. 22
                  2.3.1 Reading the Clock Controller Display ............................................................................. 22
                  2.3.2 Clock Controller Settings and Buttons............................................................................. 23
                  2.3.3 Setting the Current Time................................................................................................. 25
                  2.3.4 Entering IMPROVE Protocol Programs .......................................................................... 25
                  2.3.5 Installing or Removing the Clock Controller. .................................................................. 27
        2.4 Sampler Leak Check........................................................................................................................ 28
3.0 Flow Rate Audits by the Site Operator........................................................................................................... 30
        3.1 Samplers with Anomalous Flow Rate Readings ................................................................................ 30
                  3.1.1 Initial Flow Rate Audit.................................................................................................... 30
                  3.1.2 Adjust Nominal Flow Rate .............................................................................................. 30
                  3.1.3 Final Flow Rate Audit ..................................................................................................... 30
        3.2 Biannual Flow Rate Audit................................................................................................................. 31


                                                               LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1     Sample Log Sheet ................................................................................................................................... 6
Figure 2     Override Channel 1 ................................................................................................................................. 7
Figure 3     Labeled Diagram of IMPROVE Sampling Module .................................................................................. 9
Figure 4     Clock Controller with Cover Plate Removed.......................................................................................... 22
Figure 5     IMPROVE Clock Controller Programs.................................................................................................. 26
Figure 6     Check Points for Sampler Leaks ............................................................................................................ 29


                                                                LIST OF TABLES
Table 1     Cassette Labeling Protocol........................................................................................................................ 5
Table 2     Elapsed Timer Diagnostics ..................................................................................................................... 15
Table 3     Pump Diagnostics................................................................................................................................... 16
Table 4     Clock Controller Diagnostics .................................................................................................................. 17
Table 5     A, B, C Module Flow Anomaly Diagnosis List ....................................................................................... 18
Table 6     D-Module Flow Anomaly Diagnosis List ................................................................................................ 20




TI 201A Sampler Operations Manual                                                                                                                                2
INTRODUCTION

                                      Summary of this manual

    This document provides the site operator with a manual for the operation of the IMPROVE
aerosol sampler. The site operator will also receive training when the field technician performs
annual maintenance. The site operators are strongly encouraged to call the Lab Manager or Field
Specialist at (916) 752-1123 whenever they have questions about or difficulties with the sampler.
This manual provides documentation on sampler operation, repair, and audits, and is useful to
refer to during phone conversations. Topics covered include weekly sample changing,
troubleshooting, repairs, clock controller programming, and flow rate auditing procedures.

     Weekly maintenance, or sample changing, is performed by the site operator, though any
deviations from expected behavior should be reported to the Lab Manager or Field Specialist at
(916) 752-1123. Weekly maintenance of the IMPROVE samplers involves recording the
information requested on the site log sheets, replacing exposed filter cassettes with unexposed
filter cassettes, and recording and reporting any potential problems with the samplers or the data.

    Troubleshooting and repairs are performed whenever a problem that may affect the validity of
the samples occurs. Troubleshooting guides are included in this document, though
troubleshooting is generally a process involving the site operator and Field Specialist or Lab
Manager. Small urgent repairs are generally performed by the site operator under instruction
from the Field Specialist or Lab Manager. For small problems, the replacement part is mailed
overnight to the site operator, along with specific instructions for installation. For catastrophic
problems, the solution involves either sending a Field Technician to the site, or sending a
replacement sampler. Site operator will not be asked to perform any potentially dangerous
repairs. If a repair is requested that the site operator does not feel secure in performing,
additional assistance will be arranged, or the repair will be assigned to a Field Technician.

    Clock controller programming procedures are explained in this document due to the frequency
of power outages, surges, and brown outs at the sites in the IMPROVE network. The clock
controller is rugged, but continually unstable power can cause loss of the sampling programs and
current day and time. This document provides information on the function and purpose of all the
buttons and indicators on the clock controller. It also describes, in detail, the method for setting
the current time and date, and for programming the clock controller for IMPROVE protocol
sampling

    Flow rate audits are performed biannually, for quality assurance purposes, and also whenever
a problem with the system gauges or flow rate is suspected. Audits are performed to verify the
calibration equations relating the magnehelic and small gauge readings for a module to the flow
rate through that module. Due to the number of sites in the network that must be audited, all
audits must be done in a timely manner. The audit devices are sent through the mail, and the audit
is performed, in stages, by the site operator. After each stage, the operator is instructed to confer
with the field specialist or lab manager at the Air Quality Group to determine whether the current
information is adequate, or further data must be collected.


TI 201A Sampler Operations Manual                                                                     3
                                      Summary of IMPROVE

IMPROVE (Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments) is a cooperative program
of the National Park Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife
Service, and Environmental Protection Agency, whose primary purpose is the protection of
visibility in Class I areas. The IMPROVE program monitors visibility (extinction or scattering)
and particulate concentrations.

The standard IMPROVE particulate sampler consists of a PM10 module with Teflon filters, and
three PM2.5 modules, one with Teflon, one with nylon, and one with quartz filters. Each module
has an independent air stream with a sizing device, a flow controller, and a pump, plus solenoids
for exposing two filters between weekly sample changes. A programmable clock, in one of the
filter modules or in a separate module, controls pump and solenoid switching for all filter
modules. The pumps are housed separately.

Approximately 20% of the sites in the IMPROVE network operate with a single PM2.5 module
containing the programmable clock.

The filters are loaded into cassettes at the central laboratory. Two cassettes are loaded in each
module during weekly site visits. The exposed cassettes are returned to the Air Quality Group
laboratory for processing. The PM2.5 Teflon filter deposits are analyzed for the concentrations of
deposit mass and elements hydrogen and sodium to lead, and for an optical parameter, the
coefficient of absorption. The nylon filters are analyzed for the concentrations of nitrate and
sulfate, the quartz filters for the concentrations of organic and elemental carbon, and the PM10
Teflon filters for the concentration of deposit mass.

The particle sizing for PM2.5 particles is accomplished with a cyclone operating with an ambient
flow rate of 22.8 L/min. The flow rate is measured with a magnehelic gauge, using the pressure
drop across the cyclone. A secondary measurement, using a pressure gauge behind the filter,
provides a quality assurance check and ensures that the cassettes are properly seated. Flow
control is maintained by a critical orifice between the filter and pump. The standard deviation of
flow rates over a year is typically 2-3%.

Precision tests using collocated samplers typically indicate that the flow rate precision is 3%.

The IMPROVE sampler has been used in the field since 1988. Approximately one-half of the
samplers operate without a shelter in extreme environmental conditions. The remainder are in air
quality shelters, generally without air conditioning. The sampler has been very reliable, with
losses due to sampler problems of approximately 1%. Almost all of these are associated with
power outages and surges. Normally, routine sampler repairs are performed annually.




TI 201A Sampler Operations Manual                                                                    4
1.0 Weekly Maintenance Procedures

    The procedures for weekly maintenance at an IMPROVE site involve these basic steps. First,
data to calculate the flow rate and volume of air sampled must be recorded from the thermometer,
elapsed time, magnehelic, and vacuum gauges. Next the exposed cassettes are removed and the
appropriate clean cassettes installed. Finally, the elapsed time gauges are reset, and data to
calculate the flow rate are recorded for each of the clean cassettes. In each step the site operator
verifies the readings are within the range listed as acceptable, and the data are recorded for the
correct cassette. Each procedure is described in the sections listed below:
    1.1 Cassette labeling and installation protocols.
    1.2 Initial procedures and sampler status checks
    1.3 Recording of final data and removal of exposed cassettes.
    1.4 Installation of clean cassettes and recording of initial data.
    1.5 Weekly equipment checks.
    1.6 Field blank procedures

1.1     Cassette Labeling and Installation Protocols.
    Each cassette is designated for a specific sample date and module when loaded with a filter in
the Air Quality Group Lab. The cassettes are color coded, one color to indicate the module, and
black or white to indicate a Wednesday or Saturday sample respectively. The solenoids in the
modules will be similarly color coded. Each cassette is also labeled with the sample date, module
and channel on a white sticker label. The labeling protocol is described in Table 1 below.
Table 1 Cassette Labeling Protocol
      Module   Channel       Sample Day      Filter Color Code     Label       Description
        A      1             Wednesday       red, black            date-A1     25mm TefloTM
               2             Saturday        red, white            date-A2
        B      1             Wednesday       yellow, black         date-B1     25mm NylasorbTM
               2             Saturday        yellow, white         date-B2
        C      1             Wednesday       green, black          date-C1     25mm quartz
               2             Saturday        green, white          date-C2
        D      1             Wednesday       blue, black           date-D1     25mm TefloTM *
               2             Saturday        blue, white           date-D2

    Cassettes containing filters for the IMPROVE sampling network are mailed in sealed bags.
Each bag is labeled with the Tuesday date of the week the cassettes must be installed, and
contains one week of filter cassettes. Two weeks of filters are enclosed in each blue shipping box
for mailing to and from the site.

    The installation date printed on the outside of the blue box. The sampler must be changed on
Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday under the IMPROVE protocol. If the sample change day is missed,
the cassettes may be changed on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, after advising the Air Quality
Group of the situation. Changes on invalid days will preclude collection of a valid Wednesday
sample, but will allow a valid Saturday sample.



TI 201A Sampler Operations Manual                                                                    5
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