Brian W Zelt

PhD, PEng


application software


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AERtools is a collection of spreadsheet and application programs created for air quality professionals for the calculation of source parameters and ground level concentrations.  The tools were created based upon state-of-the-art engineering considerations of thermodynamics, energy balance, mass balance and practical application of these principles for use with current air dispersion models and methods.



AERflare-incin is the current evolution of ERCBflare and ERCBincin tools.  This tool functions as a stand-alone MS Excel spreadsheet server and database.  The tool accepts user inputs and generates air dispersion modelling source inputs for the U.S. EPA AERMOD dispersion model and steady state source parameters for the CALPUFF air dispersion model.   AERflare-incin can be used to create AERMOD ready input files or can be used as a server to run AERMOD in screening or refined modes and interpret the predictions for Alberta regulatory ambient air quality compliance and well test flaring/incineration applications.  The goal in developing AERflare-incin was to ensure a consistent content, required contents and quality of air quality modelling, reports and applications to AER (Alberta Energy Regulator)  and AEP (Alberta Environment and Parks).


ABflare was developed as a sister tool to AERflare-incin.  Whereas AERflare-incin was developed for screening and refined air dispersion modelling for AERMOD, ABflare was developed for refined dispersion modelling for time-varying source parameters of flare sources for the CALPUFF model.  As a part of the ABflare model development, the CALPUFF model was extended to extend the source types from point, line, volume and area sources to include a flare source.  The flare source in CALPUFF is a time-varying (arbitrary input) file allowing the time variation of height, diameter, velocity, temperature and location of the (effective) point source.  The ABflare tool is used to create the time-varying input file as well as act as a server to assist the creation of CALPUFF input files and assessment of output from this type air quality analysis.  The ABflare tool can be used to create CALPUFF and AERMOD input files.


AERflare-incin v2.12

Version 2.12 of AERflare addresses various small bugs and adds several new features.


Version 2.10 of AERflare addresses several updates including reports from virus protection software of potential malicious activity.


Some of the features may still contain bugs and we appreciate hearing about all suspected bugs, odd behaviour or suggested improvements and features.



spreadsheet only



AERflare-incin Version V3.01 (not yet released)

  • Small corrections/adjustments of combustion calculations for consistency
  • Change in the method calling external programs (AERMOD,AERMET,etc..) to use an external batch file and a system call to EXPLORER.exe.  This avoids client internal security lock does with Office applications.
  • Added a flag on iUSERTER to warn users if output file may exceed 2GB causing potential file storage issues, longer run times, longer processing times.
  • Correction to small inconsistencies on the oCalcFlare and oCalcIncin pages.
  • Changed the screening procedure for Hour-By-Hour processing to use AERMOD’s built in wind speed categories.  This reduces pre-processing time of AERflare to determine a emissions file based upon the meteorology.  Instead, simplifications were adopted to estimate the release emissions based upon wind speed only. Small changes can be expected in the predictions.
  • Added forced draft (as per previous) and natural draft calculations for incinerator stacks.
  • Removed Criterion column of calculations which was previous used to determine whether complex terrain modelling was required. These calculations were no longer used.  An indication of complex terrain (plume impingement on terrain) is now included based upon the actual flared gases (not criterion flared gas with fuel or assist) for Qmax, Qave and Qmin. The indication is displayed on the oSUMMARY page for D060 requirement, complex terrain modelling requirement.
  • Added parent folder or working folder output path to redirect output to a folder

AERflare-incin Version V2.17.210217

  • Added BIG file processing to allow output BIN files from AERMOD to be larger than 2G boundary allowed by Excel VBA processing.
  • HP fuel assist was added but has been updated in version 3.01. This version assumes HP fuel assist is injected at sonic.  This was adjusted to actual injection velocity in version 3.01.  In Addition, the ring diameter is not accounted for in this version, but is accounted for in version 3.01.
  • Numerous bug fixes following a spreadsheet rebuild after a spreadsheet binary corruption issue, ugh
  • Added 64bit file processing abilities
  • AERflare no loner support 32 bit office.  64 bit office is required.
  • The spreadsheet can be used with LandUse circa 2002 or the new 2010 or 2015 data files.  See iSTART—mLANDUSE_2002 switch.  The default is to use the newer data; but the legacy data is still available online and still works with this version of AERflare.  The code for the 2002 is not optimized well and is slow.  The new 2015 FILE (not file(S)) can be downloaded as per the information on the iBIN page.  The file needs to be downloaded by the user only once since it covers the entire Canada, and then the user just needs to point to the downloaded file on the iBIN page.  This huge file, requires 64bit. Optimized the code for this data search better than the previous, so it runs much faster.
  • This version of AERflare defaults to use Odour Units for H2S rather than mass emission rate modelling.  However, the MODOURUNITS flag on the iSTART can be changed to use the older method.
  • Corrected cell protection issues
  • Corrected issue of strip error returned while reading dem.  Occurred when domain straddled two map files and DEM used strips rather than tiles.
  • AERflare-incin Version V2.16.201116
  • Added error checking for DEMLIB and LCCLIB, if folders exist and for read/write errors.
  • ESRI projection read error bug
  • Security updates.

AERflare-incin Version V2.15.2002xx

  • Revised receptor grid creation which bypassed the first level. The first level now fills from distance 0m to Xm, with the initial resolution of (default) 20m.  This allows the user to specify a 20m resolution to (say) 250m distance when the fenceline only is 100m distance, to catch high concentration near the fenceline.
  • Updated Physical Constants and parameters with GPSA Databook 14 (2016)
  • Updated Engines and Turbines parameters with updated list from GPSA Databook 14 (2016)
  • Added odour unit calculations as the preferred odour calculation method for H2S
  • Updated land use classification data with North American updated files (circa 2010).
  • Updated Datum and projection abilities to handle most transformations. Changed the source location to include datum and projection.  These should will be used to transform DEM and LCCC data to user select coordinates.
  • Added ability to read European land use classification
  • Added flare type pages descriptions of some common flare header and terminology
  • Added Df and Dunob (changed from flare tip Diameter, Ds).  Df is the nominal flare stack inside diameter.  Dunob is the calculated equivalent un-obstructed flow diameter.  Df will be used for stack tip downwash calculations.  Dunob is used for momentum calculations.
  • Improved the estimate momentum and buoyancy calculations.
  • Added mLANDUSE2002 flag on iSTART to use old LCC file or new files
  • Updated links to DEM data in Canada
  • Added entries for specific LCC files using newer large domain files on iBIN page
  • Added MODOURUNITS to iSTART page to use (preferred) calculation of H2S odour units
  • Added mFORCESTRIP to iSTART for technical testing of forcing the stripped H2S gases to be cold rather than partially hot.
  • Increased speed for LCC data classification and conversion to AERMET
  • Increased speed for DEM reading and processing.
  • Reapplied all style settings on the corrupted workbook

AERflare-incin Version V2.14.1910xx

  • Updated stream assist calculations
  • Added modelling for odour units (OU/s) for H2S component as an alternative H2S (g/s)
  • Added Ratio of Air/Steam entrainment ratio (RAIRSTEAM) at injectors to account for momentum and dilution at stack tip.  Steam assist now uses a default 0.8 air/steam (wt/wt) ratio.  Steam assist therefore adds forced momentum of both steam and air.
  • Added iFLARETYPES page to describe various flare stack tip configurations for of the calculation of raw gas non-obstructed flow diameter (Ds).  Also added entry for total flow area, Df to calculate the net combined flare assist velocity at stack tip.
  • Air Assist calculations were adjusted to ensure that air assist contributed correctly to the stack top velocity (and downwash effects


AERflare.v212.190220.xlsm (updated 2019-Feb-20)

  • set default value of NPUFFS=3 on iSOURCE page to avoid user error
  • corrected pseudo velocity calculation when exit is limited by choked flow.
  • corrected Buoyancy flux calculation for mFLAMEOUT for difference of specific heat between air and source.
  • corrected bad conversion of LFL (%) to LFL (µg/m³)
  • corrected a bug that may appear during non-routine button-5 operation.
  • corrected missing mMULTISOURCE default wind speed
  • corrected missing link and macro compile error

AERflare.v212.190121.xlsm (updated 2019-Jan-21)

  • Added MFGR on start page. MFGR controls whether the fuel gas is added as a proportional rate (as per previous releases, each QMAX, QAVE and QMIN has a fuel gas ratio) or as a constant rate (see iSOURCE FLARE_FUEL entry).
  • Updated mFLAMEOUT.  The H2S output will display the non-combusted sour content of the flare.  The SO2 output will display the non-combusted hydrocarbons.  See oCALCFLARE cell C323 for a estimate of an applicable threshold LFL concentration in ug/m3 for combustable levels.  Hazard calculations should also consider LFL/2 or LFL/4.  Note, the predictions are based upon 1h time averages whereas hazard calculations might use 20sec time average for combustion issues.
  • Blowdown can be specified by vessel volume/pressure; Qmax and volume; Qmax and time (15minutes); Qave and time (15minutes).
  • Graphic on oBLOWDOWN abscissa axis allowed to auto-scale.
  • oBLOWDOWN toggle to show mass and/or duration step
  •  various bugs
  • AERflare-incin Version V2.10.181029
  • Added mMULTISOURCE option on start page.  This option allows the user to use the AERflare parameters when combined with other multisource AERMOD modelling when the stack tip downwash is calculated.  Since the option to use the control setting NOSTD (no stack tip downwash) is a global setting that affects all sources, the pseudo-height of a flare is adjusted to compensate for AERMOD’s treatment of stack tip downwash using the pseudo-parameters entered.

AERflare.v210.180517.xlsm (updated 2018-May-17)

  • Corrected, the run flags displayed on oAERSCREEN. The flags are written upon completion of the calculations for each of the six run cases.
  • Add maximum limit to fire ball radiation emissivity
  • Adjusted significant digits on BlowDown page for better viewing

AERflare.v210.180319.xlsm (updated 2018-Mar-19)

  • Corrected improper read of run flags.  The default setting of the run flags all blank or all set was not read correctly, and a run with all blank was returned without running any met conditions.
  • BETA: Added processing of EPA, British Columbia and Ontario flaring source pseudo-parameters.  The methods are selectable using the iSTART page and the mpseudo setting.
  • Updated the RBC criteria to 99.9087% from 99.9% to better match the 8760 hours.  The 99.9087% is equivalent to the 9th highest.
  • Updated the land classification processing to change from point sample methodology to the more precise land use area calculation methodology.  This changes the processing from point-wise sub-sampling of a grid cell N-times to determine the average LCC codes; and instead, determines the polygon area of each LCC type within a cell.
  • Added optimized sorting algorithm to speed up post-processing and meteorological processing
  • Corrected bad write of data to parallel assessment on oAERSCREEN with zeroes.  This corrects a false warning message of apparent minimum data requirement on the oSUMMARY page

AERflare.v210.180216.xlsm (updated 2018-Feb-16)

  • Corrected bad warning message regarding inputs not matching outputs.

AERflare-incin.v210.180215.xlsm (updated 2018-Feb-15)

  • Corrected bad write of data to parallel assessment on oAERSCREEN with zeroes.  This corrects a false warning message of apparent minimum data requires on the oSUMMARY page

AERflare-incin.v210.180209.xlsm (updated 2018-Feb-09)

  • Corrected/adjusted warnings and messages on the iSOURCE and oSUMMARY page to match the change in output method (text YES/NO/PASS/FAIL vs radio buttons). Several messages adjacent to PASS/FAIL results on oSUMMARY were not displayed appropriately resulting from previous changes in buttons and may have caused some confusion. Sorry.  Added highlights for faster review of issues that may require further documentation for applications.
  • Added the display of potential issues raised on oSUMMARY to general red flags
  • Added default notes to the iNOTES page.
  • Added Run flags and source orientation to the recalculation required lists on oAERSCREEN
  • Set the axis divisions to auto on the figure on oBLOWDOWN so that the figure adjusts to all sorts of inputs
  • For permits, added a new figure page to display the AER_FIGURE4 flow chart with decision points from the entries.
  • Corrected UTM zone bug when entering Geographical coordinates on iSOURCE page then making calculations on iTERRAIN or iUSERTER pages
  • Changed coding avoid false-positives of malicious or suspicious activity during virus scanning when sending by eMail to AER.  Removed dead code. Changed coding practice of saving settings to registry to a method that saves settings to a file on windows temp folder.  A file “AERTOOLS_Settings_AERflare.ini” is created to save inter-session settings such ViewTechnicalPages, iBin Settings, etc.  Each time you open a spreadsheet, it will check if the INI file exists, and if so, it will refresh the settings in the workbook being loaded.  If the INI file does not exist, then the workbook will create the file as required to save your settings.
  • Changed the name of the oCALCULATIONS page to oCALCFLARE.
  • Added warning flags to the top of oBLOWDOWN page
  • Corrected auto-scaling issues on oBLOWDOWN figure 1
  • (Beta Testing) Unlocked the ONT MOE variable radiation heat loss method (see mvarrad on iSTART) which uses the Ont. MOE method to adjust heat loss as a function of flared gas molar mass.
  • (Beta Testing) Unlocked the oFOLIAGE processing page.  This page is used for analyzing SO2 damage to foliage as part of MOE BC assessments.  This page works with saved data and is a post-processing option.
  • Added orange shading (warning) to fields on oSUMMARY page.  Highlighted the Number of potential issues raised and number of non-default settings (top right of page) for reviewers.
  • Corrected incorrectly dimensioned matrix when loading sources.csv and creating a receptor grid.
  • Corrected mismatched receptor grid when loading sources.csv file.
  • Adjusted entry of HEATER/BOILER efficiency entry; entered on iSOURCE page.  Stack losses for heaters and boilers may be calculated on iENGINE page but is manually entered on the iSOURCE page
  • Added POINT, POINTCAP, POINTHOR stack types to iSOURCE input page for incinerators, boilers, heaters, engines
  • Adjusted Engine energy balance exhaust calculations.  Calculations now use the engine specs as a starting point for heat loss at end of engine (may include muffler) and then adds 15% heat loss through stack. (updated 2017-Sep-15)

  • Corrects external link error “personal.xlam” (updated 2017-Sep-14) -- archived

  • Corrects output for H2S for RBC and Climit; which always returned 100th value.  This bug was introduced as part of the 170801 version.
  • minor cosmetic fixes (updated 2017-Aug-02) -- archived

  • Corrects 'Function not available to you' message when selecting Permit/Application or Flare/Incinerator on the iSTART page (updated 2017-Aug-02) -- archived

  • Corrected broken link (updated 2017-Aug-01) -- archived

  • Corrected issue relating to the appearance of a virus (there wasn't a virus)
  • Added option for batch mode operation to export the plottable data results from oAERSCREEN page
  • Added processing to the oPROCESSING page to 'Add' a secondary modelling results to the the flaring.  When modelling flares, the control setting NOSTD must be used when using the pseudo-parameters.  For other sources NOSTD should not be used.  Therefore, flares must be modelled separately from other sources.  In Alberta, non-routine, upset and emergency flares are not modelled with other cumulative emissions.  For routine flaring, flare emissions should be included with other emissions.  If the dispersion modelling uses the same receptor grid, the output POSTFILE data time series can be added.  The 'Add' switch allows the user to specify a POSTFILE output results for other sources which is added during run-time processing to form a cumulative concentration.
  • Updated oMODELLING page to list real-source parameters and pseudo-source parameters.  Added emission factors and emission rates of non-sour components.
  • AERflare-incin now uses the newer format GeoTIFF for DEM rather than the older CDEM (no longer supported).  The iBIN page is updated with the link to the new downloads.  The GeoTIFF files are larger but processing them is a little bit faster.
  • Bug fixes for Emissions Factors
  • Bug fixes for Engine/Boiler/Heater calculations
  • Updated code for downloading from the internet
  • Added BC MOE foliage damage post-processing calculations
  • Added Ont. MOE methodology for variable heat radiation losses with changes in flared gas MW.
  • Added daily 1h maximum calculation as an alternative to maximum hourly average concentration.
  • Added 24h and annual average calculations
  • Added high-pressure fuel flare-assist.  This flare-assist adds fuel additional fuel at high co-flowing momentum
  • Updated the flare air-assist calculation to account for air required.  Thus air-assist is assumed to replace stoichiometric air until satisfied.  Air-assist greater than stoichiometric will then degrade combustion.
  • revised presentation of oSUMMARY to avoid broken links issues.
  • Small bug fixes (updated 2017-Jan-15)

  • Corrects 64bit declaration (updated 2016-Nov-01)

  • Corrected broken links on oSUMMARY page (updated 2016-Oct-28)

  • Corrected printout on iTERRAIN, where Row 80 of the page could be over-written if the contour interval was low.
  • Corrected printout on iTERRAIN of xyz-distance, where the start index in the contour data array could be calculated incorrectly depending upon the final contour interval
  • Corrected iBATCH save of DEM_OUT (rows 56-80, exclusive of flare 0,0), instead of (rows 55-79, inclusive of flare 0,0). (updated 2016-Oct-27)

  • Windows 10 Update KB3199209 leads to crash of Excel when AERflare-incin is loaded. (updated 2016-Sep-22)

  • Corrected missing calculation for Qmin flammability check for air assisted flaring.
  • Corrected bug affecting selection of Incinerator source type dropdown and creating an error message “cannot write to protected area”.
  • conditional formatting corrections




package includes spreadsheet, examples, met files


AERflare-incin-Metfiles (v4).zip (updated 2017-Aug-05)

  • This zip contains the screening met files that update the MAKEMET to AERSCREEN and AERMOD v16216

AERflare-incin-Metfiles (v3).zip (updated 2016-Jun-02)

  • This zip contains the screening met files required to run AERflare-incin in screening mode.  (updated 2016-Oct-27)


AERflare-incin Documentation

The AERflare-incin user manual is being revised

AERflare User_manual.pdf  (2014, Updates pending)

What's New (2018-Mar-16)

ABflare v1.03

ABflare has been updated to v1.03.  This version includes an optimized methodology for determining the average LCC for each grid cell using the area of each polygon within a grid cell.  See What's New below. (updated 2018-Mar-15)

  • Optimized the land classification processing to use the area of the LCC polygons within each grid cell rather than point sampling.  This removes concern regarding resolution of point sampling and now provides a true average LCC for each grid cell.  Additional optimizations reduce computation times especially for large domains. . (updated 2018-Feb-09)

  • Changed coding avoid false-positives of malicious or suspicious activity during virus scanning when sending by eMail to AER.  Removed dead code. Changed coding practice of saving settings to registry to a method that saves settings to a file on windows temp folder.  A file “AERTOOLS_Settings_ABflare.ini” is created to save inter-session settings such ViewTechnicalPages, iBin Settings, etc.  Each time you open a spreadsheet, it will check if the INI file exists, and if so, it will refresh the settings in the workbook being loaded.  If the INI file does not exist, then the workbook will create the file as required to save your settings.
  • Updated worksheet names as per AERflare: oCALCFLARE, oBLOWDOWN
  • Small bug fixes  (updated 2017-Jun-09)

  • Bug corrections and updates throughout
  • Added DoForEach list processing throughout in user interface to assist in multi-year processing
  • Added Domain coordinates to iCOMMON page
  • Added map of MM5 coordinates and automatic Coordinates selection to STEP0A CALMET page.  Includes user editable coordinates for extraction.
  • Added auto-extraction of MM5
  • Updated the Create User Receptor file to match AERflare.  Includes read DEM, read user xy receptor list, read user XYZ dem file, read user fenceline file, fill fence line, read sources list (to ensure higher resolution receptors are selected with 500m of all sources).
  • Added checks on Step1-Metseries to ensure extraction elevations are the same as stack heights on the Step2-ABflare page
  • Updated GetFromAERflare processing
  • Updated CALMET and CALPUFF default file and settings to match current CALPUFF release
  • Updated the ABflare combustion calculations to match changes in AERflare including flare assist and equations of state updates (updated 2016-Sep-13) -- archived

ABflare Documentation

The ABflare user guide has been update to include the latest features 2017, v1.03

ABflare User Guide.pdf  (2017-Jun-09)

What's New (2018-Feb-09)

AERtools Support Forum & Discussions

Please check out the AERtools support forum and discussions page. Much can be learned by sharing your concerns or solutions.


AERtools Forum

(The forum has been replaced with blog list of FAQ)

click here for AERflare FAQ

click here for ABflare FAQ


click here to eMail ZPSi about a bug


click here to subscribe to the AERtools mailing list

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