Datadog Helps Charm Industrial Democratize Sensor Insights | Datadog

Charm Industrial uses Datadog to access critical data in real time as they reduce the effects of climate change

Learn how Charm uses Datadog Infrastructure Monitoring to scale their team's access to key pyrolyzer system telemetry and speed up data analysis from days to hours.

about Charm Industrial

Charm Industrial is an environmental company that designs, builds, and operates mobile, fast pyrolyzers that work to remove CO₂, in the atmosphere and help mitigate the effects of global climate change.

Environmental Services

~50 Employees

San Francisco

“The learning curve for Datadog was very short and our entire team can now conduct data analysis, even those who don’t know how to write code. That’s amazing.”

Edward Young
Head of Software and Electronics/Staff Scientist
Charm Industrial

“The learning curve for Datadog was very short and our entire team can now conduct data analysis, even those who don’t know how to write code. That’s amazing.”

Edward Young
Head of Software and Electronics/Staff Scientist
Charm Industrial
Why Datadog?
  • Enables data visualization
  • Provides instant metrics and alerts across Charm’s systems
  • Custom-built dashboards display custom metric data collected from Charm sensors in real time
  • Data is instantly delivered across the company
  • Enables engineers to conduct continuous active monitoring of systems and alert appropriate teams to potential problems

Charm needed to monitor critical data—such as temperature and pressure—in real time with minimal human interaction to ensure it did not exceed safety thresholds.

Use case

Infrastructure Monitoring

Key Results
2 → 30+

Number of team members with instant access to data visualizations, metrics, and alerts.

2–3 days → hours

Time needed to conduct historical analysis and examine trends to make safety improvements.

Lack of Visibility Limits Scalability

Charm Industrial’s goal is to reduce the effects of global warming and climate change. Accomplishing that goal will require Charm to sequester gigatons of carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the atmosphere annually using a fleet of fast, mobile pyrolyzers.

Charm will eventually operate tens of thousands of pyrolyzers 24/7. For Edward Young, Head of Software and Electronics/Staff Scientist at Charm, this presented a significant challenge. “When you have tens of thousands of systems, you can’t have operators at every single site,” he says. “To scale the business we needed a way to simultaneously monitor numerous systems in real time remotely.”

Charm's pyrolyzer systems use high temperatures to decompose agricultural and forest biomass residue and convert it into bio-oil for use in carbon removal. These systems perform various jobs and have demanding safety standards. Each system includes sensors that measure critical data—such as temperature and pressure—to ensure Charm does not exceed safety thresholds. The team needs to monitor all that data in real time.

In addition to collecting all of their system data in one place, Young also wanted to reduce manual data analysis processes and make that data available to additional stakeholders. Originally, only Young and one other engineer had the Python skills to scrape through huge comma-separated values (CSV) files of systems data and build a live plot functionality. This process took days and the resulting plot didn’t display timeseries correctly.


Enabling instant data visualization and insights

Today, Charm uses Datadog’s Infrastructure Monitoring solution as its primary systems monitoring interface to collect and alert on real-time metrics from all Charm's systems and build data visualizations that they can easily share with multiple stakeholders across the company. This instant access to critical data reduced analysis time from two to three days to just hours, allowing the team to easily identify trends and gather deep insights into how systems are performing.

Young and his team use Python to aggregate raw data from Charm’s sensors and send it to Datadog as custom metrics, which are then displayed in real time across the company and the globe via dashboards. He was immediately impressed with how quickly he could visualize the data and glean insights using Datadog’s intuitive dashboards with drag-and-drop functionality.

“The learning curve for Datadog was very short and our entire team can now conduct data analysis, even those who don’t know how to write code,” says Young. “That’s amazing.”

In the past, only the two software engineers could understand and analyze the data the company collected. Today, the entire technical team of about 30 people has access to system data—including temperature, pressure, flow, and gas composition—through custom-built dashboards that enable them to conduct continuous active monitoring of the systems and alert the appropriate teams to potential problems.

“We’re operating something that’s very hot and at pressure,” says Young. “With Datadog, we can instantly see when temperature and pressure in our equipment is trending in a problematic direction and then swiftly take action.”

For example, the pressure gauge on an oil condenser system recently slowly rose over the course of a month. Using dashboards to plot the change alerted Charm engineers to investigate, and they were able to zoom into specific time periods and conduct side-by-side comparisons with previous tests to identify any large deviations from past results. Examining trends through this historical analysis revealed that the system had unexpected material buildup, which prompted the engineers to alert the rest of the team to discuss results and implement new maintenance procedures.

“It would have fully clogged eventually and broken the system, but our dashboards caught it early, and the pressure came down,” says Young. “More proactive problem solving meant it didn’t result in any mechanical failure.”

Working toward a cooler climate

In 2021, Charm permanently sequestered more carbon than any other business worldwide. Using Datadog, Charm's entire team can get the full visibility they need into their systems to safely and confidently scale their operations so that they can achieve their goal of running tens of thousands of pyrolyzers globally to sequester gigatons of carbon annually.

“Datadog is one of the most powerful tools we have in our tech stack,” adds Young. “It’s a game changer.”



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