Electrical Predictive Maintenance
Having an electrical predictive maintenance step in your maintenance program can be easier than you think it is. That is to say, predicting failures can be easily reached with proper tools and industry standard methods. Below is a list of ways to identify some of your mechanical failures before it happens.
Infrared thermographic imaging
Overheating is an early indication of electrical equipment breakdown. Consequently, infrared scanning can detect invisible hot spots in your electrical systems. As a result, it can decrease the potential for unexpected downtime in your facility’s production. Typically, removing your electrical panels will allow a clear view of connections. Thermal imaging scanners reduce the need to remove panels or covers for inspections. To sum up, infrared inspections can be performed safely and without downtime.
Wireless Temperature Monitoring System
This method provides continuous monitoring of critical connection points in your electrical equipment. Install wireless sensors into low and medium voltage equipment during a planned outage. Once in place, sensors transmit temperature data to your operations and maintenance personnel. For instance, you can evaluate the present condition of your equipment and determine its status. Further, you can detect abnormal conditions such as heat rise and initiate corrective actions.
Partial Discharge Monitoring
A leading indicator of insulation breakdown is when partial discharge occurs in your electrical equipment under high voltage stress. This monitoring detects insulation breakdown and early warning alarms. Install sensors during a planned outage and wire them to a monitoring unit. To clarify, partial discharge technology is applicable on your equipment rated 5 kV to 500 kV where the age of the insulation would be a concern.
Insulating Fluid Analysis
As part of your complete preventive maintenance program, periodic oil analysis will monitor the condition of your power transformers. Thus detecting problems before they reach serious proportions. An analysis of the insulating oil in the transformer is performed to determine deterioration. Certainly, oil samples can be tested with the appropriate method. Here is a good article on different tests you can perform.
Transformer Temperature Monitoring
This is a strategy to reduce maintenance costs and outages, by replacing older technology with modern devices. The preferred monitoring solution is to use fully electronic devices, which continuously calculate the winding hottest temperature. This monitoring helps to improve your transformer life expectancy by reducing overload heat damage.
Intelligent Protective Device
Upgrading your circuit breakers and motor control centres with smart technology enables live updating on the condition of your equipment. Devices include electronic trip units or circuit monitors for circuit breakers, and intelligent motor starters for motor control centres.
See Best Electrical Maintenance Practices for a visual breakdown
Other steps to consider
For more information on developing a complete maintenance program for your facility, read our other articles: