Transmission and distribution substations and assets are under heavy stress and are increasing in age without quick relief in sight. Utilities need to extend the life of their assets, and do so intelligently with automation to also compensate for the workforce that is aging and retiring. In order to accomplish this, more and more utilities are installing sensor technology on critical assets.
The value of continuous online sensor monitoring on transmission and distribution systems has been well documented. Benefits of this monitoring include such things as asset optimization, enabling condition based maintenance, detecting component failure before it actually occurs and enabling safe dynamic loading.
On February 27, 2014, an IEEE Power & Energy Society webinar will be held with Jeff Golarz, Director, T&D Solutions and Gas Products. In this webinar, Jeff will cover how the increased use of Sensors and Data collected influences the development of Smart Sensor technology with increased intelligence at the “edge” of monitored systems.
Click the button below to register for this FREE Webinar.
Although most infrared thermal imagers are now designed for a one-handed point-and-shoot operation and the operational basics are fairly easy to learn, many owners only learn a fraction of the capabilities and features. More importantly, the frequency of capturing a meaningless image, or incorrectly interpreting an image is a serious concern when the imager is in the hands of an untrained operator. Thermal Imagers are purchased as an investment and are expected to be used to discover problem areas, monitor processes, increase quality, etc.
In order to make that investment hold its value, getting your Level 1 Thermographer’s Certification is an important first step in the process. To gain complete return on investment in thermography, it is vital to be certified so you can take appropriate images, as well as fully understand what your thermal images are telling you. Having the equipment and not completely understanding it’s proper use could cause costly mistakes and disrupt your career. Certification can be an added costly line item to you, but it should be considered an investment that typically yields great returns.
Furthermore, ISO requirements lead many organizations to pursue training based on guidelines and standards from independent organizations such as the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) in the United States. The most valuable course will meet or exceed ASNT’s SNT-TC-1A and CP-105 guidelines, by covering the principles and technologies involved and giving you some level of practical training under the direction of a an ASNT-certified instructor.
Listed below are the core concepts covered in a Level 1 Thermography course:
Continuing with the Christmas theme from my last blog, “Do You See What I See?,” I wanted to take another opportunity to share more information on what is coming over the horizon in the marketplace, but from a perspective of even further into the future. In this blog, “Do You Hear What I Hear?,” I will share what I am hearing from my involvement as a leading sensor supplier on a global basis. The intent of this blog is to share something before it is actually being seen. It is from the standpoint of “you heard it here first”.
So with that, let’s “put our ears to the ground” so to speak and find out what is coming. Continue reading
One of the benefits of building and providing sensors is that a large base of our customers are OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer’s). Our OEMs make equipment used in many processes globally, from glass and steel manufacturing, semiconductor processes, sapphire crystal growth, electrical transmission and distribution equipment, etc. What this means is that we see things happening in the market earlier than most.
As an example…someone is seeing a need to make more sapphire crystal products. This means a crystal producer will place orders on an OEM for equipment to make sapphire crystals. This means that this OEM places orders to me to buy more sensors. Therefore…I see something happening well before something actually is produced as an end product into the market.
So, what do I see now? Continue reading
Earlier this month, I kicked off the “On the Grid” tour, traveling to Calgary to deliver presentations at two back-to-back conferences: Cigre Canada and TechCon Canada. I also gave two webinars last week and will take the message to San Francisco at the DataWeek conference on October 2nd and to Europe on November 11 at the O’Reilly Strata Conference in London.
Asking the non-rhetorical and very important question: How can the grid be smart if the infrastructure is stupid?, the topic of my talks was Big Data for Big Substations and the big challenges this brings for utility companies worldwide. Continue reading
Andy Beck, LumaSense’s Regional Manager for Northeast and Northwest U.S. and a specialist in thermal imaging systems, recently attended the AEP BRO Forum focused on Boiler Reliability Optimization. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, American Electric Power (AEP) is one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S., serving over 5 million customers in 11 states.
The AEP BRO Forum is an annual event for AEP employees, invited utility company guests and about 200 of the industry’s top suppliers. Andy was invited to deliver a presentation on how online thermal imaging systems can help optimize boiler operations. Here’s his report …
In our last post, we shared the results from our 2012 transmission and distribution survey and learned that cost is the leading deterrent of wide-scale deployment of an online Dissolved Gas Analysis (DGA) monitoring solution. We also discussed how to make old transformers last longer by making them “smarter” with continuous online monitoring and diagnostics, similar to how we need more frequent blood testing and analysis as we age.
The transmission and distribution infrastructure is under heavy stress and is increasing in age without quick relief in sight. Electrical demand continues to grow steadily every year with utilities unable to financially and physically keep up with replacement and expansion of assets. When you add the much talked about age of the utility workforce with their decades of expertise and knowledge, yet knowing they will be retiring very soon, you see a perfect storm developing. Utilities need to extend the life of their assets, and do so intelligently with automation to also compensate for the retiring workforce and keep up with impending growth.
Brett Sargent will be discussing this issue in technical presentations next month in Calgary, when he begins the “On the Grid with Brett Sargent” tour. Continue reading
Smart meters do not equal a smart grid.
While industry and government cooperate to build out the “smart grid” for the future, we believe it is equally critical to address the ever growing energy consumption happening today by tightening up the energy delivery side to fully leverage existing assets.
Last year, LumaSense surveyed power industry professionals from around the world about their transmission and distribution (T&D) infrastructures as they exist today and needs for the future. Here are a few facts to set the stage:
In our last post, Brett explained why LumaSense is exploring innovations that wed the well-known arena of pyrometry with thermal infrared (IR) imaging. Emerging from our customer-driven R&D efforts is a new area of temperature measurement and control—a potentially transformative technology that we call Rel-Rad™.
To understand why Rel-Rad is so transformative, I thought it would be useful to take a brief snapshot of the current state of pyrometry and thermal imaging and explain where Rel-Rad fits.
As I blogged before the Fourth of July took us home to friends and family, LumaSense Technologies’ collaborative 6th Sense approach consists of six steps that effectively put companies on the path to rooting out waste and inefficiency.
Some may consider an efficiency improvement of 1-4% to be modest and not worth the effort required. But when you’re competing with companies on an international scale, every improvement affects the bottom line. If you could make transformational and enduring improvements to achieve world-class efficiency and reduce unwarranted waste, then why not?