Keeping Transformers Online

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Transformers are getting older and electricity demands are expected to increase by 19% over the next 10 years. Monitoring transformers and keeping them online is essential to meeting increasing demands with older equipment.

Traditionally, transformers are monitored with manual methods such as manual samples and manual analysis. Using sensors with intelligence allows utility managers to monitor transformers daily from afar. Daily samples can help managers understand how their transformers are performing with automatic data analysis. Learn more in the infographic below!

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Use your Thermal Vision!

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Superman has x-ray vision, but you have Thermal Vision! However, while seeing things real-time is great for detecting anomalies immediately, it does little to predict them. For that, you need history. History helps predict the future, and when it comes to data, collecting and analyzing thermal imaging data can be overwhelming. Automating this process using thermal imaging software can help take the headache out of trying to understand the data the thermal imaging cameras are collecting. See how we do it in the infographic below.

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Monitoring Flat Glass Production Temperatures

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Glass production can be traced back to before the Roman civilization. The Latin term “glesum” can be roughly translated as “transparent lustrous substance”. Flat glass has changed very little since its inception as blown cylinders flattened out and the majority of today’s flat glass (about 90%) is produced using the float glass (Pilkington) process that was developed in the 1950s in England.

The global flat glass market was estimated to be over $30 billion in 2012, driven largely by demands of construction and automotive glass sectors. Current demand by China, North America, and Europe account for over 70% of products delivered. Future demand is expected to increase steadily as emerging markets develop.

To sustain these demands, there are over 200 float glass production plants worldwide. They produce over 60 million tons (about 7.5 billion square meters) of glass annually! But float glass production can be expensive due to the high cost of transportation and energy required for glass melting (often up to 1700 °C). In order to reduce costs, these plants tend to be regionally distributed to minimize the high costs of transportation and tend to operate continuously to minimize losses.

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LumaSense will be at the IEEE PES T&D Conference – Will you?

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We will be exhibiting a suite of products for the Transmission and Distribution industry at booth 3800 during the 2014 IEEE PES T&D Conference and Exposition in Chicago, IL from April 15-17th.

This is the 50th anniversary of the conference and will showcase the technologies, products, companies, and minds that will lead the industry through the next 50 years and beyond.

We understand that the power industry is facing challenges with aging equipment and needs technologies like online dissolved gas monitoring. Other technologies, such as fiber optics, pyrometry, and thermal (infrared) imaging help utilities monitor critical elements.

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Big Data = Big Challenges for Big Substations and Big Assets

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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.

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The Importance of Getting Your Level 1 Thermographer Certification

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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:

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Do You Hear What I Hear?

Do you Hear What I Hear

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

Do You See What I See?

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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

Utilities Need SLEx Education

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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

Utilities Need 6th Sense To Face New EPA Regs For Coal-fired Plants

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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 …
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