Predictive maintenance of electrical systems helps to prevent electrical hazards and downtime and optimize power quality. New electrical testers, mobility solutions, infrared (IR) thermometers, thermal imaging cameras, and temperature monitoring systems are available to protect and enhance the health of electrical systems. Service providers are adopting new technologies to improve performance.
Smart data management
Software, hardware, and smart devices combine to enable predictive maintenance (PdM) efficiencies and safety improvements. The EX850 from Extech is an all-purpose electrical tester. Its new Clamp Meter for Android allows readings to be transmitted for remote monitoring on smartphones and tablets using integrated Bluetooth technology and a free Android app.
|Our New Product Resource Center features thousands of industry-leading products, all searchable by category, product type and manufacturer.|
“The EX850 handles a 1,000 A range while providing full digital multimeter functionality, along with built-in IR, which is a key differentiator,” explains Sam Ruback, product specialist at Flir Commercial Systems (www.flir.com), Extech division. “The EX850 also now features a new remote mobile viewer app. This enables plant maintenance personnel to perform safer checks, and it gives them better visibility for tricky measurements in hard-to-reach areas.”
Tango Mobile from 24/7 Systems streamlines electrical system inspections by allowing the findings to be recorded on tablets or smartphones instead of paper forms. Tango Roundslogging, which allows route inspections to be defined for either numeric trend data or state observations, also supports data collection via a tablet or smartphone.
“With thousands of electrical panels and motor control center buckets to maintain, smartphones and tablets are becoming important tools for electrical technicians,” says Forrest Pardue, president of 24/7 Systems (www.tf7.com). “With Tango Mobile, they quickly retrieve details about breakers, loads, feeds, and safety procedures like lockout/tagout through the phone and then post problems found through IR thermography or electrical testing to a browser-based dashboard for repair action.”
Temperature monitoring can detect issues such as conduction problems, thermal runaways, or contact quality problems. Fluke’s 62 Max and 62 Max+ infrared thermometers offer resistance to dust, water, and drops from 9.8 ft to wood floors. Their small size, trigger-click operation, and backlit display enhance usability.
“An infrared scan using an IR thermometer or thermal imager can easily find a problem in a circuit panel. Electrical circuits under load naturally emit heat as a by-product,” says Jeff Abramson, director of thermography at Fluke (www.fluke.com). “Excessive heat is a clue that the system is not functioning normally. Issues such as a loose connection or phase imbalance will change the heat signature, and the infrared image will show you exactly which component is excessively hot.”