Getting Started with Online Condition Based Monitoring for Substations
Online vs Offline
Increasing substation equipment failures has resulted in utilities looking for ways to monitor their equipment’s condition. Monitoring allows them to manage costs, reduce the risk of unexpected failure, and improve their ability to manage asset health. There are two kinds of monitoring: time-based and online condition-based monitoring.
Time-based monitoring involves periodic testing and maintenance to measure the health of an asset. This involves a crew traveling to the site to pull samples or run tests on equipment on a timed schedule. While this method can help identify asset problems, it also can be unreliable as many failures do not provide significant warning signs until a short time before the impending failure. You cannot catch problems reliably with a calendar.
Online condition-based monitoring is implemented on transformers, breakers, switchgear, and other equipment to provide continuous data on the condition of the assets. An asset monitor collects historic data and sends an alarm when something looks out of place. Using this data, utilities identify issues early in the failure process and schedule an outage, if necessary. This method saves time, cost and keeps crews safe.
The 5 W's of Establishing a Successful Online Condition Based Monitoring Program
A well designed condition based monitoring program will enable your organization to make the right decisions at the right time with reliable asset knowledge, increased system reliability and safety benefits. It’s important to ask yourself the 5 W’s before implementing an online condition based monitoring program.
WHY Online Monitoring?
WHO will benefit from online monitoring?
Collaborating and sharing data with the industry can benefit all of us.
reduce maintenance costs while improving reliability.
benefit from early warnings and situational awareness.
Asset Management Groups
understand risky units to prepare for replacement.
write specifications for new units based on experience.
WHAT to monitor inside the substation?
What to monitor depends a great deal on the answer to “why”. It is possible to monitor most high voltage assets and their components.
WHERE should the monitoring system be implemented?
Hospitals, government buildings and other critical businesses require the power to be maintained under any circumstance.
Failure at generation facilities could be catastrophic.
Locations that are difficult to get to quickly could pose a problem.
Areas that need increased maintenance due to aging or other issues will benefit.