A Revolution in Electrical Distribution

The distribution of electricity in commercial and industrial environments is experiencing a technological revolution brought on by various IoT enabled devices and software. As a prime example, continuous thermal monitoring is changing how we address electrical deterioration. We are able to use real time data at various key points of failure to trend and detect deterioration utilizing applications.

Deterioration is the result of loose connections or damaged contact surfaces which can cause fires, explosions or arc flashes which can lead to equipment destruction and injury. The National Fire Protection Administration (NFPA70B) recommends annual infrared scanning surveys to determine if these hot spots exist.

The downfall to IR scanning is that in the event windows are provided with the equipment there is a limited field of view and if not then the equipment needs to be opened energized which at times may not be an option and even if so carries a high risk factor. Another major negative is that with an annual scan we are only seeing a snapshot in time which is more reactive and does not give us the full picture.

Continuous Thermal Monitoring to the Rescue

Continuous thermal monitoring overcomes these issues in a variety of ways. The Continuous Thermal Monitoring Solution by Schneider Electric utilizes thermal monitors with ZigBee wireless capabilities to transmit data in real time to an Ethernet gateway. These can be installed on bussing, terminations, windings, etc.

This effectively avoids the cost of IR scan audits. With these sensors transmitting real time data to a Schneider Electric EcoStruxure application such as Asset Advisor, the data can be used to analyze trends and pre-alarm against conditions of deterioration.

With the ability to be installed on new and existing equipment, the application of the thermal monitoring is vast. Utilizing the Schneider Electric expert adviser services, preventative maintenance planning and scheduling can be optimized. By avoiding downtime, protecting personnel and equipment, the Continuous Thermal Monitoring solution is an exciting new technology to the industry.