Because partial discharge activity is often present well in advance of insulation failures, asset managers can monitor PD activity over time and make informed strategic decisions regarding scheduling maintenance outages and the repair or replacement of equipment. These predictive diagnostics help companies to prioritize capitol and MRO (material, repair and overhaul) investments before an unexpected outage occurs.
So, if measuring Partial Discharge (PD) activity in your Medium Voltage (MV) and High Voltage (HV) assets gives you a clear picture of the true condition of your power assets, and you can schedule your maintenance program based on actual condition rather than time intervals AND you can save both time and money … how do you begin a program? Well, beginning a program is simpler than you may have thought. PD investigations or surveys can be broken down into four levels and carried out on live assets; therefore there is NO interruption in operation.
Level 1 – An Initial PD Survey
The purpose of a Level 1 survey is to conduct a basic first pass assessment of assets and to check for the presence of PD activity. This is a quick and efficient check that can rule out good equipment in an economic manner. In most cases nearly 90% of a facility’s equipment will be “good.” The other 10% will need further investigation and will advance onto a Level 2 survey.
Level 2 – Detailed PD Survey
A Level 2 survey locates and quantifies PD activity to produce a detailed asset health report. Once a potential insulation issue has been uncovered in Level 1 further analysis is necessary to ensure that the suspect activity was not caused by external noise. It is also advantageous to locate the source of the partial discharge activity and to quantify and assess the severity of the problem.
Level 3 – Ongoing PD Monitoring
During a Level 3 survey PD activity is measured and analyzed over time to detect deterioration and to raise an alarm or call-to-action if PD activity reaches a critical level. As an example, if PD activity that is intermittent or possibly influenced by environmental conditions (changing temperature, humidity, vibration or electrical noise) is found, temporary installed multi-sensor systems that automatically monitor your plant can be utilized.
Level 4 – Customized PD Program
Adopting a comprehensive PD program that fits the needs and condition of your facility and assets. This will include regular PD surveys and condition assessments to facilitate a condition based asset management program.
If you are an asset owner or a service company wanting to provide your clients with additional value added benefits, Protec Equipment Resources is ready to assist. Give us a call today to get started with Level 1 assessments. We carry state-of-the-art equipment from EA Technology like the UltraTEV Plus+ PD Detection kit. Call today, getting started on a PD program is simpler than you may think!