Electric utility companies rely on circuit breakers to protect their critical assets and ensure the reliability of the electric grid. However, many of the circuit breaker systems in use today are aging and replacing, upgrading, and installing these systems is not only complex, but costly.
Over time, the physical components within a circuit breaker degrade. For example, the contacts in a circuit breaker can become worn or corroded. This would reduce their ability to make and break the electrical connection resulting in increased resistance, increased heat, and decreased reliability. As these assets continue to age, operators will see an increased risk of failure, decreased performance, and increased downtime.
As infrastructure ages, maintenance is necessary and has become a crucial element to ensuring reliability and performance within the electric grid. Utilities counteract aging through routine maintenance which replaces degraded components and avoids costly downtimes. However, routine maintenance may lead to over-maintenance which occurs when maintenance is performed unnecessarily. Over-maintenance results in wasted time, resources, and money.
Today, there is a shared effort to modernize the electric grid which stresses Predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance has been found to prolong the lives of critical assets and maintain peak operational efficiency by identifying problems early and strategically addressing them.
This approach is applied through circuit breaker monitoring which uses monitoring equipment to collect performance data. The data is then analyzed and used to identify trends, predict failures, and track the performance of individual circuit breakers over time. This real-time monitoring allows utility companies to defer offline testing, respond quickly, and reduce the risk of a catastrophic failure helping minimize downtimes and reduce costs. Utilities can than trend the data to identify patterns overtime to deploy Predictive maintenance before equipment fails.
The INCON® Optimizer3 Circuit Breaker Monitor delivers advanced automated reporting of all critical circuit breaker diagnostics to ensure uptime and facilitate Predictive maintenance. The Optimizer3 is ideal for high-voltage, live or dead-tank, oil, vacuum, or gas circuit breakers. With early detection of circuit breaker deficiencies and automated system performance evaluation, the Optimizer3 Circuit Breaker Monitor provides utilities with the tools to help improve efficiency, extend equipment service life, and enhance reliability of their systems.
Armed with a high degree of circuit breaker performance insight from the Optimizer3, utilities can deploy maintenance with intelligence and only as needed – limiting truck rolls, speeding reaction time, and lowering overall maintenance costs.