In addition to all the new developments surrounding industry regulations, lead times have extended beyond imagination and the prices of critical assets have skyrocketed. In response, more and more utilities have realized the hard-dollar savings achieved by extending the useful lives of transformers, circuit breakers, and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) on a global scale.
- Comment from a field services maintenance planner of a well-known IOU in the Southwest United States.
This sentiment is echoed throughout the industry and has left utility maintenance teams wondering how to approach the new reality. As prices and lead times continue to rise, extending the useful life of current assets is now more important than ever before.
More and more providers in the electrical utility space are taking a new approach to their maintenance strategy, and at the forefront is asset monitoring. Every major utility is actively evaluating remote monitoring solutions for their critical assets. Monitoring offers promising solutions and hard-dollar value propositions in regard to extending both asset lifecycles and budgets.
A quality monitoring system, whether for substation/C.O. batteries, circuit breakers, or transformers immediately notifies service teams if an asset is operating out of predetermined performance specifications. Monitoring creates the opportunity for an engineer to inspect an asset in alert status and resolve an issue that otherwise may have gone unnoticed or caused damage to the asset. Catching and correcting a potential issue that could have damaged the asset or caused an outage, or both, is what monitoring is all about, not to mention avoiding costly service outages.
Ultimately, asset monitoring enables field service teams to reduce time spent on routine service and inspection tasks and move into a more proactive service strategy. It also offers a savings on fuel costs with less truck rolls. With centralized remote monitoring, utilities are simply able to do more and cover larger network areas with their existing workforce.
Franklin Electric offers an array of critical asset monitoring solutions. Our solutions help prevent unnecessary capital expenditures, minimize maintenance costs, and help utilities avoid long wait times during periods where asset procurement cycles require 12-18+ months from order to deployment.
Circuit Breaker Monitoring
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.
The INCON® 1250-LTC Programmable Load Tap Changer (LTC) Position Monitor relays critical position information between a distribution transformer LTC and the LTC controller, enabling utilities to run their transformers as efficiently as possible.