The difference between a polaroid snapshot and a 2-hour film is a matter of data. With a picture you have a moment-in-time look at a scene, with a movie you have countless scenes in various contexts with multiple interpretations. We’re more entertained by a movie because we’re more informed about what’s happening, and we can predict what might happen next in the plot.
When it comes to your business, wouldn’t you rather have a movie worth of data to make your decisions and maintain your systems?
The current system for monitoring and maintaining electrical substations gives us an annual or semi-annual snapshot.
A utility worker will test your transformer by using thermographic imaging (infrared) as part of your yearly maintenance check. They are looking for hotspots that show up in the equipment or in the seams between panels. These let you know the electrical energy is no longer being properly distributed due to equipment degradation.
Replace the Standard Snapshot with Constant Monitoring
Annual or semi-annual manual thermal imaging is standard maintenance. However, a brief glance at news stories covering transformer explosions, near-death experiences for electrical utility workers, brownouts and blackouts, and devastating insurance/liability costs for companies that are found at fault for these issues, all show us that the standard is no longer cutting it.
This is because a snapshot can only show us the current state of your equipment. Moreover, this is a moment-in-time for a system that can fluctuate within a matter of minutes. Take the example of an electrical utility worker who conducted a thermal imaging test for a company, found there were no issues or hotspots in that moment, and ten minutes later the transformer exploded, turning most of the substation into a fireball.
Not only is the data deficiency causing safety risks, it is also restricting companies to a reactive, rather than proactive, mode of action.
If your annual check-up shows an issue, you can pay to fix it or upgrade your equipment. But the problem is already there and every day that passes between making those improvements is a risk for your workers (safety), the community (power loss), and your bottom line (high liability costs, plus damage to your public reputation).
In a world of big data and analytics, why are we continuing to use a reactive model rather than instilling proactive solutions?
The issue isn’t that we lack the technology, it’s about being ignorant of the issue at hand. We need to realize that the standard will no longer be viable for the future. It’s time to seek out solutions to close the data gap and move from snapshot analysis to continual, constant monitoring and maintenance.
At Delta Thermal, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing.
We are delivering a completely autonomous system that provides you with continuous real-time data, accessed via the cloud, to supplant the utility worker with the handheld camera.
You don’t even have to hook up the electricity for this monitoring solution; we use solar power integrated into the system and use a wireless link to port the data out into the public cloud where it’s available to you through services like AWS, Azure, and others.
All you have to do is be able to use your computer or mobile device to access a website and look at what’s going on with your electrical substation. The reports are there in rich detail for you to interact with or to simply download and use as part of our daily work and decision making.
This is what it looks like to fill the data gap and move from a snapshot picture to a live feed that you can tune into at any time.
The technology that is wrapped up into our solution on your site provides information to you very easily and quickly on a daily basis.
Short-term, this provides data that allows you to:
- Ensure the safety of the public and your employees
- Improve the reliability of your substation
- Reduce or eliminate customer outages
- Reduce costs for unplanned maintenance or insurance/liability
Long-term, this kind of continual data gives you the means to plan and budget for asset and equipment upgrades. You will be able to get predictive when it comes to equipment degradation and the potential of a power outage or transformer failure.
Want to learn more about what we have planned for solving the data deficit?