Most people are familiar with Infrared Thermography using light waves to detect heat, but infrared waves are directional and do not pass directly through solid objects, making shielding possible of some electrical problems often resulting in false readings. The Ultrasonic probe is used as part of our Electrical Preventative Maintenance Program to identify any unusual electrical noise such as arcing, tracking and corona within the equipment.
Arcing, tracking and corona all produce ionization, which disturbs the surrounding air molecules. An Ultrasonic probe detects high frequency sounds produced by these emissions and translates them down into the audible ranges. The specific sound quality of each type of emission is heard in headphones while the intensity of the signal is observed on a display panel. These sounds may be recorded and analyzed through highly specialized ultrasound software for a more accurate diagnosis. Normally, electrical equipment should be silent, although some equipment such as transformers may produce a constant hum, or some steady mechanical noises. These should not be confused with the erratic, sizzling frying, uneven and popping sound of an electrical discharge.
As part of a comprehensive Electrical Preventative Maintenance Program or a stand-alone service, Ultrasound Inspections may be performed on both open access and enclosed electrical equipment at all voltages (low, medium, and high). When electrical equipment such as switchgear, transformers, insulators or disconnects and splices fail, the results can be catastrophic. This is just as true in industrial plants as it is in the power transmission and distribution side. Electrical discharges such as arcing, tracking and corona have the potential to create equipment failure and costly downtime. In enclosed equipment, if left undetected, these conditions can become a source of an arc flash incident, which can result in severe injury or death.
Ultrasonic equipment is also utilized to detect early signs of failure in mechanical systems such as gearboxes, motors, bearings, and compressed air leaks. Ultrasonic Sensor Technology helps to determine conditions of critical equipment such as proper lubrication, early signs of wear, and potential failure. The Ultrasound Technology can be implemented by itself or in conjunction with existing systems such as infrared and vibration analysis for better condition-based monitoring results.
Contact us today to see how we can help you keep your power systems running at peak performance.