Power industry maintenance is essential to keep things running smoothly and prevent costly outages. People in the construction industry and elsewhere increasingly use electrical system predictive maintenance to become aware of issues before they cause major disruptions. Here are some of the main reasons why that approach is so vital.
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Electrical system outages can add to project timelines, increase overall costs and cause reputational damage. However, predictive maintenance lets people steer clear of those unwanted consequences.
Some power industry maintenance options include fluid testing for liquid-filled transformers and thermographic surveys with infrared scanners. A closer examination of fluid could reveal unexpected debris or contamination, plus provide chemical analyses.
Moreover, an infrared scanner can pinpoint electrical system issues that could cause fires if left unaddressed. Electrical connections with elevated resistance due to corrosion or excessive dirt are more likely to generate abnormally high heat levels. A thermographic inspection can find and target those issues.
The professionals who carry out this kind of power industry maintenance will also provide quality reports to detail their findings. Customers can see which faults require immediate corrective action and which are less severe. Some reports also suggest the specific ways people should resolve the identified issues.
Some best practices for people relying on propane tanks for home heating are to check the system throughout the year and get professional inspections annually. Doing so can help people manage the costs associated with repairs. Business decision-makers can take a similar approach with electrical system predictive maintenance.
Reactive maintenance is another option that’s still used all too frequently. It involves people only prioritizing upkeep once things go wrong. However, by the time that happens, the system or piece of equipment may have many more problems besides the one that suddenly became obvious.
That makes it more likely that the client who scheduled the emergency service call will pay much more than initially anticipated to get the issues fixed.
One of the most valuable things about predictive maintenance is that it can flag issues between professional inspections. Sensors gather data about what constitutes normal performance or behavior for a piece of equipment.
It’s also why it’s so important to have safety tests done, such as the EICR London test, to make sure everything is safe electrical wise.
Algorithms can recognize changes in operating temperature, vibration or other aspects that could indicate something’s wrong.
Electrical system predictive maintenance algorithms could alert someone within minutes of an unusual operating condition. They can then be much more proactive in investigating the matter. That ability to get information in near real-time virtually guarantees people won’t be surprised by unmanageably high costs due to neglected maintenance.
Maintaining a power system thoroughly and properly is critical to ensuring people stay safe at work and avoid harmful or fatal accidents.
Consider the 2021 case of a fire-pump breakdown and short-circuiting transformer associated with an Equinor offshore rig in the North Sea. These shortcomings caused smoke and flames in the affected areas, although no personnel was hurt.
Regulators investigated the matter and found several likely triggers for the issue. They also said that the primary cause for the transformer failure was an internal fault with the high-voltage winding.
Another finding was that company leaders knew of a transformer weakness but opted not to replace the equipment. Among the orders issued to Equinor after the investigation was that the company improve its maintenance programs.
The oil and gas industry is similar to construction because it contains many inherent dangers. Electrical systems raise those risks due to active current.
People need specialized training to keep themselves as safe as possible and follow best practices. However, workers can still do all the right things and still have accidents. That’s arguably more likely to happen if the companies employing them do not have adequate electrical system predictive maintenance.
Think of those smart power industry maintenance algorithms as a second pair of eyes that are even more effective than human sight. They’re not foolproof but can often detect issues long before people notice them.
These three areas represent some of the many reasons why people in construction and other industries that rely heavily on electrical equipment often decide there’s no better time to start monitoring things more closely with predictive maintenance.
Electrical system predictive maintenance plans can start small and gradually expand as business leaders see the associated payoffs. Scaling things up carefully can help people feel more motivated and justified in making lasting changes that strengthen maintenance programs.
Besides keeping equipment running safely without faults, a power industry maintenance strategy with predictive measures can help people save money and stay within their yearly budgets.