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Proceedings Paper

Challenges in sensor development for the electric utility industry
Author(s): Barry H. Ward
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Paper Abstract

The electric utility industry is reducing operating costs in order to prepare for deregulation. The reduction in operating cost has meant a reduction in manpower. The ability to utilize remaining maintenance staff more effectively and to stay competitive in a deregulated environment has therefore become critical. In recent years, the industry has moved away from routine or periodic maintenance to predictive or condition based maintenance. This requires the assessment of equipment condition by frequent testing and inspection; a requirement that is incompatible with cost reduction. To overcome this dilemma, industry trends are toward condition monitoring, whereby the health of apparatus is monitored continuously. This requires the installation of sensors hr transducers on power equipment and the data taken forwarded to an intelligent device for further processing. These devices then analyze the data and make evaluations based on parameter levels or trends, in an attempt to predict possible deterioration. This continuous monitoring allows the electric utility to schedule maintenance on an as needed basis. The industry has been faced with many challenges in sensor design. The measurement of physical, chemical and electrical parameters under extreme conditions of electric fields, magnetic fields, temperature, corrosion, etc. is extensive. This paper will give an overview of these challenges and the solutions adopted for apparatus such as power transformers, circuit breakers, boilers, cables, batteries, and rotating machinery.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 January 1999
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3538, Process Monitoring with Optical Fibers and Harsh Environment Sensors, (11 January 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.335738
Show Author Affiliations
Barry H. Ward, Electric Power Research Institute (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3538:
Process Monitoring with Optical Fibers and Harsh Environment Sensors
Michael A. Marcus; Michael A. Marcus; Anbo Wang, Editor(s)

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