Developing an electrical maintenance program to suit your business needs can be a daunting task. If your approach has been to set and forget, then you may be surprised to find the potential an electrical fault has at disrupting normal operation of your business. This article is designed to outline some of the most modern techniques of maintaining an electrical installation to ensure the integrity of your assets is maintained and disruptions to your business are kept to a minimum.
If you fail to schedule time for maintenance, your equipment will schedule it for you. Electrical faults can be catastrophic to the safety of your workers and the normal operation of your business. Electrical faults have the potential to exacerbate very quickly resulting in equipment damage, fire, and interruption of electrical supply. Therefore, it is imperative you have a protocol focused on the early detection of electrical faults, so that you can integrate rectification works at an appropriate time, minimizing the impact on production and operation of your business.
Thermography is a great tool when it comes to the early detection of electrical faults. This protocol uses a thermal imaging camera to accurately determine the operating temperature of your electrical equipment. When an electrical installation is sound, minimal heating will be present in your equipment, however, when abnormalities invisible to the naked eye are present, heat is generated and can be detected during the early developmental stages of an electrical fault. Depending on the severity of the fault, this early detection presents the perfect opportunity to rectify a fault before any damage to the installation or equipment occurs at a time that is suitable to your business. Another great component of this protocol is the fact that is does not interrupt supply to your business but also gives an accurate analysis of the condition of your assets. Thermography should be scheduled during normal operating hours to ensure the equipment is under normal load conditions.
Energized maintenance is another tool that can be utilized during normal operating hours of your business. This protocol requires equipment to be under normal load conditions just as thermography and can be completed at the same time. Energized maintenance is composed of live electrical testing, analyzing the voltage parameters, current draw and harmonics present in your electrical system. When integrated with thermography, an accurate analysis can be made as to the type of fault that is present. Problems may include faulty equipment, poor connections or excessive harmonics and can be isolated to ensure the correct rectification of the fault is performed. You do not want to replace an expensive piece of equipment if it is not necessary because the fault was misdiagnosed.
To further supplement thermography and energized testing, it is also recommended you schedule outages at intervals specific to your type of installation. Generally, the electrical load of your system will determine the frequency of de-energized maintenance required. Some installations will require yearly protocols and others may only require once every three years. The de-energized component of electrical maintenance gives you an opportunity to overhaul any equipment that may be showing signs of deterioration that cannot be detected by thermography and electrical testing alone. When the power is isolated equipment can be thoroughly inspected, cleaned, and tested. This also takes care of any mechanical components of your electrical installation that requires lubrication for moving parts etc.
Integrating these three protocols into your electrical maintenance program will help establish a good baseline of your electrical equipment, giving you an accurate assessment of its condition and any repairs that may be required prior to the point of failure. Eccentricity has highly trained technicians in all three components of this maintenance protocol and can provide ‘peace of mind’ to your business with the knowledge you have a safe and sound electrical system free of unplanned interruptions. Get in contact with our team today.