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Detect Electrical Discharge Defects with Ultrasound

By Allan Rienstra
ultrasound equipment

Electrical discharge is more common than we’d like to believe; even in new installations. Detecting these defects poses a serious challenge, particularly at an early stage when there is still time to initiate corrective actions. Vigilant technologies help reduce the risk of arc flash explosion while enhancing the overall reliability of electrical assets.
While there is no one perfect inspection technique or technology which can, on its own, detect and localize every defect, ultrasound performs best. Especially when the goal is to find the defect safely and early. Ultrasound’s suitability is characterized by its versatility, ease of use, practicality, detection accuracy, measurement repeatability, and diagnostic ability.

Any discussion about risk must include health and safety. But it should not ignore asset reliability. One certainty is that safety and reliability risks are both linked to unscheduled downtime, costly legal exercises, and ultimately, lost profit. A winning solution identifies safety and reliability as one and the same and marginalizes their impact to the other three.
Ultrasound presents a win/win solution. It reduces the risk of arc flash exposure while ensuring equipment reliability. It does this by detecting defects which, when left to deteriorate, could lead to an arc flash event. This doesn’t suggest that ultrasound removes the need for personal protective equipment and other safety measures. But I’m yet to meet an arc flash suit which can detect an arc flash at its inception. If an arc flash suit is the last line of defense, then ultrasound is the first.

Read full article in the SPECIAL SUBSTATION EDITION.

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