The main cause of fires in medium and low voltage installations are faulty electrical connections.
Poor connections due to improper tightening, vibration or damaged contact surface due to corrosion or excessive pressure can lead to deterioration of cable, bus and switch connections over time.
This deterioration can be accelerated by increasing the transient resistance of the electrical contact, which further leads to an increase in temperature.
HigherTemperature further aggravates the contact surfaces, which in turn increases its transient resistance.
The result is heat dissipation and eventually a complete connection failure. There
may be a fire, electric shock or explosion, which
could result in damage to the switchgear or even injury to the operator.
Some insurance companies require annual inspections
as to reduce this risk. The National Fire Protection Administration,
NFPA70B, also recommends annual thermal imaging inspections.
In most cases, early detection of abnormal bus temperature rises will prevent electrical failures and fire. In fact, today, periodic thermographic examinations of MV and LV connections have become a common practice for reducing the risk of faulty connections. However, these periodic inspections may be complicated due to:
• Restricted access to voltage distribution rooms (safety regulations)
• Operator safety (opening the door to check connections)
• Restricted access / visibility of contacts (bus example) Periodic thermographic inspection is also expensive and does not always warn early enough when rapid deterioration occurs.
Fault statistics that most often lead to electrical failure / fire:
Critical connections can be equipped with wireless temperature sensors that transmit continuously. Optional environmental sensors can also monitor environmental conditions.
The algorithm calculates:
- Temperature differences between phases crossing the threshold
- Absolute temperatures exceeding the threshold with status indicators
This eliminates the need for periodic thermography, reduces monitoring costs and improves network performance. Other benefits include:
- Detection of heat escape that occurs between annual tests
- Increased mean time between main power plant failures
- Automatic alarm and notification
- Long-term trend in detecting slow deterioration
- Optional environmental data for more accurate analyzes
How can you help prevent electric fires and ensure the protection of equipment and people?
- Monitor the temperature using wireless sensors installed on the bus via a central data hub.
- Avoid the cost of periodic and manual third-party infrared scan scans.
- Early alarm in threshold control software as early detection of conditions that can cause a fire.
- Reduce total cost of ownership by 60% over the entire life cycle compared to traditional methods.
- With optional expert advisor services, optimize maintenance through simplified maintenance planning and scheduling.
Easergy TH110 thermal sensor is:
- It doesn’t need a battery
- Easy to install
- In factory
- It can also be installed on site
The whole procedure is explained in the video:
The Easergy CL110 is a wireless sensor that allows continuous monitoring of the condition of the housing environment (without voltage), such as a distribution cabinet. Measurements include contact surface temperature and relative humidity.