Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Program: Overhead Equipment Maintenance
Speaker:   John Lauletta, CEO, Exacter Corporation, Columbus, Ohio


Meeting Abstract:

Overhead System Condition Assessment and Maintenance: Techniques and Benefits

As overhead electric equipment ages it is subject to damaged by lightning, environmental pollution, switching surges, freeze/thaw cycles, and other issues of age related wear-and-tear.  The result of this damage is momentary and sustained outages, reduced circuit reliability, increased Customer Minutes of Interruption (CMI) and a degradation of standard reliability indices such as SAIFI and SAIDI.

This presentation will review the root causes of equipment damage, the symptoms that result from weakened equipment, the opportunity to improve overall overhead distribution reliability, case studies to demonstrate the efficacy of predictive-based overhead system hardening, and the methodologies to develop conditions-based predictive maintenance programs.  The review will include high-voltage laboratory test methods and results that demonstrate the failure syndromes of weakened overhead equipment.

Finally, the presentation will cover the integration and use of data in utility data systems to support project strategies and maintenance planning.  Examples of GIS and satellite imagery for resource planning will be included.

Meeting Notes:

Exacter makes equipment that senses RF emissions from power line equipment, separates background emissions, and uses resulting signal to identify problem areas in the power line connections. Examples are cracked or worn insulators and vegetation interferences which will eventually fail causing a power outage. Exacter will also do surveys under contract. Exacter has developed the survey equipment, methods, and signatures of problem areas. 

Initially, the survey method was to drive through an area, using a GPS system to track coordinates, and record RF emissions. More recently, they have used helicopters to scan an area. Presently they are developing technology to detect underground problems.

A Novel Survey Approach for Power System Condition Monitoring (pdf, 528 KB)

Lab Methods for Power System Condition Monitoring (pdf, 541 KB)