Developing an IEEE Continuous Thermal Monitoring Standard

Engineer digitally monitoring the health of the electrical assets

Exploring Continuous Thermal Monitoring for Electrical Connections and Components

In an increasingly arc-flash conscious world, personnel exposing personnel to energized equipment is something companies are trying to avoid as it increases costs and raises concerns for worker safety. So, the shift from labor-intensive maintenance and inspection practices to safer, more efficient, less costly monitoring with options for automated data collection is increasingly valuable.

During prolonged operation, electrical connections, splices, and cable terminations are subject to thermal expansion and contraction that could loosen connections. Vibration and corrosion will also impact their condition and subsequently their operating temperatures. Poor electrical terminations will increase heat generation and higher operating temperatures. Deteriorating terminations left unchecked may overheat and fail. The result can be equipment failure, downtime, and higher risks for personnel safety.    

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This article also explores a specific corporation’s efforts to elevate reliability of electrical distribution throughout their operations by applying CTM. This not only includes manufacturing and mill operations but considers their end-product distribution and other business operations. (When this article was presented at the IEEE/IAS Pulp and Paper Industry Conference in June 2022, only independent drafts of proposed sections and annexes of the Guide had started. There was no draft of the proposed Standard.)

"Capturing a visual image of electrical connections and components along with a thermal image is a customary practice to help recognize more clearly where a point or region of concern exists."

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