As electrical systems in commercial office buildings and facilities age, the probability for system failures and safety issues increase exponentially – resulting in costly disruptions. Now Schneider Electric has created a new thermal-environmental smart building sensor, Access Connect which allows facility managers to monitor the health of a building’s electrical equipment.
The new sensors, which can directly integrate with existing low and medium voltage substations, reduce periodic checking and maintenance costs and maximize the lifespan of equipment by detecting faults and electrical tripping.
The company says new technology is critical for facilities managers across all industries who need a predictive and efficient electrical maintenance tool.
“Power distribution systems can be too complex for some facility staff to understand how each piece of equipment is working in conjunction with its counterparts at any given time. Therefore, Asset Connect acts as a 24/7 monitor that can let facility managers know what is working and what is not. This information will help facility managers plan and make decisions about greater modernization, retrofills and replacements further down the line as equipment ages,” said Gabriel Arce, Consulting & Modernization Offer manager of Field Services at Schneider Electric.
Remote thermal sensor monitoring extends equipment life
Integrating Asset Connect into a facility’s electrical system previously undetected electrical and equipment issues become instantly apparent enabling staff to address problems reducing the likelihood of failure over time.
By connecting a facility’s electrical infrastructure through Asset Connect, managers gain 24/7 remote access to electrical systems, the ability to address complicated contacts and receive notifications about issues that were previously difficult to detect due to limited access and visibility.
The sensor enables facility staff to gain deep data-driven insights of the entire electrical distribution system ranging from basic alarm level of a local substation monitoring device (PLC + HMI) to more advanced insights, such as thermal and humidity data for local SCADA processing.
The solution can be integrated with no modification of cables and connections and installed Asset Connect sensors can monitor the system and extend the life of existing equipment by 15 to 20 years through continuous monitoring.
The continuous thermal monitoring of electrical systems has been a proven method of detecting loose connections early, and humidity monitoring helps identify ventilation failure that can lead to moisture, ozone and partial discharge in the substation.
Both are essential to the increased longevity of electrical and other equipment.