Commonly Asked Questions and Answers:
Do electrical panels have to be removed to perform an infrared inspection?
Answer: Yes, panels must be removed, and the facility should, if possible, be Operating at normal conditions to adequately determine if there are any “hot spots” that need investigation.
Can an infrared thermography inspection be performed without turning off the power?
Answer: Yes, in fact the Power must be on and as noted the facility should be operating on normal operating conditions.
How do I know if the infrared thermographer is trained and experienced?
Answer: A qualified thermographer will only be accepted by the Insurance providers if they are ITC certified.
Infrared Training center certified to Level I to perform the thermographic inspection and Level II to write the report. The Thermographer will receive a certification number upon completion of the training and it must be listed on their report.
What type of equipment is used to perform an infrared inspection?
Answer: There are various approved Infrared Cameras on the market however they must be accepted by the Insurance Provider which publishes a list of acceptable cameras. PowerSafe uses FLIR E75 and FLIR E95.
Is a licensed electrical contractor required to perform the inspection?
Answer: A Licensed electrical contractor / journeyman electrician is required to remove the covers off the panels as the IR Scanning is performed on LIVE electrical equipment.
Is there any special PPE Personal Protective Equipment Required?
Answer: As the entire work is performed on LIVE electrical equipment there is a requirement for the individual performing the work to wear the appropriate Arc Resistant Safety Equipment for the apparatus they are working on. This is a prime reason for the requirement for a qualified electrical contractor to perform this work.
How often should an electrical infrared inspection be performed?
Answer: IR Scanning should be performed annually to build the trend analysis for predictive maintenance of your electrical system. By reviewing the IR Scan annually, degradation will become evident and corrective action can be performed before a critical failure.
Equipment Repairs and Upgrades
As facilities age and expand the need to upgrade or replace equipment becomes a necessity. With our experience and alignment with original equipment manufactures, we’re able to provide a unique capability to supply turn-key solutions including Consultation, Specification, and Design of New Equipment, Installation, Testing / Commissioning, and Project Management.
Including protective relays, HV, MV and LV circuit breakers, isolation switches, motor control, transformers as well as bus bar and ancillary devices.
Protective relay upgrades
Many older electro-mechanical relays and trip devices can fail to trip. Upgrading these relays with solid-state trip devices and microprocessor-based relays from Schweitzer, GE Multilin, Basler, etc., can add life to your existing equipment.
Power circuit breaker upgrades
Mini and bulk oil breakers, and earlier vacuum technology MV and HV breakers are beyond their expected life cycle. We can engineer, design, and supply equipment that will fit into existing equipment, or add to an existing lineup.
Components wear out and fail on isolation switches. Parts may be obsolete and many manufacturers no longer exist. We can provide and install new isolation switches into existing MV switchgear.
Transformers age and insulation deteriorates over time. We can supply and install oil filled and dry core transformers that fit into existing spaces.
Complete field or shop service
Complete rebuilds of 600V air circuit breakers. Services include cleaning, repairs as required, re-plating of current carrying components and upgrading with an AC-Pro (www.utilityrelay.com) trip unit.
SF6 Filling and Recovery
Gas insulated switchgear utilizes an insulating gas between each phase and ground to minimize the overall physical size of the installed equipment. The maintenance and inspection procedures share many of the same attributes as HV SF6 circuit breakers. The specific manufacture procedures should be adhered to for each GIS installation. PowerSafe can assist manufactures who do not have local support to perform gas handling, vacuum processing, pre-energization tests and commissioning, and support warranty and maintenance activities.
SF6 services include
- Onsite SF6 testing (for purity, moisture content, and by-products).
- Gas filling for new equipment
- Gas recovery, vacuum and refilling of SF6 gas, for maintenance and decommissioning
Our teams are experienced with HV and MV equipment from all major manufacturers, including Alstom, Siemens, ABB, Meppi, Hico, and Mitsubishi
Protection Relay Testing
PowerSafe provides field technicians and engineers to provide testing, commissioning and maintenance services for protective relay devices, auxiliary control equipment and SCADA systems for all major manufactures. The protection and control systems in use today range from electro-mechanical relays to modern microprocessor relays, the devices and systems serve an important role no matter the industry to be able to correctly sense and isolate faults, protecting life and equipment. PowerSafe works in commercial facilities, industrial plants and utility substations; we provide the following list of services.
- Test and calibrate electro-mechanical, solid state and microprocessor based relays
- Relay testing for line, bus, feeder, generator, motor, sync-check, breaker control and transformer protection
- Verify construction and wiring is complete to design standards
- Perform inspection and testing for regulatory purposes such as NERC
- End-to-end testing for communication assisted relay schemes
- Set-up and testing of new protection, control and SCADA systems
- Test instrument transformers such as CTs and VTs
- Perform primary or secondary current and voltage injection tests to verify correct connection of auxiliary circuits and components
Battery Bank Testing
Battery banks require preventive maintenance (PM) on a periodic basis to optimize their performance and life, and also to comply with manufacture warranties and other regulatory requirements. PowerSafe provides this service utilizing specialized battery testing tools and established safety procedures to perform the inspections that determine the condition of standby battery systems.
Load testing is a performance test that determines the health of a battery bank by applying a resistive load to discharge the battery banks stored energy. The rate of discharge is measured and compared to the manufactures specifications to determine if the battery bank performs as expected. PowerSafe performs load tests based on battery manufacture and IEEE guidelines, this test will help to identify faulty or weak battery cells that are candidates for replacement before they compromise the entire battery bank.
Battery chargers play a key role in ensuring batteries stay charged and provide a long service life. PowerSafe configures, tests and commissions battery chargers to owner and manufacture requirements, as well as performing preventive maintenance on the equipment.
Commissioning testing verifies factory specification proper operation
- Cell float voltage
- Internal DC cell resistance
- Intercell connection resistance
- Load testing for verify battery capacity
Power Cable Testing
PowerSafe performs cable inspections and testing to IEEE and NETA standards on cable systems rated up to 36kV. Due to the variety of cable types in use it’s important for testing organizations to be aware of the different standards and guides and to inform and educate end users. The type of cable system being tested, its age and intended objective of testing (new acceptance test, diagnosis of insulation defect, etc.) will determine the strategy implemented and specific test or tests selected. PowerSafe is happy to discuss your project and provide our services.
Cable testing may also include:
- DC withstand testing
- AC VLF testing
- Tan Delta testing
- Fault locating
- Time-domain reflectometry
- Cable locating
Ground System Testing
To ensure the proper functioning of ground sensitive equipment as well as for the safety of workers and the public, PowerSafe offers comprehensive ground system testing to ensure the safety of workers and the public. PowerSafe uses state of the are testing equipment to test and validate the grounding of your power system.
Ground testing services
- Fall of Potential tests
- Step and Touch calculations and reports on 15kV and 25kV systems
- Field Soil Resistivity (Ground Resistance) testing using
- Werner four-electrode method
- Earth continuity testing
- Earth Potential Rise (EPR) calculations and reports on 15kV and 25kV systems
Transformer servicing is a preventive maintenance practice that can diagnose problems before they become major issues and can reduce the instance of catastrophic failure. Condition based monitoring and regular servicing can reduce or eliminate down time.
Power transformer maintenance, testing and repair services include:
- Protective device testing, repair and replacement
- HV insulation power factor and capacitance testing (Doble testing)
- Sweep Frequency Response Analysis (Doble SFRA testing)
- Ratio testing (TTR)
- Winding and insulation testing
- Insulation Resistance testing
- Oil transformer leak detection and re-gasketing repair
- Oil transformer radiator supply, repairs and replacements
- Transformer Assembly
- Oil transformer bushing supply, replacement and repairs
- On-line and off-line tap changer overhauls and repairs
- Factory and field witness testing
- Supply replacement and install of oil and dry core transformers
- Oil sampling, analysis and result interpretations
Power System Commissioning and Start up
PowerSafe performs independent third-party commissioning and acceptance testing on electrical equipment installations including MV Substations, LV distribution, Transformers (Dry and Liquid Filled).
Testing and Commissioning ensures that the equipment is supplied and installed consistent with specifications and confirms the equipment is in proper reliable condition for operation.
Medium Voltage (MV) 2.4kV to 35kV
Low Voltage (LV) less than 750V.
Commissioning and acceptance testing activities include: (but are not limited to)
- Indoor and outdoor testing
- Circuit breakers
- Current transformers and voltage transformers
- Power Transformers
- HV and LV switchboards
- Protective Relays programming and secondary injection
- Battery banks
- Infrared scanning
- Soil Resistivity tests
- Ground grid testing by fall of potential method
- Step and Touch calculation
- Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT),
- Site Acceptance Testing (SAT) services,
PowerSafe provides commissioning services to NETA standards with detailed reports provided.
Infrared Thermography (IR Scanning)
Infrared Scanning is a predictive maintenance tool for detecting heat and potential problems in operational equipment. PowerSafe has Level I and II Infrared Training Center (ITC) Certified Thermographers utilizing state of the art FLIR Infrared technology to perform IR Scanning services on your plant and equipment. IR Scanning allows us to look for hot spots on electrical systems indicating initial signs of danger. By having PowerSafe perform IR Scanning our clients can significantly reduce risk of injury and increase safety for their facility electrical system. PowerSafe is also accepted by the Insurance Industry as a key service provider.
- Electrical Switchboard Inspections
- High Voltage Switchyard and Power Line Inspections
- HV/LV Power Transformer Inspections
- Busbar Ducting Inspections
- Comprehensive reports (Level II for Insurance requirements)
The PowerSafe Advantage
- Thermography Professionals Certified by FLIR/ITC to Level I and II
- Licensed and Authorized Electrical Contractor in British Columbia
- Documented Electrical Safety Program
- Infrared Inspection Safe Work Practice Utilizing Arc Flash and Shock Protection