NYPA using infrared tech on Niagara Power Project transformers

USA: U.S. utility the New York Power Authority (NYPA) is now using a new online infrared camera system at its largest power plant, the Niagara Power Project, to detect any potential situations of concern with operations and to assess how data readings for infrared cameras are affected by weather.

For this project, the infrared camera, which identifies hot spots and indicates any problems, was installed in a fixed position to monitor a transformer, reports ELP.

The Electric Power and Research Institute (EPRI) is collecting and interpreting the project data.

An earlier phase of the project involved installing an infrared camera on a transformer at NYPA’s Harlem River power substation. As a result of that project, EPRI developed a laboratory system for developing the algorithms and installed several field demonstration systems that collect infrared measurements of substation equipment, local weather data and equipment temperature. The information is sent over a wireless network to EPRI’s Charlotte laboratory where the data is analyzed to confirm that the infrared camera is accurately reading transformer conditions.

The aim of this next phase in the project is to further research and develop algorithms that can correct, to the degree possible, thermal measurement accuracy and help alert users to conditions in station equipment before they result in a failure.

Information from the camera is also being fed into NYPA’s recently announced transformer asset health system where it is combined with data from other sensors and put into an algorithm to predict the overall health of the transformer.

If this project is successful, NYPA plans to increase the use of infrared cameras on its other transformers.

Source: Electric Light & Power