OMICRON outlines the importance of testing your protection systems to protect your bottom line.
Within industrial enterprises, reliable power supply is of utmost importance as production outages can heavily impact the planned volume of production. When production machines come to a halt the utilised rate goes down, supply contracts may be endangered and the workforce is involuntarily rendered useless, which is why such interruptions can quickly cause substantial financial losses.
If faults occur on the power grid level, within the company’s distribution system or even in its own power generation plants, the protection system in place needs to clear them immediately to avoid the worst-case scenario: permanent damage to business-critical assets. In order to ensure reliable operation, protection devices must not only be perfectly adjusted but also regularly maintained to function reliably.
Although power systems of industrial enterprises are just a fraction of nationwide power grids operated by big utilities, the same range of protection assets is necessary for these systems to fulfil their purpose on several voltage levels. Furthermore, the assets in operation often include devices from different generations and with different technologies. Nonetheless, all of them need to be tested during commissioning, during regular maintenance and in the event of malfunctions.
Besides verifying the correct functionality of the individual assets, it also has to be ensured that they are working together in perfect unison. Testing on a system level, with a focus on the correct behaviour, allows identification of hidden errors in the settings of individual assets, the logic or even the design of the protection system itself, which in turn helps to eliminate nuisance tripping and can confirm all previous tests.
Under the conditions industrial enterprises are facing, it is much more convenient and efficient – and let’s not forget, more economical – for both the companies or their service providers to work with just a few or even a single multifunctional test set.
Apart from the test equipment, an important part which is often overlooked is the documentation of the test results and their proper handling. Even in 2023, results are still documented on paper or with inefficient tools which weren’t built for these tasks. This is detrimental towards quality and leaves the potential of continuous monitoring, like predictability, and an optimised workflow untapped.
To serve these needs, OMICRON offers a highly flexible solution for protection relay testing and more, which not only covers a wide range of testing applications, including circuit breaker tests, measuring, recording and analysis functionalities, but also allows for fully automated testing.
Through a modular approach, consisting of powerful CMC test sets and comprehensive software options, it can easily be configured to various needs, while offering a future-proof combination of settings- and system-based testing with Test Universe and RelaySimTest. With reductions in testing time of up to 80%, testing efficiency can be significantly increased while simultaneously improving the test quality due to the standardised and automated test procedures.
To combine testing strategies and maintenance planning, this solution can be perfectly integrated with the maintenance data management tool ADMO. It supports you in ensuring the correct functionality of the assets tested, with the highest efficiency and test quality, which leads to a quick amortisation of the initial investment.