Written by Dipl.-Phys. Claas Rittinghaus, Product Marketing Surge Protection, Business Unit Trabtech, Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG, Blomberg, Germany
Condition Monitoring with ImpulseCheck
Surge protective devices are safety-related components and, as such, an essential part of process plants. Information about the status and performance of these components as well as on the status of the plant itself play an important role in continuous monitoring and predictive maintenance. ImpulseCheck acquires all this information – and also enables it to be utilized in the Internet of Things.
The green “OK” notification on a typical status indicator of an SPD (Surge Protective Device), displayed on the device itself or read out by means of a remote indication contact, is not indicative of the current status of the arrester. Neither does it provide any information on the specific stress caused by surge currents and transient overvoltages since the installation of the SPD. Taking a look at the indicator during the maintenance or periodic inspection of a lightning protection system thus isn’t very meaningful. The surge protective system might fail just the next day – or in a few years’ time.
This is where ImpulseCheck, Phoenix Contact’s new system, comes into play. Surge currents and transient overvoltages discharged and limited by the SPD are detected in real time, and can then be analyzed in ImpulseAnalytics – a Proficloud application. In addition to comprehensive tools for the evaluation of the measured data, which are available to the user, the state of health (SoH) for each mode of protection is calculated for Phoenix Contact SPDs. The state of health is the current state of the arrester. As opposed to former, purely reactive replacements of surge protective equipment based on the green/red status indicator, this status information allows for the implementation of predictive maintenance plans. The efficiency of maintenance work can thus be improved, money can be saved, and system availability better protected.