Electrical Power & Protection


Early detection of overheating of wire connections or cables

May 2023 Electrical Power & Protection


Kamogelo Makwana, AAF offer manager - PPACB & PPCCB, Power Products Division, Schneider Electric.

Schneider Electric has unveiled PowerLogic HeatTag, an innovative smart sensor for early detection of overheating of wire connections or cables, that analyses switchboard gas and particles, and provides alerts before smoke or insulator browning can occur. It reduces the risk of electrical fires and unplanned electrical downtime by measuring temperature at critical connection points in MV and LV electrical equipment and off-gassing of electrical wiring.

Often, cable connections start to deteriorate due to improper tightening torque or constant vibrations over time. Deterioration can also occur because of damaged surfaces, due to corrosion, excessive pressure or friction. These conditions can be exaggerated by frequent temperature cycling. Fluctuations between cold nights and hot days, or low and high current, cause increased and decreased connection tightness. This, in turn, contributes to loosening.

In any of the conditions noted above a critical sequence of events can begin, which sees increasing electrical contact resistance inducing a rise in temperature that accelerates the damage. The result is a thermal runaway that leads to overheating wire connections and/or overheating cables.

Above 200°C, the insulation material begins to change colour. At approximately 300°C this transforms into cable smoke, melted insulation material, or even fire. These conditions can be detected with a fire or smoke detector; however, at that point, the damage has already occurred in the electrical switchboard. PowerLogic HeatTag analyses gas and particles to provide early warning alarms to operators, ensuring that faulty cabling is replaced before the abovementioned series of events occur.


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