Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration


Generator set event monitoring

April 2002 Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

The need to monitor events in the power generation environment is critical for maintenance and predictive diagnostics where accurate and high-speed discrimination between faults in a sequence of events can lead to fast recovery and repair.

Generating sets are generally the back-up supply or supplementary supply, which makes it crucial that they are reliable and that outages are resolved quickly. However, only a handful of manufacturers have managed to develop appropriate technology for the recording of these high-speed events to within the resolution generally required for generating sets. This can be a costly exercise to implement however the cost of downtime due to power outages most often outweighs the implementation costs in the short term.

A typical application for OMNILOG is the breaker monitoring on a generating set. In a shunt trip control system, series and parallel chains of contact require monitoring. Using Omniflex interface boards OMNILOG accomplishes this task with ease and every contact in the system can be monitored and reported on.

Omniflex designed and manufactured the OMNILOG sequential events recorder for a cost-effective implementation. The instrument is capable of monitoring over 128 digital inputs (potential free standard), time-stamping them at source to a resolution of 4 ms (1 ms if less than 32 inputs). OMNILOG's big brother SER260 handles 4064 inputs with a resolution of better than 1 ms and caters for larger scale applications with high-end reporting systems.

The very high levels of electrical noise found in generating systems and substations need to be filtered properly in order to ensure that the events recorder records only true events and not spurious signals. The events recorder is often complemented in its application with OMNI-16 enunciators, which provide visual indication of alarms and the first up-alarm while the events recorder captures all events and logs them to an integral printer.

The OMNILOG events recorder consists of a rack with up to four input cards each handling 32. Each 32-channel input card in the system provides 1500 V r.m.s. isolation between the field and the backplane, with 600 V r.m.s. isolation between channels.

Generating sets have a need to monitor almost 100 digital contacts to within 4 ms in order to determine what may have caused a line or generator fault. The information that the SER range of recorders gather in hundreds of installations around South Africa is invaluable in determining the cause of faults and therefore speeds up the repair and restoration process. Without the information provided by such recorders, maintenance engineers could only guess at the nature and sequence of faults.

Other products in use in power and substations are the Maxiflex remote I/O system and the Omni-16 alarm enunciator range. Both product ranges are ruggedised for the harsh electrical conditions found in these environments.



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