The power produced in power-stations has very high voltage and therefore, needs the utmost care during its transmission. Heavy-duty transmission lines and substations are also necessary to prevent energy loss, at the same time. However, like any other piece of equipment, electrical substations and transmission lines also need maintenance.
The importance of substation maintenance can be far reaching for industries and large manufacturing units, in particular.
Why is Maintenance Necessary?
Transmission lines come in contact with weatherly deterrents all the time, since they are laid in open without any insulatory sheath. Similarly, substation equipment such as transformers and insulator plates are also prone to atmospheric damage.
Mostly, the effect of weather could be seen as corrosion of these parts. Now, it is needless to mention that corrosion can pose structural problems and may lead to accidents due to falling objects. Besides, experts at Utility Service & Maintenance, INC. suggest the risks of arch formation, corona discharge, and short circuits, along with electrical noise if proper maintenance cycles are missed. They also suggest repainting and insulation coating of the equipment from time to time. It would not only prevent corrosion but also help with insulation.
All of these shortcomings can lead to massive production losses for industries. After all, most of the industries and manufacturing units use electrical machinery for production and quality related operations. And if there’s any fault in the electrical supply, their operations may come to an instant halt.
Therefore, it is imperative that regular maintenance of substations, particularly the ones that supply to industries, should be checked.
Understanding the importance of maintenance is one thing, while managing and keeping a check on schedule is another. Irregular maintenance cycles can escalate the problems further.
- Daily Inspection
Most of the maintenance tasks that can prevent long term faults usually need to be carried out on a daily basis. For instance, checking the transformers for magnetic oil, leakage, and color of silica gel can prevent from overhauling of the transformers. The duty personnel can ensure daily checks when they take over the shift. It can ensure that there’s no long-term fault misses out and therefore major accidents can be avoided.
- Monthly Checks
The next on the list are the checks that need to be followed once every month. Checking the bushes of the transformers, coating on the insulators, and cracks in joints can help predetermine any fault. And thus, taking care of the possible things that may go wrong.
- Bi-Annual Checks
Some maintenance checks need not to be followed that often. For instance, checking the overhead transmission lines for bird droppings, salt formation, and other types of layerings can be done once every six months. Removing these layers can improve the conductivity of the wires, and also prevent them against possible breakages. Another thing that should be checked in every six months is calibration for all the equipment.
- Annual Checks
Lastly, repainting and coating with flow-paint annually can help the substation equipment survive through the seasonal effects. Besides checking all the measuring and controlling equipment for any intrinsic faults is also necessary every once a year.
Keeping up with the proper maintenance of substations can not only keep the production for industries going, but also help mitigate the cost of repairs and replacements. And it is needless to mention that repairs can be pretty costly at times of breakdown.