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Security leaders across the country are discussing ground-breaking technologies that can better protect the nation’s critical assets. One of the innovative technology developments in the security space is the use of FLIR radiometric thermal cameras with temperature analysis software from Embedded Logix for condition monitoring to prevent asset failure at critical infrastructure sites.

Electrical substations are responsible for managing and distributing energy to thousands of homes and businesses. Combining radiometric thermal cameras and temperature trend analysis software allows substation facility operators to remotely inspect equipment and quickly detect and mitigate issues. This dual-pronged approach to asset management is cutting costs and preventing critical damage across the board.

Thermal analytic cameras

A security and asset monitoring system from FLIR and Embedded Logix features several facets. First, FLIR Elara FC-Series ID thermal analytic cameras are deployed along the substation perimeter, triggering alerts upon detection of an approaching human or vehicle. A FLIR Triton A310 PT (pan-tilt) camera is installed in the center of the substation for optimal viewing. FLIR FC-Series R or A310F fixed radiometric thermal cameras as well as Embedded Logix Smart LX-Sensor Gateways are mounted next to high-priority machinery.

The Smart-LX Sensor Gateways controls the A310PT scanning functions to collect temperature data on assets

While the FLIR A310F and FC-Series cameras continuously survey specific machinery, the A310 PT can zoom across the site to focus on transformer connections, incoming power transmission lines, and other equipment. The Smart-LX Sensor Gateways controls the A310PT scanning functions to collect temperature data on assets, activating an alarm if the temperature is above the pre-determined threshold.

By utilizing the FLIR and Embedded Logix solution, facility operators gain valuable information on temperature trends. They are able to respond to the slightest temperature discrepancies to prevent overheating and fires.

Proactive and predictive maintenance

The true value of the FLIR and Embedded Logix solution for customers is that is enables proactive monitoring and predictive maintenance. In the past, thermographers would travel to substations to survey equipment based on requests or scheduled maintenance visits. Using FLIR and Embedded Logix’s technology, thermographers can now remotely and proactively inspect equipment and get real-time temperature data for assets.

Thermal security cameras also protect assets from sabotage by intruders

Equipping facility operators with this information allows senior management to assess how to respond to a problem component before it burns out and decide whether to proactively replace it, if need be. If maintenance is conducted on a component, the live data and analytics on assets, produced by the FLIR and Embedded Logix solution, allows maintenance crews to verify whether the issue was fixed through repairs or whether the issue remains.  

Prevention of damage

At the end of the day, radiometric thermal cameras, integrated with temperature measurement analytics, allow asset operators to prevent serious damage to substation equipment, damage that creates more deficits when out of operation for long periods of time. At the same time, thermal security cameras also protect assets from sabotage by intruders.

These benefits make investment in security and asset monitoring solutions more than an attractive option for critical infrastructure customers. Because these strategies positively drive the bottom line, these solutions are positioned to become an industry best practice.

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