Right T&M instruments extend power plant life

The T&M equipment plays vital role in checking the health of the critical power plant equipment. Parag Yelegaonkar, Business Development Manager, Testo India Pvt Ltd

What are the key market trends impacting the growth of the power sector automation?

In the current scenario, the online inspection and trouble-shooting is very critical as it helps to reduce cost, downtime and improve efficiency. There can be situations where the technology used is under developed, the inspections are manual and there are no automated systems for data recording and storage. Another challenge is the increasing application areas and data monitoring necessities with inadequate resources and solutions. The traditional methods and processes are now getting replaced with smart solutions. The processes are becoming more easy, fast and reliable. Inclusion of measurement techniques via Bluetooth/WiFi, cloud storage and other IoT concepts are shaping up in a very descent way.

What are the challenges to market growth?

There was a time when the T&M industry was not deep rooted as most of the systems and operations were manually driven. Also, the technology was very elementary and under developed. But the time has changed now and with digital being the new trend the advancements are overwhelming. The traditional methods and processes are now getting replaced with smart solutions, governed with just one click of the smartphone. The processes have become more easy, accurate, fast and reliable. Inclusion of measurement techniques via Bluetooth/ WiFi, Cloud storage and other IoT concepts have taken the measurement industry by storm. Another aspect that ensures the growth of T&M industries is the increasing application areas and data monitoring necessities in the emerging MNCs in the Indian market.

What are the opportunities you foresee?

T&M equipment are an integral part of the power domain, and it goes without saying, that the entire life cycle of the power sector depends on the T&M instruments. It is invariably a continuous operation setup and relatively an expensive asset of any power utility, public or private sectors.

During the installation phase, the T&M equipment are very much required and used in setting up benchmark parameters for various process tags. This benchmark parameters recorded can be used to check and confirm the safe and efficient operation of the power plants throughout its life cycle span. One can as well derive the optimum efficiency of each component and record the measured parameter values by using T&M equipment for future use looking in to consistency in optimum operation and for all kinds of trouble shooting jobs.

About the enhancement of life of any power plant equipment, periodic checks are very important. A small lapse in preventive and predictive maintenance can lead to highly unsafe conditions and thus results in loss of huge revenue and system breakdown. The T&M equipment plays vital role in checking the health of the critical power plant equipment. The early detection before its failure or any major deviation in the measurement value of critical electrical or any other process parameter can save catastrophic failures of an equipment and can avoid the loss in terms of cost as well as availability. Therefore, the life expectancy of any power plant can be extended by using the right T&M instruments effectively.

What are your latest initiatives in the field?

Testo offers various T&M instruments like electrical parameter measurement, thermal imagers, flue gas analysers, Wi-Fi data loggers, SMART probes and digital gauges in this power domain. The instruments offered by Testo are no more the conventional analog type, but they are now more user friendly, wireless as far as sensor and display is concerned, they are IoT enabled plus more rugged, precise and accurate. Our new Electrical Instruments are very distinct and unique in their features. These instruments for Power Utilities are with the intelligence built-in to generate SMART reports of measurements carried out by just a click of a button automatically after its configuration. Auto adjustable features, safety built-in and cost effectiveness are some other key features of these instruments.

We have the new range of Smart Probes which equips the users with smart and easy measurement techniques using the smartphone interface. These instruments are available with smart mobile phone apps for online viewing of the process parameters and further the data and report sharing facility instantly from measurement site. This leads to quick decision making in trouble shooting and easy of doing adjustments in power plant equipment to achieve optimum efficiencies by measuring the process parameters.

Our latest solution to the industry is new Thermal Imagers with smartphone integration designed to deliver networked thermography. These imagers are best suited for solar panels at solar power plants and are used to take the thermal image of modules to monitor the panel heating due to dust, dirt, hotspots, cell ruptures, open or short circuits etc. Apart from that, testo 885 is used for monitoring and thermal analysis of the entire Balance of Plant.