Electromagnetic Signature Analysis (EMSA) is a state-of-the-art method of testing and monitoring of electrical power apparatus – while in operation. This development is a game changer and represents a new and wide-open market that is currently in its relative infancy. In other words, EMSA represents a major step-change in electrical testing and diagnostics.
EMSA testing is performed while the facilities are at full power. No outage is necessary. No equipment must be removed from service, locked out, tagged, or grounded. There is no chance of causing an outage. There is no connection to the existing equipment. All data is collected through electromagnetic coupling. We are able to review and interpret the electromagnetic signature and identify any anomalies or incipient faults very early in their development, long before they become known problems. This method saves countless outage, maintenance, and equipment failure dollars. It does what none of the other methods can do.
EMSA testing is performed using sophisticated equipment to intercept, collect, and analyze system signals. The signals are collected using split-core Radio Frequency Current Transformers (RFCTs), placed on the neutral conductor, bus, power conduit, or other similar location that carries the system signals. The data is transmitted via coaxial cables to a spectrum analyzer device for processing and analysis. The data is analyzed by an expert and electrical system anomalies such as partial discharge, corona, arcing, sparking, and conduction are identified. Some mechanical anomalies can also be identified, such as shaft misalignment or bearing issues. The use of EMSA for large electrical power apparatus testing is primarily performed on an annual basis. A new system of constant 24-hour monitoring has been developed and it is called RMS WATCHKEEPER.
The RMS WATCHKEEPER system takes EMSA testing to an entire new level, and it is the wave of the future. Imagine a world where electrical signature analysis is performed constantly, and unwanted electrical faults and expensive unplanned outages are avoided. The RMS WATCHKEEPER is a natural progression of electrical testing and fits right in with the IoT. The RMS WATCHKEEPER system consists of the same technology used in standard EMSA testing, but also consist of a powerful computer for onsite processing; a proprietary software to sample, capture, and analyze data; a link to the cloud for data transfer; and proprietary software with setpoints for alarm at the command center(s).
The use of advanced predictive maintenance technologies is rapidly becoming the new reality in the modern era and will save countless billions of dollars in unnecessary maintenance practices. Human safety will be improved, machine operation maximized, and overall system efficiencies will be expanded. EMSA and RMS WATCHKEEPER are becoming the new standards for electrical system testing and monitoring as continue to advance the state of technology in the electrical power industry.