Monitoring critical systems: can you have too much information?

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Teams responsible for electrical system performance and resilience need to look at how technology can deliver a solution that enables them to predict when and where issues will occur. Bender UK managing director Gareth Brunton highlights the latest development aimed at tackling this challenge

There is increasing pressure within vital facilities to ensure availability of critical systems and protect electrical infrastructure while at the same time reducing costs.

For a facilities manager or site director responsible for providing power, the ideal situation would be to know in advance when problems are going to occur, and to be equipped to deal with them before they happen.

A new tool can help tackle these challenges. Powerscout offers the next generation of web-based permanent monitoring solutions for critical power systems to enable pro-active maintenance, eliminate unplanned shut downs, and avoid the potential for fires due to overloaded or faulty systems.

The software integrates the data from the measuring and residual current monitoring devices on site. Most importantly, it generates clear and detailed visualisations and status reports not only for Bender equipment but also third-party measuring devices.

Information overload

Is there such a thing as too much information? The simple answer is that there can be if it prevents site operators from clearly seeing the status of their systems.

Bender measuring devices monitor electrical systems, plant, electrical networks and other facilities to ensure that they are safe and do not shut down. Units from some other manufacturers perform similar sorts of functions but if the amount of measuring data is too extensive it can be extremely difficult to evaluate.

In effect it can create an information overload. Powerscout turns that mass of information into usable data that can help shape maintenance actions and drive improvement in service and availability.

Moisture, ageing, dirt, mechanical damage or errors created by fluctuations in electricity, voltage and temperature can all harm installations. This software tool provides an intelligent way to ensure maximum availability of installations and avoid system failures by having predictive maintenance in place.

Through permanent monitoring, the system gives facilities managers and operators an accurate real-time picture of the entire data for single or multiple site locations, delivering all the information they need direct to their desktop or mobile device, with all measured values automatically and continuously saved.

It supports the analysis of the device data and documents the condition of each electrical installation, providing a constantly up-to-date picture and record of the state of a user’s systems, its availability, fault trends and potential issues.

Data can be accessed remotely only by authorised site staff or service partners through secure web interfaces. Users simply open the browser via a tablet, smartphone, laptop, or computer, log in, and select the required measuring devices and measured quantities.

The software can be individually adjusted to the customer’s system and monitoring requirements to create a precisely tailored solution for each customer.

Most importantly, the automated report on residual currents and power quality forms the basis for verifying the integrity of the system without switch-off and is designed to fulfil the requirements of IEC 60364-6 (periodic verification of low-voltage electrical installations)

At the same time, the software enables facilities managers to track and manage energy use more effectively. The recorded data from devices allows users to compare the power system performance of different buildings or facilities.

In short, the comprehensive and continuously updated database provided by Powerscout is a quick and simple route to identifying the causes of malfunctions and maximising availability of power infrastructure and critical systems.

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