BAUR GmbH (Sulz/Austria) has introduced a coherent range of innovations and refinements that enhance its company profile, allowing it to position itself on the world market as a specialist in reliable diagnostics that are gentle on your cables. BAUR now offers a range of products extending from measurement technology to analysis software, giving operators of medium-voltage networks all the tools they need to make optimal decisions when balancing the conflicting goals of network availability and cost efficiency. This helps them get the most from proven diagnostics procedures such as dissipation factor and partial discharge testing and directly improves the cost efficiency of network maintenance.
User-friendly device technology
BAUR's range of diagnostics devices include the portable cable testing and diagnostics systems frida TD, viola TD, PD-TaD and PHG portable. "We now include cable diagnostics systems in almost every cable test van that we deliver", explains Dr. Markus Baur, CEO of BAUR GmbH. "More and more network operators are performing cable condition assessments or diagnostic measurements to provide conclusive figures demonstrating the quality of new or repaired cable routes."
The CEO goes on to describe how partial discharge testing can be used to detect hidden weak points such as an incorrectly assembled joint. "This kind of defect usually goes undetected by simple cable testing, but may lead to cable failure after a number of years."
Reliable evaluation of the condition of older cables
According to Dr. Baur, cable diagnostics can also be used for condition evaluation. "Diagnostics such as the dissipation factor measurement [tan delta] provide important information on cable ageing, allowing weak points in the insulation to be detected before breakdown occurs. This helps asset managers to plan effectively and minimise costs when scheduling repairs and budgeting for replacements."
Evaluation of diagnostic measurements at different levels
Modern software solutions complete the package of measurement technology. The intuitive BAUR Software 4.0 guides measurement engineers through the process of cable testing and diagnostic measurements, combining the two in an efficient workflow that saves time. Dr. Baur: "Thanks to the automation of processes and simple procedures, cable diagnostics can be easily integrated into everyday operations". Operators can choose to use standard sequences or define their own company-specific processes, putting them in complete control of how the diagnostic measurement is performed.
If the software detects a critical cable condition, it alerts the measurement engineer or breaks off the measurement and test cycle to eliminate the risk of failure. Otherwise, the collected values are made available on site and sent to the asset management department for evaluation at a later time. "Evaluating the results allows the asset management department to evaluate the condition of the cable network objectively based on the company's own diagnostic philosophy" explains the CEO. "This means that investment decisions about which routes to spend money on are backed up by sound information."
Estimation of the remaining life time based on statistical methods
Further assistance is provided by another new addition to the product range: the new statex® analysis software for estimating the remaining cable life time. Dr. Baur explains: "Using a patented algorithm, this carries out a statistical evaluation that draws upon 45,000 previous measurements. That's what makes statex® unique." Another factor that differentiates this analysis method from others is the inclusion of the TD-Skirt parameter, which represents the stability of the dissipation factor over several measurements. According to Dr. Baur, this allows for more precise estimations of the remaining life time than are possible when working according to IEEE 400.2. "If you want to keep your cables in service for as long as possible so you can spend your maintenance budget where it really matters, statex® is the planning tool you need."
Dr. Baur is pleased with the new additions to the company's diagnostic competence. "Our product range now rests on three pillars – measurement technology, evaluation and life time estimation – meaning that we can meet all your cable diagnostics needs from under one roof. Network operators thus benefit from a smooth workflow and reliable results, and can set up their asset management in a timely, targeted and, above all, cost-effective manner."
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