Are There Marine Applications for Using Infrared (IR) Inspection Windows?
Imagine what would happen if power generation failed on an offshore platform, or on a cruise ship or on a commercial marine or naval vessel. Potential risks that come to mind should this occur are safety concerns, loss of sanitation resources, loss of refrigeration of perishable food, loss of lighting at night, etc. Electrical systems are among the most critical systems on ships and offshore platforms. Is it possible to monitor the electrical assets to determine their health status? Can the reliability team predict when an electrical system is deteriorating and fix it before it fails? The answer is YES!
Electrical safety compliance for marine, maritime and offshore workers is heavily regulated. The environment is characterized by extreme temperature fluctuations, high humidity and continuous vibrations. Think about the following segments and imagine the impact of a power failure:
* Offshore Platforms – safety is paramount on oil and gas platforms where a small problem could put hundreds of personnel at great risk
* Ports and Cranes – shore-based cranes are primarily electrically powered and keep global trade alive. A power distribution failure can cost thousands of dollars per hour and create a jam on the water of ships waiting to be offloaded.
* Commercial and Naval Vessels – most large vessels now use electric propulsion systems. Naval vessels power their weapons and guidance systems by the onboard electric grid.
* Cruise Ships – the cruise industry depends on efficiency in their operations to command customer loyalty. A cruise ship that loses power may be floating at sea with no air conditioning, no sanitary resources, perishable food that has spoiled due to lack of refrigeration, etc. The typical response of the cruise industry is to refund the affected passengers AND offer them a free future cruise. Clearly the financial impact to the cruise line is significant as well.
These industries recognize the criticality of establishing and performing condition based maintenance programs on their electrical assets. Routine inspections enable personnel to monitor the health status of critical electrical components and systems. Innovative products and services, called Electrical Maintenance Safety Devices (EMSDs), enable personnel to perform routine electrical inspections of energized assets safely and efficiently. Common types of EMSDs include Maintenance Inspection Windows with Infrared or Infrared and Ultrasound capabilities, Ultrasound Ports and handheld measuring devices, Wireless Temperature Monitoring Systems and Intelligent Asset Tagging Systems. Utilizing these tools within a condition based maintenance program allows the reliability team to routinely and safely perform inspections, collect data, monitor data over time and determine if an electrical asset is starting to deteriorate. These programs allow companies to schedule downtime to fix the asset versus experiencing an unplanned outage and disrupting the lives and safety of thousands of people.
Marine and maritime operations cannot tolerate or afford an internal electrical failure that impacts the safety and comfort of their personnel or their end-user customer base. Improved operational reliability and productivity can be achieved by implementing a condition based maintenance program using EMSDs to monitor, maintain and anticipate problems before an actual electrical component fails.