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How to ‘see’ sound and locate invisible threats

Home Engineering Electronic - Instrumentation & Control How to ‘see’ sound and locate invisible threats

CORONA, partial discharge as well as gas, steam and compressed air leaks can hurt both production uptime and the bottom line.

That’s according to COMTEST, local representative of Fluke, which said that most manufacturers know that these types of leaks exist, but up until now, it has been too time consuming and tedious to tackle them.

“With the new Fluke ii900 or ii910 and minimal training, maintenance technicians can begin checking for leaks during their typical maintenance routine — even during peak operation hours,” the company said in a statement.

The ii900 series acoustic imagers let technicians “see” sound as they scan hoses, fittings, and connections for leaks.

“Its built-in acoustic array of tiny sensitive microphones generates a spectrum of decibel levels per frequency. Based on this output, an algorithm calculates a sound image, known as SoundMap that is superimposed on a visual image.”

The SoundMap is automatically adapted depending on the frequency level selected so that background noise is filtered out, making it incredibly simple to detect compressed gas leaks.

Partial discharge is a particularly serious issue. “Whether inspecting insulators, transformers, switch gears or high voltage power lines users need to be sure that a problem can be spotted quickly. Partial discharge that goes unchecked can cause blackouts, fires, explosions, or death from arc flashes.”

In addition, having equipment go down can cost millions of rand per hour of downtime.

COMTEST said the Fluke ii910 Precision Acoustic Imager is specifically designed for high voltage electricians, electrical test engineers, and grid maintenance teams that are constantly inspecting and maintaining power distribution and industrial high voltage equipment.

“The higher frequency capability of the ii910 allows for earlier detection to facilitate early maintenance planning and is why the ii910 has a frequency range of 2-100Khz.”

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