RFMicron Deploys Wireless Battery-Free Sensors in Switchgear Temperature Monitoring System for Improved Human Safety

Press release from: 28 June 2017

RFMicron Deploys Wireless Battery-Free Sensors in Switchgear Temperature Monitoring System for Improved Human Safety


The RFM5107 System delivers continuous IoT temperature monitoring for live, energized medium-voltage and low-voltage electric power distribution switchgear to avoid catastrophic equipment damage and to improve human safety.


Austin, TX – June 28, 2017
 – RFMicron, Inc. announces the deployment of a complete temperature monitoring system for electric power distribution switchgear equipment used by utilities and their large customers. Switchgear is vital infrastructure equipment that safely and continuously routes electric power for our modern world. However, switchgear component failures can risk catastrophic equipment damage, severe human injury, as well as loss of service for consumers and loss of revenue for operators. Thermal monitoring of switchgear components is a critical method of detecting switchgear deterioration before failures occur, but most implementations involve infrequent manual inspections or occasionally utilize wired sensors. RFMicron’s RFM5107 Switchgear Temperature Monitoring System delivers continuous temperature monitoring using wireless, battery-free, maintenance-free sensors and is a vital tool to improve electric power reliability, protect equipment and ensure human safety.

RFMicron’s RFM5107 Switchgear Temperature Monitoring System delivers continuous temperature monitoring using wireless, battery-free, maintenance-free sensors and is a vital tool to improve electric power reliability, protect equipment and ensure human safety.

Despite its importance in delivering electric power for our modern lifestyles, most switchgear equipment is not under continuous monitoring and receives only periodic inspections on protracted one to three-year intervals. Furthermore, these periodic inspections can be exceedingly dangerous to perform, especially when access panels must be opened on fully-energized equipment to identify the thermal signatures indicative of deteriorating and soon-to-fail components. Alternatively, continuous temperature monitoring approaches, such as the RFM5107 System, provide early identification of failure signatures and gives maintenance teams more notice to schedule repairs under safer conditions.

Continuous temperature monitoring is becoming a critical infrastructure management tool as modern smart grids deal with nearly instant on-off behavior from renewables and other distributed generation sources. The management of this on-off behavior is relatively new and atypical compared to the traditional, base-load generation sources. Dynamic conditions can emerge within the smart grid distribution network as current flows vary and even reverse direction at unpredictable times. RFMicron’s continuous temperature monitoring provides early detection of overload conditions, highlights load imbalances and flags deteriorating equipment in real-time to avoid faults and improve power grid reliability.

“It’s challenging to properly isolate and insulate switchgear components like busbars and cable connections given the incredible amounts of power they manage. Installing wired sensors is simply not practical in this environment. For these reasons, the wireless and battery-free nature of our Smart Passive Sensing™ system stands out in switchgear applications,” said Shahriar Rokhsaz, President, and CEO of RFMicron. “Our RFM5107 System with maintenance-free sensors delivers continuous temperature monitoring and issues alerts before the deterioration reaches levels that might trigger catastrophic failure. Furthermore, our solution eliminates the need to open access ports on energized equipment. The net result is improved human safety for the switchgear maintenance teams that we all depend on.”

The RFM5107 Switchgear Temperature Monitor system is built around specially designed sensors installed directly on heavy switchgear busbars, wiring connectors, and high-current contact assemblies. The system includes an industrial wireless reader with preloaded monitoring software to manage alarms and an industrial display with built-in notifications that alert on deviations from normal equipment operating temperatures. The lug-mounted RFM3260 temperature sensors and the ceramic RFM3250 temperature sensors are serialized so that operators know which components have deteriorated and need attention. This is a major improvement over the current practice of forcing maintenance teams to perform dangerous debug procedures on fully-energized equipment to isolate a suspected issue.

Each RFM5107 Switchgear Temperature Monitoring System includes 12 battery-free wireless smart passive sensors from RFMicron, which are powered by RFMicron’s innovative Magnus® S3 integrated circuit. The system also includes a reader pre-programmed with advanced monitoring software, a panel-mount display, cabling and reader antennas. The reader and display are MODBUS/RS-485 compatible and work with common safety, control, and protection networks. The system is certified to EN/IEC 61000 compliance requirements. The RFM5107 System can be purchased for wireless use in FCC and ETSI/EU territories.

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Availability
The RFM5107 Switchgear Temperature Monitor and other RFMicron Smart Passive Sensing solutions are available from the RFMicron website, www.rfmicron.com/rfm5107-switchgear-temperature-monitor/.

About RFMicron
Based in Austin, Texas, RFMicron produces end-to-end wireless sensing solutions that bring the Internet of Things (IoT) to industry and businesses in need of real-time business insights into productivity, performance, and environmental threats along their supply chain. Since its founding in 2006, RFMicron has led the expansion of sensing capabilities to meet the unique, large-scale demands of businesses whose success depends on knowing more about their operating conditions, including automotive manufacturing, healthcare, predictive maintenance, switchgear, cold-chain and data centers. RFMicron’s solutions include wireless Smart Passive Sensors™, SMART Edge™ systems, and other patented and patent-pending industrial IoT solutions.

RFMicron, RFMicron, Inc., and the RFMicron logo, as well as the product and service names mentioned herein, are the registered trademarks of RFMicron, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Although websites may be referenced in this news release, information on those websites is not to be incorporated herein.

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Editorial contact
RFMicron, Inc
Alan Hansford
VP Marketing
alan.hansford@RFMicron.com
+1 512-431-2080

RFMicron

3700 N Capital of Texas Hwy
Suite 570
Austin, TX 78746
Tel: (512) 535-4647

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