Powergrid maintenance

Corona discharges detection on power lines

Corona discharge, also called corona effect or partial discharge, is a key unwanted side effect to be considered by Powergrid companies. Indeed this phenomena of unwanted electrical discharges can have several impacts : short term impacts include wasted energy along the network as well as more harmful long term consequences like network breakdowns occasioning strong economic impacts. Energy conservation is now a key stake for governments. To support it, Powergrid companies are investing in their operations and maintenance activities in order to keep a modern and efficient network.

Corona discharge detection is a predictive inspection method used by grid maintenance teams and electrical test engineers to maintain and inspect high voltage equipment. The network is inspected by helicopter, drone or through manual inspection using some handheld devices. These detection methods are enabling maintenance teams to localize the partial discharges through the whole grid including transmission lines as well as the substations from 5000 Volts.

Different methodologies for detections are available : acoustic detection, thermal detection (IR) and Ultraviolet (UV) detection. UV detection or UV imaging technology is the only technique able to provide to technicians a direct image of the discharge by using the UV spectrum (100nm ~ 400nm) to detect the discharges. Within UV detection, solar blind UV detection remains the most promising technique. The solar blind UV detection is using high sensitivity and compact UV cameras to detect very specific parts of the wavelength from (200nm~280nm) not reachable by using any other detection methods.

Photonis, part of Exosens offers a range of UV cameras to OEMs and integrators (drone companies, detection devices manufacturers) that can help to reach these levels of sensitivity while keeping a compact product with a low weight.

Photonis UV cameras are using the combination of an ultra-sensitive image intensifier tubes integrated with one of the best performance low light cameras in the market. Thanks to expertise in electro optics and in the coupling of components, Photonis is able to propose to OEMs a cost-effective plug and play solution; all has been thinking to the related production challenges become an ease for integrators.

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