EDF Power Networks Lab helps optimise the asset maintenance and renewal on the basis of targeted tests
Dealing with ageing facilities, the increasing lifespan or performance of equipment becomes critical in the context of developing intermittent Renewable Energies and tightening financial and environmental constraints.
Targeted tests help evaluate reliably the operating margins and life spans of new or existing equipment. They also allow providing optimised solutions to regulatory changes.
Our teams regularly perform testing programs for operators of the EDF Group that enable optimising maintenance policies and renewal strategies.
Helping objectify the real lifespan to smooth the renewall programs
The end of life criteria of electrical equipment are often global or empirical, with important implications on the maintenance or renewal costs.
Thanks to investigation tests, more relevant replacement criteria can be defined for an equipment line, and it is possible to precise the risidual lifespan of an equipment regardless of the existing criteria.
Example of achievement:
While we did not have enough statistical data to determine the criteria for the end of life of an oil circuit breakers park (FVH), a campaign of electrical and climatic endurance tests focused on a sample of old devices, enabled to extend their technical lifespan from 5 to 10 years.
Knowing underwriting margins to increase performances
The detailed knowledge of the actual margins of equipment enables to optimize their operation, and the best way to know these margins passes through experimentation. EDF Power Networks Lab evaluates these margins of effective operations in conditions of real constraints in the field, taking into account all the factors: electrical and mechanical solicitations, climate, pollution ...
Examples of achievement:
•The increase of continuous current and short circuits on a park of 225 and 420 kV disconnectors allowed avoiding a building program.
• A change in the regulation on pressure vessels required to replace the batteries of hydraulic controls of a circuit breakers park. A testing campaign has validated their functioning at reduced pressure, avoiding a costly upgrading program.
Supporting operators in the understanding and mastery of ageing
Today, increasing of intermittency and harmonics related to the development of RES, as well as atmospheric pollution phenomena accentuate the ageing and corrosion of materials in a context of increase in the average age of the parks. Our testing facilities enable to assess the impact of these factors to adjust the technical choices and the associated maintenance policies.
Examples of achievement:
•Evaluation of the ageing kinetics of overhead conductors and accessories (insulators, avifauna tags ...) by severe natural pollution to clarify technical choices.
•Determination of the evolution of the resistance of cables connections under thermal cycling.
•Characterization of the effect of harmonics and intermittency on the ageing of a power transformer.