EDP Labelec offers terrestrial and aerial thermography services, with a focus on power plants, substations, switching and transforming stations, electrical panels, MV, HV and EHV overhead power lines, thermal insulators and facilities.
Thermography allows the acquisition of instant images of the temperatures, detected by the infrared cameras (IR), at each moment.
EDP Labelec operators with adequate training and years of experience in thermography, thermographic observation and analysis of the state of operation of electrical and mechanical equipment, can obtain reliable results (measurement of severe temperatures) and interpretations of the operational state of inspected organs.
Inspections results are presented with thermograms, photographs and temperatures of selected points from organs with abnormalities; they also include extrapolations of measured values for other operating conditions (e.g., for other values of load) and recommendations for action, in light of the interpretation of results.
The overhead power lines thermographic inspections at EDP Labelec began almost simultaneously with inspections of other electrical facilities, by land, with operations since 1980.
In 1994 was held the first experience of inspection by helicopter, which came to originate overhead power lines inspection routines, which have been growing in number and variety.
In 1996 was introduced an important improvement - inspection with a stabilized gimbal remotely controlled from inside the helicopter and with two cameras - video and IV.
In 2007 was incorporated, at the overhead power lines inspection activity, the determination of distances between conductors and obstacles, with a laser/LIDAR and a geo-referenced anomalies system and digital imaging. This system, initially developed in EDP Labelec, has allowed the identification, over the years, of thousands of critical or serious distances, which are transmitted to the client with images of 'clouds of laser spots' and lists of points with anomalies.
This information allows the companies that own overhead power lines, from the HV to EHV, to reduce the lines outage and plan more effectively the maintenance actions. As the LiDAR system can be used simultaneously with visual inspection flight and thermographic inspection, there is a significant saving of inspections costs.
In 2013, it was acquired a second gimbal which includes two further sensors - a 'reflex' photography camera, to record quality photos of visual anomalies and an ultraviolet camera (UV), which allows to view the corona effect in daylight.
The use of two systems and two helicopters has afforded the inspection of more than 20000 km of lines per year.
The aerial thermographic inspections have also allowed thermal mapping inspections and evaluation of the thermal impact of thermal power stations rejected water.
Thermographic inspections are accredited by IPAC (Certified L0220).
As a result of this activity and this experience is possible to reduce revenue losses that result from unexpected equipment service outages, verify initial running quality of equipment recently placed in service, plan more efficiently and economically maintenance activities and avoid serious accidents with persons and facilities, originated by faults.