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Reliability and asset management

The issue of reliability and optimized management of infrastructures and components - so-called asset management - in the transmission and distribution of electricity cover a role of increasingly greater importance in the present electricity market especially following liberalizations of the sector.

The introduction of asset management strategies has influenced the component maintenance policy (overhead and cable lines, transformers, switches, isolators, etc) with the gradual insertion, alongside the traditional planned maintenance, the "Condition Based Maintenance" (CBM) - based on the possibility to estimate, through appropriate deterioration diagnostic indicators, the conditions and residual life of the component and thus provide maintenance.

In this area, RSE has experienced and developed diagnostic techniques with reference to the main transmission and distribution assets. Among these were:

 • Electric Field Distribution Measurements (EFDM)
 • Frequency Dielectric Spectroscopy measurements (FDS)
 • Corona emission surveys • Partial discharge measurements
 • Polarization and Depolarization Current measurements (PDC)
 • Loss factor measurements (TGD)
 • Polarization Index measurements (PI)
 • Frequency Response Analysis measurements (FRA)
 • Insulator surface conduction measurements
 • Vibration measurements
 • Acoustic measurements
 • Ozone content measurements

With reference to some of these techniques innovative sensors with optical technology and immune from electrical interference and not invasive that is to say totally dielectric have been studied and developed.

The possibility of being able to diagnose the condition of an electrical component in service (through periodic "off-line" measurements, that is, by putting the component out of service at scheduled intervals, or with "on-line" techniques, creating instead continuous monitoring of some key parameters of the component without precluding normal operation) makes it possible to adopt new and more efficient maintenance strategies, thus resulting in an increase in reliability along with a reduction in overall management costs.