Importance of failure analysis of electrical equipment

24 February 2023
Análisis de fallos equipos eléctricos_Tecnalia

“Failure analysis is a basic tool in asset management to reduce risk and impact on operations”

We have extensive experience in diagnosing faults in components and equipment in electricity grids and electrical installations

The expert examination of the damaged element (visual and macrographic inspection) and the investigation of the conditions surrounding the failure must generally be supplemented by material analysis and tests that reproduce the service conditions in order to carry out the failure analysis.

We can apply a wide range of electrical, mechanical and environmental test methods. We have sophisticated techniques for analysing materials at our disposal, such as high-resolution 3-D computerised tomography and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

Our experience and testing and analysis capabilities mean that there is a high likelihood of success when it comes to carrying out a failure analysis on materials and equipment, high and low voltage cables and their accessories (connectors, terminals), distribution and instrument transformers, medium and low voltage switchgear, switchboards, insulators and bushings and, in general, any component or equipment for generating, transporting, distributing and using electrical energy.

Diagnosing the cause of the failure

The analysis aims to identify the failure mode of the equipment involved, and to get to its root cause. The failure may be due to defects in the design, manufacture or installation of the material, to an inappropriate choice for the service conditions, or to abnormal events.

Diagnosing the cause of the failure is of great interest to operators of electricity grids or large generation or consumption facilities such as wind farms and photovoltaic plants so that they can establish liability and take measures to prevent future occurrences. Failure analysis helps to ensure that installations function properly and that people and the environment are safe.