Understand why wireless and battery-free RFID temperature sensors may be a good fit for switchgear hot spot monitoring.

After more than 2 years of weekly posts, you have already heard about applications where monitoring hot spots with battery-free sensors can have multiple benefits. The application of RFID sensors in electric motors and generators to monitor hot spots in their rotor is a clear example.

Can the same solution make sense for switchgear hot spot monitoring?

Other than the fact that we are talking about hot spot monitoring, you don’t find that many similarities between electric motors and generators and switchgear. However, they share the same limitation: you can’t use wired sensors nor batteries.

The issue with wires in switchgear is an electrical issue, where wired sensors may generate electric arcs and ultimately lead to catasthropic events such as explotion and fire. Batteries are not allowed inside switchgear for the same reason: being inside a high voltage environment it is not safe to use them.

Switchgear hot spot monitoring with RFID sensors

Can RFID help switchgear hot spot monitoring?

Preliminarily, this makes battery-free RFID sensor solutions a good fit for switchgear hot spot monitoring. RFID sensor tags can be directly located in hot spots – such as connections between busbars – while the RFID reader antenna can be fitted in the inner part of the switchgear door. The reader itself can be installed outside the switchgear even servicing nearby cabinets using multiple reader antennas.

Real-time and continuous switchgear hot spot monitoring

An RFID sensor solution provides the asset manager with real time information about specific hot spot status. As each RFID sensor has a unique identification number, staff members can isolate the issue and tackle the problem not just at an specific section of the switchgear but at the specific hot spot.

Moreover, an RFID system works 24-7, providing the company with a dynamic thermal image of all their assets. Temperature information is not limited to a static measurement – as happens with thermal imaging cameras for example – but continues to flow from different switchgear to your asset management system in a continuous way.

Moving from other solutions like the rotor temperature monitoring may require customizations to form factor, casing, fixation and hardware set up but… does this make sense to you?